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“I just don’t have time to write.” I hear this excuse often in my line of work. Not to be unnecessarily harsh, folks, but that’s what it is: an excuse. The sooner you accept this fact, the closer you’ll be to accomplishing your writerly goals.

Last week we discussed The Block Method, a system by which you, the writer, set aside a certain amount of time every day to block out the world and get down to business. Next up on our list of effective time management strategies for the over-committed writer is The Scribble Method.

The Scribble Method is, in many ways, less of a commitment than The Block Method and, for this reason, may seem more attractive to writers just beginning to settle into a routine. To turn concept into action, you’ll need:

1. A pen, pencil, highlighter, marker or crayon. Really any implement that makes marks when pressure is applied will do the trick. Chalk and slate anyone?
2. A notebook, notepad, loose leaf, post-it, index card . . . you get the picture.
3. A brain that works.

Think you can hack it? Good. (You had me worried for a second there.) You’ll need to keep these tools handy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No. 3 is a no brainer, but Nos. 1 and 2 require some planning. When you’re on the go, carry a pen and paper with you. When you’re staying in, stash them in various locations around your home. I highly recommend a kitchen countertop, a bathroom drawer and a bedside table: anywhere you spend a significant amount of time.

Now that you’re fully stocked, the writing will be a cinch. Any time an idea pops into your head, jot it down. Scribble character names, traits, bits of dialogue. Scribble plots, turning points, scenes. Scribble details, flourishes, words that strike your fancy. Scribble it all.

Do not—I repeat, do not—save these scribbles for later. Ideas are incredibly elusive. They come and go. If you don’t record it the moment it occurs to you, it will be lost. Kiss it goodbye and send it off to the Island of Escaped Ideas. It’ll take you maybe 30 seconds to commit that brilliant idea to paper, so there’s no reason not to do so right then and there.

That’s the beauty of The Scribble Method. There’s no such thing as, “I don’t have time to write.”

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One Trackback/Pingback

  1. […] reading already, right? Right?! So post-reading, write. Mid-reading, scribble. You might even read for a portion of your writing block. Read, read, read. Then write, write, […]

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