One of the most common complaints writers have is pretty universal: A lack of time. We’ve all been there. You have a job, a family, other responsibilities. Finding time to write isn’t just difficult, it can often be impossible, at least if you’re set in your ways. And it’s easy to resent the fact that you’re forced to donate the best hours of your day to an employer or other entity, and the only time you find to write is when you’re exhausted.

We’ve all been there. Well, I supposed there are some writers who were born into money and thus were never there. And some writers who sold their first manuscript at a young age for tons of cash, and so were able to curate their special writing place in their tastefully decorated apartment. For most of us, however, time and energy for writing can be in short supply.

You can, however, game the system a little if you work to be ready to write under just about any conditions.

All About the Implements

What do you write with? A laptop? Pen and paper? An old manual typewriter? A calligraphy pen and homemade paper? Blood and a quill?

Whatever it is, chances are you have become quite attached to both the implements you use and the specific conditions required for your creativity to flow. And if you’re having trouble finding the time and energy to write, you need to get over that shit pretty quickly and train yourself to be a writing ninja who is capable of writing under any condition. During a blackout, on the subway? Writing. On a plane for the next fifteen hours after eating bad sushi? Writing (also: vomiting). At work? Class? Your own wedding reception? Writing.

You see, there’s a lot of time in your day you’re not using. As an experiment, try to be conscious of how often during your typical day you’re just staring off into space. It’s a lot, most probably. And usually it’s for very good reason—when you’re crushed by a wall of humanity on the subway, for example, it’s not easy to do much else. But these are the moments you’re going to have to mine for the time to write your fiction.

To do that, you need to be flexible, and be ready to work on a variety of devices. A laptop or Chromebook or tablet are fine tools, but there will be moments when you won’t have two hands to write with, or a table or lap. Or electricity. Or space. Being ready to write anywhere, under any conditions means having a range of implements, from cloud-based electronic devices to old-fashioned pen and paper. And it means being ready write at a moment’s notice, whenever you find yourself with a few minutes to work with.

Is it ideal? No. But you’ll be surprised to discover just how much time you can claw back from your day. Pro tip: You can also use a similar approach to increase the amount of drinking time you get every day. Thought this is somewhat less accepted by society.

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