Sparrow's Blog


T. Sparrow

    Write on the commute.

    If you are still commuting to work, it's a great place to steal some writing time.

    I know some of us are not going into work, but for those of us that sit in traffic, or ride public transport, this time can be a gift.

    If you're like me and you sit on the bus or train for at least 90 minutes a day, a pen and note book is an amazing investment. For just a couple dollars you can add 500 + words to your novel every day.

    It is hard to miss the salient idea of most "guides to success" push. Good habits lead to small improvement, that over time lead to big results. Most also push the idea that good triggers lead to small habits.

    Want to start exercising every day, put your gym shoes on. Build that really small habit and you'll be heading out the door for your run without even thinking about it.

    Want to start writing every day. Give yourself the tools.. A pen and note book (hard backed) and you're sort of there. You still need the trigger.

    For me it's stepping on the bus. Without a thought I put my bus pass in my bag, and pull out my pen and pad, and I get to work.

    The commute also offers another benefit to writing. It's interruption free.

    For the most part, we are anonymous blobs while we make our way to work. Once we find our seat, we zone out. We are alone in the crowd. If we have a decent set of earphones we don't even have to listen to the world.

    We can block out the "real" world, and sink into our own creation.

    Now driving is a bit harder, but oddly we can get More writing done when we drive. There are at least a dozen free or near free apps that we can install on our phones that would allow for direct speech to text. Or we can get a bit simpler, and just record the audio. Then all you have to do, while you sit in traffic is talk your book into existence.

    Now the rub though...

    We have either a long hand or a voice recording of our books. We've got to get it typed.

    This is not a flaw though. With the speed of pen and voice, we've created our first draft. Many very famous writers still produce their works long hand first. As they enter it into the computer, they are producing their "cleaner" second draft.

    I personally use a half page clipboard, not a note book. My daily commute goal is to fill two 8.5x11 pages, both sides. That's about two thousand words (I write small). It works for me because I take the resulting pages and mix them up, then transcribe them. Reading the story out of order lets me see things differently, and I find it makes editing easier.

    I've taken the time back.

    July 23, 2020