Writing on my Lunch Breaks
Every writer is different, let’s start this conversation right there. I’ve worked with a lot of authors in my life, even at only 22, and I expect I’ll meet many more in the future I’m sure.
Working in publishing, and having previously done a creative writing degree, I am always interested to hear about other writers writing habits. Particularly how they get inspired, where they write and for how long. I’m not fussed about word count – I can’t even tell you how many words my books are – but I feel motivated to write by other writers success stories and tips.
My writing habits are fairly simple.
I write when I want. When I have an idea, when I am feeling incredibly inspired or motivated and when I am alone. I cannot write in company. I couldn’t even write when I had a boyfriend, not to say I plan to stay single forever just to hone my craft.
I find that I am most motivated to write during two times of the day: during my lunch breaks at work or in the first few hours after work.
It’s fairly obvious to me why: I work in publishing. I spend all day promoting brilliant books written by other writers and published by a traditional publishing house. Also, I talk to a lot of authors online – self-published and print published authors – and a lot of book bloggers who generally love books. It’s a fantastic environment to be in if you’re trying to stay motivated.
When am I at my most creative?
This is a question I have been asked many times in my relatively short writing career, and I literally have no answer. There isn’t one.
I am creative when my mind tells me I am. Some days I can be utterly pumped to write yet I only write a load of crap, and other days I will have total writers’ block but suddenly have a great line in my head.
For me, keeping creativity is harder than finding it. Which is why when I am feeling creative – as I am at the moment – I do two things to keep it up.
- I write whenever I can, but only if I want to.
- I write other things, not just a novel or a short story so that I don’t burn out. For example this blog post.
As the title suggests, I am currently writing this on my lunch break. Writing other things, besides your current project, is kind of like doing some stretches before going for a run.
Currently, I am editing a complete project and I think I’m nearly done. A trusted friend is going to read a few pages for me and either tear me down from my pedestal of ‘I think this book is okay’ or he’s going to tweak it so that’s it my variety of ‘good enough’. The thing is, with a book, that you’re never going to get it perfect. Least of all without a thorough editing, a copy-editing and a proof-reading from professional editors – which I am not.
So, before I sign off to do a bit of editing, just remember that writing should suit you and your habits.
If I was a freelancer I’d probably have to set strict rules for my day, where I only write in the evenings or only at weekends. If I worked nights I could write during the day and if I worked a regular – non-inspiring – 9 to 5 job I would probably only ever write at weekends or when the mood overcomes me on public transport.
(I make it all sound rather ‘sexual’ don’t I. When the mood overcomes me.)
Basically, when you’re feeling motivated to write it’s like there’s an itching in your skull that won’t go away and you have to pick up a pen/turn on your laptop or write that minute or you’ll never be able to write again.
On that note, I’m off to write as I only have 22 minutes of my lunch break left. Just enough to get one chapter edited and one blog post written. Yippee!