Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Random Pockets of Time: Mobile Blogging

I'm here at the walk-in doctor's thanks to the two-year-old's out-of-control wheezing, and since I have my phone I figured I'd write up a little post.

It's kind of nice blogging like this. I don't feel guilty about spending time with my blog because after all, I would otherwise be staring at a sign that says "WALK-IN Patients are not ecessarily seen in order of rrival." (The sign is old and has seen better days). Anyway, I may as *well* be blogging than doing nothing. And, just like the last time I phone-blogged, no one has any idea that I'm about to publish something to the internet, for all the world to see. It's kind of cool. My little waiting-room secret.

So, blog buddies, (oh, I was about to merge that... you know, like blog + hug = blug... but blog + buddies = bluddies. Ew.) Today the topic is using random pockets of time. Some people might not need random pockets of time to write, but I definitely do!

Throughout the day I try to be ready for writable moments. Empty spaces in the day when I can squeeze in a few minutes of writing or brainstorming. It started when I was working. I used to take a journal and scribble out scene ideas on my lunchbreaks. Or I'd read through a chapter I'd printed up, with my highlighter and red pen ready to work on revisions. Or sometimes I'd people watch and work on writing in general, or just read fiction, because reading is food for the muse.

Those habits transferred to other pockets of time; like waiting for a doctor or dentist appointment (ha ha, like what I'm doing now), or waiting for the kids to get out of school in the parking lot, or while piano class/karate/drill team practice is going on. Lately I've even emailed myself scene ideas or new plot points from my Blackberry.

Pockets of time aren't meant to replace the hour I spend writing in the evenings or in the mornings. They're more like enrichment, and I find them all day long waiting to be filled. The more I use my time like a writer, the more I think like a writer. And if I have a little notepad and pencil handy (or a web-enabled phone), I can not only think like a writer, but work like one too.

Okay blog friends (blends?), that's about as much as my thumbs can take. I'm going to read some blogs here on my precious Blackberry, though sadly, I'm still not able to comment from it. Before I go, a question: how do you use time throughout the day, as a writer? Do you find yourself thinking like a writer, even when you're not immersed in your wip?

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile


  1. Me first, me first. I need more than pockets of time, i need blocks. It takes my brain time to settle down and focus. Since I've been seeing all these "work" spaces I'm thinking I need to find a particular space to help activate my writer brain. But I use those pockets for brain storming. Reading is food for the muse. I like it.

  2. I love "blends"

    And I use pockets too. Mostly to engage in specious conversations with my protagonists, which sometimes give me kernals of information about them that I otherwise would not have known and can turn around and utilize in my book.

  3. Love the idea of pockets of time :) I wish I had more of them! My pockets of time are unfortunately each too short, but if you strung them all together it would be perfect. I try to set aside a few hours a week but sometimes can't even find that. I've been trying to make time to read too.

  4. Wow, you did that all on a phone? :)

    I can't write during small moments. Takes me too long to get my head in the right mindset. But I can comment on other blogs, so that's what I tend to do when I get a few free minutes.

  5. good advice Diana - I started keeping a writing journal in purse for those times that I have to wait like a doctor's office. Hope you 2yo is feeling better.

  6. Oh my word, you're killing me with your Balckberry blogging. You're just. too. cute. Love it.

    And bluddies? Ha! I see the potential.

    As for random pockets of time, hmmm...I definitely need to make better use of those. Oh yes. Definitely.

  7. I too, love blogging from my Blackberry while I am stuck somewhere. I also use my BB to save random blog ideas & quotes for future use. I use the "Memo Pad" App for that. So now instead of tons of scribbled pieces of paper littering my home & purse, it's all right there in wonderful order!!
    We be loving our BBs!

  8. I wish I could put time in my pocket -- you know, and grab some later when I really needed more of it...


    I use little pockets of time the same way. I find that if I have ten minutes to kill, it is helpful to a least write down a few notes or a sentence that sounds nice -- even if it ends up getting the boot eventually, It has made me more writerly, and sometimes what I come up with is useful.

    It's just cool to be on the lookout all the time. You never know how an idea might take off unless you give your mind a chance to get it out, put it down on paper, and see what it becomes.

  9. Gwoe- Yay yay you're first!! Yeah, for "actual" writing I need blocks too! The pockets are great for brainstorming, or even for doing writing activities that don't have anything to do with my wip :) Writing for fun!

    Amalia- I love that! MC conversations that I never actually use in the story help me get to know them better :)

    Julie- I know, if only there were a way to make the pockets deeper lol!!

    Corey- Yup, all on my phone. But I still can't figure out how to comment on the dang thing! I'm like you, I can't do any official writing in a small amount of time, just writerly musings. Most of my "pockets" are not laptop accessible, so I can't comment on blogs until I can sit down at the computer. Like now! :)

    Mary- I keep a little journal in my purse too!! It's come in handy more times than I can count... especially when my thumbs get Blackberry burnout lol!

    Carolina- I know, it's a sad addiction, staring at a screen as my thumbs go a million miles a minute. I wonder if the universe keeps me from being able to comment on blogs from my Blackberry as a way of helping me get away from the thing!

    Brenda- A Blackberry Sister!! It's the best way to blog, ha! But can you comment from the web on other people's blogs on your Blackberry? Mine doesn't let me. I think there's something wrong with my web, boo hoo :(

    Amber- I know! If there were ONE pocket where time went that would rock. And I agree about being on the lookout all the time. It's so pretty the way you phrased that... "put it down on paper, and see what it becomes." :)

  10. I love that you're blogging on your cellphone from the doctor's office (hope the kidlet is okay)! That's just too awesome!

    Personally, I'm always using the small pockets of time that crop up through the day to further my writing. At work I've been known to spend many a lunch hour plotting, outlining, and even writing a scene or two that just can't wait.

    I think it's a great way to keep the creative writerly juices flowing through the day. :)

  11. Ugh! I've been spending all my pockets of time catching up on sleep lately. I am so ready for my body to adjust to this new schedule.

  12. I'm trying to use those pockets of time in a more productive manner, but my toddler doesn't like my attention being away from her. Doctors visits, no way. I'm chasing her around the waiting room. But the carpool line at school is one place that I've written a few notes before.

  13. I'm an airline pilot. My whole life is random pockets of time, described as long hours of mind-numbing boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror. I try to use those moments wisely. In my flight kit I have things like navigation charts and airplane manuals. But I also keep important things - my idea notebooks.

  14. I brainstorm stories while I drive. Then when I get to my computer I'm ready to type! that's so cool that you can blog from your doctor's office!

  15. I usually read during the pockets of time when I'm away from home. Or I brainstorm in my head.

  16. Random quotes and thoughts come to me during the day. I just constantly carry around my journal with me and whip it out when the show up! Even if it is during the middle of the night...

  17. When my daughter was little I spent so much time sitting and waiting for that girl to get her breathing listened to again. No blackberry. No blog. Both would have been good, though she was usually crying or limp in my lap. But love that you're fitting it in where you can. I think writing is one of those things that comes and goes, better take it when you can.

  18. I usually read to fill all of those kid-activity, kid-something pockets of time. I'm too unfocused (lazy) to write during those times. :-)