One of the hardest things about working full-time and writing part-time is just finding the time to write. When I was in college, I used to have to spend between half an hour and an hour reviewing what I’d written so that I could get into the mindset of my characters. If I didn’t have a chunk of a couple of hours free, I just wouldn’t write. This isn’t a luxury I have any more. I rarely have hours-long chunks of time just sitting around.
As I may have mentioned before, another thing I used to do was write in a specific notebook. There were actually two notebooks, one with the character sketches and one with the story. I would find myself wanting to write but then I would become frustrated because it’s not very easy to transport two notebooks everywhere. I wouldn’t have them with me at all times. So I would find myself writing when I had big chunks of time alone in my dorm room. Again, not something that happens these days.
Now I have a writing tablet. It’s a tablet with a keyboard attachment that I use solely for writing. I’ll pull it out when I’m in the doctor’s office waiting room and write a couple sentences. I’ll put it out when I’m waiting in my car and write a couple sentences. I definitely take it to work so that I can write at lunch.
But most importantly, even if I don’t have the tablet with me, I can write things down on whatever scrap of paper I have handy and put it into the tablet later. I used to think that writing the same scene twice was a waste of time. But I’ve long since gotten over the idea that every sentence, paragraph, and scene I write has to be perfect the first time. And when I realized that I can push perfectionism off to the second (or third, or fifth, or tenth) draft, and that there will be second, third, and tenth drafts, I realized that typing up a scene that I’ve already handwritten isn’t a waste of time. Anything that allows me to convert more of my ‘wasted’ time into writing time is a very useful.