One of the hardest things about being a writer is finding the time to write, especially if you’re not one of the select few who gets to be a “full-time” writer. Most of us have day jobs, families, maybe even second jobs, let alone the hobbies and interests that keep us sane and help provide us with story ideas or character elements.
That’s why challenges like NaNoWriMo and spin-offs like NaBloWriMo and OctPoWriMo grow in popularity every year. Completing those challenges requires the writer to develop a disciplined schedule and a routine to sit and write, but even more, they force the writers to focus on their creativity and develop a story, even when they don’t feel like they have anything to say.
Of course, being ready to write with the write tools whenever inspiration strikes is important. Keeping a workspace available and having your story materials on hand helps for those a-ha moments. I even keep a notebook with a book light attached to it on my night table, because OF COURSE good ideas happen when I’m trying to fall asleep and I never seem to be able to remember them in the morning. I’ve had to write on my hand with Sharpie markers when I couldn’t find paper, and there are a lot of store receipts that work their way to the bottom of my purse because I can’t throw away the notes I wrote on them. If you’re lucky enough to have a smartphone or tablet, there are a lot of apps available that will also record information for you in concise and easy-to-retrieve formats.
Mostly, however you choose to do it, just make sure that you have a way to write, store, and find your inspirations.