Like most fiction writers these days, I also have a day job. You know, the one you where you go to a central location for 40+ hours a week? But when I’m able to break for lunch or get in early before the boss, my thoughts turn to my trusty side hustle: writing fiction. Well, there’s one little tweak (besides listening to music) I adopted last year for my fiction-writing sessions. I’m going to call it “The Refresher.”
Since I have a day job, I usually have about a week between my writing sessions (which I do every Sunday). With life intervening in the mean time, I’m liable to forget important plot details, nuances of setting or who said what when. Sometimes, I even forget where the story was at ENTIRELY. ENTIRELY! Which is not surprising when you have lots of other things on your mind. I regularly found myself having to dive back into a piece, remind myself where the plot was at and then move forward. It was like having to warm back up and then dive into the writing from scratch. It was a cold start every time.
So, I knew I had to remedy this situation. Lately, I’ve taken to opening and re-reading the last chapter (or section or paragraph) of my work to see where I’m at on SATURDAY night (or day). That way, I know where I left off when I sit down to write on SUNDAY…On those Saturday nights, I start ruminating on where I’m headed next and what needs to happen next and, more importantly, what has to happen to close off the next chapter or section. Then, I put away the manuscript and forget about it. I let it sink back into the subconscious without fretting about the characters or where they are at or where they will happen. I meet even have a glass of wine or watch a movie. I trust my subconscious to assist with any smoothing out of plot or character that needs to happen the next day.
That way, when I grab that nice, hot cup of Joe the next afternoon and sit down to write, I have a good idea of where the action is and again, most importantly, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. It’s what I call “The Refresher.”
It’s just another little tweak, another little tool, I have added to my writing belt recently. And, so far, it’s passing the only true test of all new writing tools: it’s keep me writing and keeping my word count heading in the right direction (up).
I hope you other Day-Job Writers out there find this little tip useful. If you have any tips or tools you use to become more productive, I’d love to hear about them in the Comments section!
Until next time.
Keep reading, Keep writing,