Monday, November 9, 2015

Okay, So Now What?

By Darren Kehrer

Okay, so now what? I really don't have time to write a story (even a SHORT one at that). I'm sure you are thinking, "I've heard that before" or "Make the time to write." Sometimes, when looking for treasure, X really does mark the spot...and sometimes, your life circumstances really does prevent you from being able to write constructively.

We all know of different tactics to combat those scenarios when we do not have enough time to write a story. What happens when that season of non-writing is prolonged and situational?

For example, a major job change can really throw a wrench into the gearbox of writing. For some of us, that sound can actually be the entire toolbox being thrown into the gearbox of creative writing.
I've recently found myself in that situation: no matter what I've tried, the responsibility of my "real" job continues to soak up any extra time I have in order to be effective at it.

Given this scenario, I've developed a few best practices.
  • First, accept the fact that you really are in that scenario. Sometimes, you just are. Don't feel bad about it. It happens.
  • Second, re-evaluate your thoughts on the matter and start working towards the time when you WILL have more time to write (even if that seems down the road a ways).
    • Just because you do not have time to write a FULL story (or even a short one) doesn't mean you can't start jotting down ideas for one.
      • Keep a notepad with you at all times.
      • Take pics of locations that could be used in your stories.
    • Use apps intended for writing. Here are a few iPhone apps that I've been using lately that do a great job of that (and more, when you are ready for the next step).
      • StoryPlanner
      • A Novel Idea
      • Storyist
  • Third, listen to podcast while driving. There are many, many podcast out there on writing. I'm sure many of you purchase the yearly ACFW conference audio drives. I use these constantly while driving around for my job.
The point of all these strategies is to work towards a time when you will be writing; however, when you get there, you will have a virtual library of plots, places, and characters to fuel your creative adventures.

Someday, when your life situation changes, you will look back at this time and thank yourself for keeping the torch lite, the creative energies flowing, and finding a way to record them for future reference.


  1. So true, Darren. For a writer all of life is material and sometimes you are in the process of absorbing, not the process of recording. I like what you said about accepting it, yet still doing what you can do. It's not giving up, it's acknowledging seasons. I've found a voice recorder is useful for those drive times to dictate scenes. Or simply put in music and let the scene play out in your head - sometimes you get to know things about your characters you'd never have grasped otherwise. Good blog.

  2. Remembering to leverage driving time is an excellent idea. Many audio materials on writing and marketing are available. Some are free at the library.

    I wish you future success in writing, Darren!

  3. No matter what I've tried the last year, I've not had the ability to write due to my "real job" responsibilities. I've just had to accept this fact, sadly. That's why I've adopted the strategy to read as much as I can, either about writing or in the fiction genre I write, in order to continue my education and keep my imgaination fueled. There is just no other way right now. It's a real heartstopper, but it's the facts. I feel better knowing it's perhaps a long pause in my writing rather than an end.

  4. Be encouraged Darren, when God puts us on "pause" he's preparing us for something later. I still believe reading is the best sharpening tool to writing. I can't tell you how many times I've considered writing in a certain way and God would bring a book to me that was written in that manner so I could judge it's value and problems.