Finding time to write that novel you have always been dreaming of creating is the hardest part of being a writer, because if you are like me, you have a day job, a social life, and extra-curricular activities. And honestly, some days, even if none of that existed, you just don’t feel like writing and all of your creative juices are depleted.
I’m one of the lucky people in life that actually likes their day job, although, the one downside to my job is it’s primarily writing-based. Don’t get me wrong, writing all day long is awesome, because I clearly love writing, but it also means when I get home from work, I really don’t feel like plugging away at my manuscript. For awhile, I didn’t know what to do, because I really didn’t want to give up on my personal writing, but I just couldn’t find the brain space or time to do it.
It took me a bit, but I finally figured out a system that works for me. My morning commute door to door is an hour and ten minutes with three modes of transportation: car, train, and subway. At first glance that seems like a horrendous commute, but I actually love it. I have found that the 40 minutes on the train in the morning is my sacred writing time. It might be a bit unconventional, especially since my stop is the last one on an express train, and I’m usually stuck in that seat no one wants staring at the person across from me with their legs pressed up against mine, or in the seat next to the person talking on speaker phone to their significant other, but you know what, I’ve made it work.
There are some days I wake up not really in the mood to write, but once I’m on the train, I pop my headphones in my ears and start plugging away, no matter what. Even if the person that I’ve asked to move their overstuffed backpack so I can sit down gave me a dirty look. I found if I skip a day from my writing routine then I’ll get out of my zone. My morning train ride provides a time and a place for me to write consistently even if it’s just editing something I wrote or writing a blog post, it’s a great way to hold myself accountable.
Many great writers have an interesting story on how they began their hit novel. Even J.K. Rowling wrote some of her first Harry Potter ideas on a napkin aboard a delayed train from Manchester to London. Perhaps using public transportation will not only let me help the environment, but could provide the space to develop the next great idea for a novel. I’ll just keep telling myself that the next time my train is 15 minutes late. It’s just more time for me to write!