Lunch Break Power Writing

jo march

Well, this is it. After all the packing, cleaning and planning, we are moving on January 1st to Colorado and being from Louisiana with little to no snow experience, my fluffy socks and I have no idea what to expect. Will my fingers get frozen and snap off as I type? Probably. Maybe I should get some of those fingerless, starving artist gloves…or at least, a Jo March nightcap to keep my ears from freezing off as I write in the middle of the night. Yup. That’s it.

So, while I’m fixing up our first house, it may become a little difficult to carve out time for writing…especially if the only writing space I have at first is the floor and my lap for a table as the moving company surprised us by saying our container will arrive much later than originally anticipated…10 days after we arrive. Yay!

Anyway! I thought I’d plan ahead and figure out a way to get creative with essentially my “lunch break” writing session because I won’t have my usual inspirational writing set-up. Normally, I like to have at least 4 hours a day for writing, but since it’s moving time, I won’t have the ability to take 4 hours until January 11th. So, here is my plan for doing a quick, 1-hour lunch break writing session:

 Step One. Make tea. It’s Colorado, so tea will have to be step one for everything from now on. Even in summer. Colorado summer nights are essentially Louisiana winters.

Find a nook that faces away from the clutter or from the current work task. It’s impossible for me to be creative when the house or anything in my line of sight is a mess, or for work, if there is an unfinished project that is staring me in the face.

Get your headphones.  You have finally escaped from working and now isn’t the time to think about what you have to do when you get back on the clock. Block out any noisy distractions in or out of your head with the soundtrack of your choice that inspires you.

Take 5-10 minutes and make your outline for the day. You cannot imagine how helpful these intense micro outlining sessions can increase your writing productivity. Make a bullet point to-do list of things that must happen in order to push your story forward. It could be as simple as “Jane has an argument with Belinda over the blue dress.” Don’t focus on the dialogue during the outlining session as it will take away from your precious minutes of writing.

Make sure you are excited about your scene. Your excitement will actually make you type faster to get to that delicious moment your scene is building towards. Your excitement will spill onto the page and if you are enjoying what you are writing, chances are your reader will as well. If you aren’t excited about the day’s writing, re-work it until you are happy with it.

Set your timer. Since you only have an hour, now is not the time to wait for the muse to twirl into the room. Grab your micro outline and your chicken salad sandwich and get typing. Let the timer push you.

Use placement words, also know as “good enough for now” words. It’s painful not finding the exactly right word, but as there are only 60 minutes in a lunch break, we don’t have time to linger over a word, phrase or sentence.

Whenever I see that there is a whole other side of the conversation that I didn’t map out in the micro outline and won’t be able to do it justice, I break the paragraph and type out a word, or sentence and mark it in bold, knowing that I will plan for it the next day and attack it after I mull it over.

I hope this helps! Now, I have to go find some fingerless gloves and a Jo March writing nightcap. Happy Writing!





About Grace Hitchcock

Grace Hitchcock's first novella, The Widow of St. Charles Avenue, released in Barbour Publishing’s The Second Chance Brides Collection August 2017. Her second novella will release in Barbour Publishing’s The Southern Belle Brides Collection in 2018. She has a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace is a Louisiana Southerner living in Colorado with her husband, Dakota, and newborn son.

2 thoughts on “Lunch Break Power Writing

  1. Colorado’s not so bad. You’ll love it here. Honestly, its one of the best states to live in. You may not get used to the cold right away but don’t worry, you’ll have fun shopping for cute new winter boots. 🙂

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