You must always be ready to write

To be a writer, one must write. With all of the modern world’s distractions – social media, the demands of work, a house to be cleaned, cell phone texts, a family that needs attention – finding time to write may not always be possible. Even if you set aside a quarter hour every day to write, interruptions may occur.

Given this, you must always be ready to commit pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. You never know when free time will avail itself, and you don’t want to miss that opportunity to write. Fostering in yourself the attitude that you are always ready to write is paramount.

How can you do that?

Always keep a story idea in your head
Each morning when you wake up, select a story idea that you will think about through the day. You may be outlining the story, you may be developing images for a specific scene in the story, you may be devising dialogue. Whenever you do mundane tasks – folding laundry, driving to the supermarket, waiting for a meeting to start – use that opportunity to think about your story idea.

Carry a notepad and pen wherever you go
When an idea for your story comes to you, write it down. Don’t limit yourself to that day’s story idea; write down any ideas for any story that come to you.

Ask how an object/idea can be incorporated in your story
Perhaps you pass a painting in a corridor at work or hear an interesting radio report about the nature of memory. Think about how that painting or insights on memory might be incorporated in your story, perhaps as an image or as a theme.

Sketch during any free moment
Can’t think of an idea for your story but stuck waiting in line or listening to a dull speaker in a meeting that doesn’t really concern anyway? Use this opportunity to write a description of a person or a location, as if an illustrator penciling a rough sketch of a person or a landscape.