As a freelance health writer, I have the freedom to pick and choose my hours. This means that if I have lots of competing deadlines, I have the opportunity to work across the weekend to meet my deadlines, and then the luxury to take another day off in lieu.
What sometimes happens on my day off, when I have gone out for the day, is that I am inspired to write. It might be something relating to an article I am writing, I might get a great idea for a new article, or I may be inspired to work on my novel. (Did you know I’m working on my first novel?)
But how do you write when you’re not near your computer?
Well, I have a few strategies.
Write the old fashioned way
Notebook and pen
This is probably the most obvious because it’s what we all used to do before the advent of the computer. I always have a notebook, and what seems like a gazillion pens at the bottom of my handbag for when I need to write something down.
Serviette and pen
If for some reason, I don’t have a notebook with me, I will head to the nearest café, grab a coffee and a wad of serviettes and get writing. Even if all I can do is write dot points, it’s a way of writing that many of us forget about.
Most of us have a Smartphone, but do you use your ‘notes’ app? If you don’t it’s worth considering. While it may take longer to type using your phone, it can be very handy. Then there is the added bonus of being able to email the note — which means when you get back to the office, you have an electronic version of your notes/writing ready to go.
There are also a range of speech-to-text apps that you can use as well. Personally however, I am an old-fashioned girl when it comes to writing, and much prefer the power of pen and paper.
Write in your head
It may sound strange, but this way of writing works well for me. I often draft things in my head. I draft article outlines, letters, emails and even conversations between characters in my book. I do this when I’m stuck at traffic lights, waiting for my daughter at school pick-up or even going for a walk.
When it comes down to it, we really don’t need a computer to write. Yes, it comes in very handy, particularly if you are using the internet for research or you’re toggling between different documents. However, computers can be distracting — the ding of your email, the temptation of social media — you know what I’m talking about.
While being away from your computer may be frustrating on some level, I think you’ll be surprised at just how focused you can become when you have to find other ways to write.
Why not try it this week and let me know how you go?