Writerly Advice: Making Time For Our Characters and Stories

The Spring season is finally arriving in Northern New York. It’s not just the temperature that tells me, either.  I can smell the thawing of earth in the air, and I can hear the birds in the trees, having returned from wherever it is that they travel to for the winter months.  The rushing water from the stream six acres behind my house, which has been frozen for months, echoes through the forest.

Along with all of these lovely Spring happenings, another sign of Spring has made it’s entrance:  A completely busy calendar.  And with that comes the inevitable guilt for my diminution of writing time.

Who’s with me?

Anyone else feel it, too?

I doubt I am alone here.  As writers, we are wired to see everyday occurrences as opportunities to create a story.  We make mental notes, and written ones, so that we do not forget the marvelous ideas that pop into our heads, just waiting to come alive in a story.

But now that my calendar is brimming, so incredibly full, that all of these wonderful ideas sometimes never make it to paper or my computer.  And that is nothing to speak of my previously written works in progress–when will I get to sit down with them for meaningful blocks of time again, to hang out with them in their world?

Their world.  That’s what I need, time in someone else’s world.

But seriously, who can do that at this point of the year?

I have decided to formulate an action plan to get through this busy time.  The first part of my plan comes from advice from other authors, which is to write a little every day, without fail.  In the past, especially during these busy times, I might go several days without writing or even thinking about my writing.  Historically, that hasn’t really worked so well, which brings me to the next part of my action plan.

The second part of my plan includes thinkingYes, that’s right.  I am committed to thinking about my works in progress daily.  I have this feeling that if I think about my characters in their world, it’ll be fresh in my mind when I am finally able to get to my laptop.

The third part of my action plan involves shedding the guilt.  We are writers.  We believe in our characters and stories.  We feel for them.  We nurture them until they are able to get out into the world.

Like children.

And when we can’t spend meaningful time with our children we feel guilty.  But as writers, we forget that those characters are forgiving, and will be patient as they wait for us to return to them.  It’s the thought that counts, right (part two of my action plan)?

Here’s hoping!

Do you have any writerly advice on this topic?  How do you get through the busy times when life gets in the way of writing?  please comment below!

2 comments on “Writerly Advice: Making Time For Our Characters and Stories

  1. joylennick says:

    Hi I often read your writings, meaning to reply. Much is worthy. It’s that old enemy, time,’s to blame, and I’m retired…I try and write every day, weaving it around any necessary chores, my dear husband, sons, friends and social outings.This morning – at 6.15 precisely, a poem presented itself for approval. I mulled it over and actually arose and scribbled it down for once (otherwise it’s gone…) Just finished editing a m/s; and am ‘semi-ghosting’ a life story (nearly there…) I love it all, and SPRING – my favourite season – is sending its scouts to herald its arrival; every bud and sign shown the welcome mat. Write on…

    Liked by 1 person

    • smnystoriak says:

      Thank you so much, Joy! It warms my heart to know that my writings are meaningful to people. It sounds like you have a very good system for fitting it all in. And bravo for writing down the poem early!

      Thanks for stopping by to comment on my post. As you say: Write On!


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