Do you ever wish you had more time to read that latest craft book? Or that new release by your favorite author you haven’t had time to squeeze in? Or perhaps just some advice on writing?
I have found that commutes, random car rides, and trips to the grocery store, can be an excellent time to bone up on craft issues or catch the latest book I want to read. This would otherwise be “dead” time that I couldn’t use for writing, reading or furthering my craft. Since time is precious, especially if you’re a working writer or a writer with a family, finding a way to utilize this time can be priceless.
In the car…
On a jog…
Here’s a list of some of my favorite ways to use this “dead time”:
Audio Books: I commute twenty minutes to and from work each day and do a certain amount of shuffling kids here and there throughout the week in the car. I often read a book or two a month in this way (on audio), just in this caught time in the car–the pockets in between the things going on in the rest of my life. I check out audio books for free from my local library. By making use of their online reserve system, I always have a queue of books on waiting lists and they come in periodically throughout the month.
Audible: As an alternative to audio books from the local library, you can subscribe to Audible for a fee and stream books over your phone during your commute. I have, as of yet, been too cheap to pay for a monthly audible subscription, but because of the large variety there–many books which my library doesn’t have in its collection–I suspect I will finally cave and join at some point. Family–if you’re reading this: think Christmas present. :)
The “Writing Excuses Podcast”: This is hands-down, one of my favorite ways to pass the time in the grocery store, in waiting rooms, and at other random times. It is easy–and free–to stream these podcasts over your phone or iPod. I also will often eschew my daily dose of audio literature for a podcast from the guys and gals of Writing Excuses. All of the contributors are multi-published speculative fiction writers in the genres of fantasy, sci-fi, and horror, including Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Taylor and Dan Wells. Each podcast is only fifteen minutes long (“because you’re in a hurry and [they're] not that smart.” LOL) and focuses on a different aspect of craft or the publishing business. Guest authors are often featured on the podcasts. (Click here to visit the Writing Excuses Website). They are in their eighth season, so there is plenty to catch up on! And, if you couldn’t tell from my description, these are absolutely fabulous.
The Secrets: The Podcast for Serious Writers: I’ll have to admit that I haven’t listened to many of these yet. I’m not completely caught up on the Writing Excuses podcasts, and I plan to move to this one next–once I’m in the latest season. The creator of this podcast, Michael Stackpole, is a science fiction and fantasy writer. I first learned of his podcast when he made a guest apeparance on Writing Excuses. Good move, because I plan to devour these too! (Click here to visit The Secrets Website)
So those are my tips! I hope this post helps those of you like me who are pressed for time and need to find creative ways to keep writing, reading, and learning amidst the chaos of everyday life!
How do you find ways to fit in time for your writing life? I’d love to hear any tips you have in the comments.