I often see advice from people suggesting that you need to allocate yourself a set amount of time each day or week to writing; you need to have a distraction free environment that is calm and comfortable. From my perspective, this is good advice, to a degree.
Your ideas and inspiration can come to you at any time of day or night so you need to be ready at any moment to start writing. I’m not saying that you need to carry your laptop with you wherever you go; you just need to be prepared. Keep a pen and paper nearby at work or in your car, or by your bed. I always have a piece of paper in my wallet and a pencil in my pocket. I don’t write full constructive paragraphs or chapters when I’m thinking, I write notes, whether it be just a name or situation or a key sentence that can change your story. I have more ideas jotted down on pieces of paper and in notebooks than I have typed on my laptop.
I still give myself time to write, but I already have what I
am going to write. When I read something that I have jotted down I instantly
get more words flowing that I can use to expand on them. Never be afraid to
write down a random idea, even if it cannot be used in whatever you are working
on now because it could always be used in the future.
If you do not have time to convert your notes to
written work, just take a few minutes to add them to a file or document and
call it ‘Ideas’. I often refer to mine on a regular occasion and before I
commit to writing anything, I will read through to make sure that I am not
going to miss out on any of the ideas I had when not at my computer. Expanding
on this, you could separate all of your ideas out into sections such as comedy,
drama, dialogue or places.
There is no strict rule for when you are allowed to have ideas or when you should write them down. Your brain will drift and take your imagination with it when you are not doing anything. So when you are waiting in the doctor’s office, on the train, or even during the commercial break of your favourite show, your mind will wander and even the smallest thing can trigger an amazing train of thought.
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