Ah, Friday. Time to kick back, sip a margarita, maybe listen to some music or read a book–
Wait. It’s Friday! I missed my turn to blog? Oh, crap. Well, I’m totally cheating and adding my thoughts to Gary’s post.
“Writing time” is an all-encompassing term. Butt-in-chair time is extremely important, obviously–no one ever wrote a novel without it–but the butt-away-from-chair time is important too. I do a lot of what I call “back brain” thinking where I’m not necessarily consciously thinking about characters or plot or world-building or anything. The idea is sort of sitting there, simmering, mixing with whatever else is floating around my brain. Even when I think I haven’t thought of anything, when it’s time to write, something usually materializes. It’s like magic.
I perform this trick during all stages of my processes. When I get the initial idea for a story, I think about it as I’m mowing the lawn. When I’m drafting a novel, I write a few evenings in a row, then take a few days off to mull over what I’ve done and where I’m going. If I get stuck during a writing session, I pull out the knitting needles and work on a scarf. The shower is a notorious idea incubator, as is the running trail. Occupying part of your brain with a mundane task allows your writer brain to work.
Writers are always writers. Even when we’re washing the car.