Writing when driving
- If you've been capturing ideas when you have a moment and a hand free, then you should already have a heap of questions about your WIP to ruminate over. Now's the time to do it.
- Being stuck in a traffic jam couldn't be more mind-numbing, right? Take a look at your fellow drivers - what are they wearing, where are they going. Invent lives and backgrounds for them.
- The world is all around and you've got nothing better to do than look at it – make ten observations that strike you about what you see, then make ten more – it's likely the latter will be the more unusual and unique.
- Your drive to work is so demanding you can't look at anywhere other than the road? Slam an audio book into the cd player – listening to someone else's stories may help inspire your own.
- Feel the road-rage – yep, it's a genuine emotion, and therefore material – embrace it.
Writing at work
- Got a great idea when you should be crunching that spreadsheet? Send yourself an email to your home address, if that's not an option, make an urgent call to your mobile voice-mail as you step out of the office and leave yourself a message.
- Look at your boss and your co-workers – see who has the status, who's stifling their ambition? What are people really thinking? Imagine how the status would change in a different situation, who would be the real leaders. Who fancies who? Who hates who? There's all sorts bubbling under the surface – try to figure it out.
- Use your lunchbreak to write – there's nothing like being right amongst the alternative to a writing career to inspire you to get some words down.
- Learn shorthand – no one will have any idea you're not actually writing up the meeting minutes when in fact you're nailing chapter 15.
Writing at a family event
- So you have a fifteen hour drive to cousin Nigel's wedding who you last saw when he was his mother's bump? Look around the congregation, try and figure out if anyone there has slept with the bride or groom – what are they thinking? Is there anybody there who would like to sleep with them? Perhaps you do? Perhaps you already have.
- Ask and listen – Uncle Bob may tell you about his experience as a Bomber pilot during the war. Auntie Jude may tell you who slept with the bride last week. Cousin Kevin may reveal his drug addiction. The human race is your subject, and there's nothing like a wedding or a funeral for a compelling mix of people with a whole heap of emotional baggage and back-ground. Things are bound to kick-off.
Writing when you're asleep
- Dreams – the one time when you can guarantee that your internal editor isn't around to spoil things – sex, violence, nightmares, characters, dead people – things you couldn't possibly imagine yourself imagining happen in dreams. Start keeping a dream journal, because like all good ideas, they will be forgotten.
There is really no excuse. Writing can be just a hobby, but it can also be a way of life.