Now, when I’m on the commute train, or have a few uninterrupted moments to myself, I’m not thinking about what to make for dinner or what chores are waiting for me when I get home. Nope. Those things are unimportant. I figure dinner out, if my husband hasn’t already, once I get home. And the chores get done when I have time. When I’m on the commute train, I’m either thinking about a scene I want to write, listening to dialog around me, or catching up on social media.
So far, most of my writing has been done by working with an outline. Right now, I’m working on the third book in my series, and even though I have a general outline and idea of the main plot and how I want the story to flow, the story itself has been coming to me out of order, scene by scene. This is new for me. I haven’t ever written anything that wasn’t in chronological order. I know there are writing tools like Scrivener that allow you to do this, but I haven’t ever needed to try them out. I’m still using Word to write. Lately, I’ve been writing in my notebook again, instead of straight into the computer, writing the scenes down as they come to me, out of order. So when you see me gazing out the window on the commute train, I’m not looking at the traffic. I’m thinking about a scene; how best to compose that scene. At some point, I will string all these scenes together into a hopefully cohesive story, but for now, I’m still in the developmental stage.
I also use my time on the commute train to observe people and what they say. Sound bites of conversations that pique my interest usually get shared on Twitter in the form of commute train quotes of the day. Other times, I’m following the advice of my editor by observing the flow of conversation between two people. This helps when writing dialogue.
Lastly, I use my spare time to catch up on social media. Social media is one of the biggest ways for an author, other than writing a fantastic novel, to connect with potential readers and network with other writers.
What does this all mean? Writing has changed my down time to writing time. It’s time to brainstorm story ideas, time to network with others in the business, and time to observe human interaction.
In what ways has writing changed your down time?
I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.
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