Do you do Quickies?

“Uh oh, quick, say something funny or the people who clicked on this thinking they were going to get something saucy might get pissed and go away…”

Oh, the pressure, the pressure…

“Seriously, say something!”

Okay, I’ll get right to the point today since I don’t have much time. Are you able to take advantage of those short, quiet times in between your daily demands to....write? Can you be….creative on demand? Can you use those five, ten, fifteen minutes while you’re waiting to pick up your kids from school and….jot down the beginnings of a new scene? Can you….write on the train back and forth from work? Do you….compose in your head while you’re driving (safely, I hope!)? 

“Oh yeah, adding those ….. in there really made that paragraph so ‘naughty’!”

Do you carry a notebook and pen around with you everywhere?

“Wow, that’s a sure way to let on how old you are! People can do that with their i . . . i . . . i-SomethingCools.”

Their i-SomethingCools? Now you’re not only showing your age but your ignorance as well!

“Ignorance? Umm…no, I’m using this as an example of how to write quickly. I’m not wasting time fact-checking something, I’m just spit-balling the ideas and getting them down as fast as I can. So there.”

Uh huh. Sure. Anyway, as I was saying – do you utilize that time to write? To move a project forward? Or do you need to wait until those large blocks of free time open up and you can write for hours at a time?

But let’s be honest for a minute. How often do those large blocks of time present themselves?

Do you think about writing more than you actually write?

Not that thinking about a project is bad….heck, I like mulling over ideas throughout the day. Especially when I’m doing chores around the house. I mean, there’s nothing like cleaning the house to get the creative juices flowing. Writer’s block? Quick fix – figure out the one chore you absolutely HATE doing, and do it. Do it instead of staring at the blank computer screen. Want to write yet? No. Pick another dreaded chore and do it. Ready to write yet? I’ll bet you are!

It works.

“Maybe it only works for you because you really hate doing housework, you lazy bum!”

Lazy bum! I do my share of housework!

“Sure you do.”

Anyways, that’s why I included it as an example here. So others who read this blog can respond…or perhaps use it to break through their own writer’s block and take advantage of those short, quiet times throughout the day.

“Oh…look who thinks he’s being so helpful.”

Yeah, well, more than you.

“I was the one who came up with the title.”

And I was the one who just wrote over 500 words in 15 minutes.

“And if you had taken your own advice, you would have added a good page or two to your latest WIP.”

True, but I did get a much-needed blog entry finished in record time.

“Yeah, at least in this case being ‘quick’ was something to brag about.”

Good luck with your writing projects!


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About inkcompetentwriter

Author of The Penitent Assassin and The Rush of Betrayal duology available at and

8 responses to “Do you do Quickies?”

  1. deshipley says :

    Man, if I could even figure out how to fire off a blog comment in fifteen minutes, I’d be coming out ahead! (Slight exaggeration; far too slight.)
    Given an either/or, of course I’d rather have hour after hour to devote to writing. However, there are moments where I’ll snatch just two minutes to type up a sentence or two really fast, because some phrases just want out of my head *now*.
    …And if I’d been thinking, I’d have timed myself to see how long this comment took. But I didn’t, so I’ll have to estimate. Four minutes, probably. And that’s me rushing. But part of that time was dedicated to speedy proofreading, I justify!

    • inkcompetentwriter says :

      I would love to have hours in a row to write too, and occasionally, it does happen, but life often has a wonderful way of intruding on that ‘free’ time so I try to take advantage of the little gaps in my schedule when I can. And like you said, sometimes those sentences or phrases just want out. Unfortunately, I’ve learned the hard way, the memory isn’t what it used to be and I know there have been some great lines lost over the years because I figured I’d remember them later. Better to just jot them down when they happen and not rely on the rusty, trusty brain. 🙂 (Emphasis on the ‘rusty’ part!)

      Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your own writing endeavors.

      (5 minutes).

  2. Rebecca Enzor says :

    I am always working on the WIP, even if it’s just in my head. I carry around stickies where ever I go and jot down little notes. Sometimes I write while sitting at red lights in the car (never while actually driving). I write at coffee break, at lunch, while I’m waiting for my computer to process data. Even if I’m not actively writing, or actively storylining – even if all I’m doing is daydreaming fluff it still has a purpose. I learn more about my characters and world and use that to make the actual work stronger 🙂

    There is no reigning my muse in, so I just let her have at during all my free time 🙂

    • inkcompetentwriter says :

      I could have pretty much written the same comment — I’m constantly working on my WIP, either on the computer or in my head. I’ve written dialogue down while waiting at red lights or for busy train crossings. Years ago, when I was driving pretty much all day, I’d carry a tiny tape recorder around and I’d dictate notes into it (and only when I could do it safely). I’ve written an entire rough draft of a novel basically while waiting for people to show up for appointments.

      Editing though….that’s a different story. I tend to need those larger blocks of time to do the really good editing, but even without them, I can get the work done.

      Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog. I wish you the best of luck on your WIP.

  3. Lorijo Metz says :

    Hey – why didn’t I get this post in my email????

    • inkcompetentwriter says :

      I don’t know. That’s odd. Let me poke around and see if I’ve got something clicked incorrectly on this end. Thanks for letting me know and for stopping by my blog.

      Have a great weekend.

  4. Ciara Ballintyne says :

    I write on the train. It’s my only regular writing time. The other ‘quickie’ times you’ve mentioned don’t exist for me. At least, if I had 5 minutes to sit down, I think I’d notice it. OK, I’m sitting down now, but I’m on sabbatical. Uh-huh, honest to goodness sabbatical. That’s what you get for 6 months hard labour.

    The train trip is about 45 minutes though. I have no issues writing in that time. I do carry a notebook and pen. Yes I know my smartphone does the same thing. No, I don’t use either of them. It’s the same reason I don’t keep a diary. I forget to write in it. I forget to check it if I do.

    I once wrote a fantastic scene in my head while sitting through a very long and boring awards ceremony. It involved dragons battling on the seat back of the chair in front of me.

    • inkcompetentwriter says :

      Is the train trip 45 minutes each way? That’s a good hour and a half of writing time every day you work. If you managed to write only two pages a day, that’s ten pages for the week, five hundred and twenty for the year, more than enough for a very long novel. I think many people just don’t think of using those small chunks of time to write. They don’t realize just how much writing they can accomplish in that time. Or perhaps our culture has developed into one where people need instant results or they’re not happy.

      “It’s going to take me six-to-twelve months to write a novel? Oh, that’s too long! Can’t I get it done in a couple of weeks? …..Just by thinking about writing?”

      Wouldn’t that be nice…?

      Did you ever write down the dragon-battling scene?

      Thanks for stopping by and visiting the blog. Have fun on your sabbatical, but don’t take too long to return to writing. I’ve always found it the hardest to get back into the swing of writing, after I’ve taken a little time off.

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