Literally Literary: 3 Steps to Living Your Story Beyond the Page

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“I need to waste time.”

Growing up, I spoke that phrase when Mom put me in time-out or during long car rides. Nowadays, time equals money, and I don’t want to lose a second.

The word “busy” defines me—I go to school full-time, work at a literary agency, author books, blog and lead a small group. That said, I struggle to ration an hour for writing each day.

When integrated into routines, writing breathes life into everyday duties, yet so often we put creativity aside to make room in our schedules for daily chores, job tasks and other responsibilities.

How does it happen? How does writing fit into a busy schedule?

Short answer: You must live your writing on and off the page.

While you drive to school or work, brainstorm your story’s plot and characters. During your lunch break, jot down dialogue ideas and chapter outlines. When you get home at night, put your day’s creativity onto paper.

You may think, “Caroline, easier said than done.”

I agree with you.

Three steps to help you live your story beyond the page include:

Step 1 – Schedule 45 minutes of creativity throughout your day. For example, spend 15 minutes jotting possible character quotes during your lunch break, 5 minutes building a writing playlist while you get ready in the morning, etc.

Step 2 – Ration time to write each evening or morning. This will allow you to feel productive and accomplished.

Step 3 – Invest in your own story. Balance fiction and reality by making time for friends, fun activities, etc.

Takeaway: Live every aspect of your story, both real and fictional, so your creativity can flourish despite busy schedules.

What are some habits that help you manage your schedule?

Do you have a specific writing routine?