Monday, 25 February 2013

Writing in the Midst of Chaos

"Write even when the world is chaotic. You don't need a cigarette, silence, music, a comfortable chair, or inner peace to write. You just need ten minutes and a writing implement." Cory Doctorow
Image courtesy of juliejordanscott /

Do you have a particular set of circumstances that have to be 'just right' before you can sit down to write? As ideal as the picture to the side is, reality is very different.

I have written before (here) about making the most of the spare minutes in your day and doing some form of work towards your writing in just ten minute intervals. But what about the actual writing?

Personally I find that I can brainstorm and do short exercises in the middle of what ever happens to be going on in my house at the time (with a three year old it tends to be something noisy and messy). When it comes to working on my WIP however, I have to have silence. Any kind of distraction puts me off and pulls my attention away from the page/screen. I also prefer to be in a room by myself, somehow feeling self-conscious when others are around. Unfortunately these conditions are not met very often and so my actual writing time is severely affected.

Reading the above quote made me realise that if I want to put some serious effort into my writing I need to train myself to write in the middle of the chaos. If I can brainstorm with noise and interruptions, why not write as well?

So, starting this week with just short bursts of writing here and there, using the timed writing method I talked about last week (here), I am going to attempt to do just that. Wish me luck!

Anyone up or joining me? What do you need before you can start writing? Or can you already write in the midst of chaos? Any and all comments will be greatly appreciated, we can spur each other on. You can use the comments section below or contact me here. Alternatively, use the hashtag #writinginchaos


  1. I love timed writing and will happily do it on my phone at the bus stop or wherever, although I usually end up going over the limit. When it comes to polishing a final piece though, I usually need peace and quiet.
    Hope the timed writing is working for you. :-)

    1. I agree that the editing side really does need your undivided attention. I am just hoping training myself to write under any conditions will help me get through the drafting phase faster. So far I have managed to write a blog post and a book review in the midst of chaos, I need to try the WIP next.

  2. I am in the midst of chaos and need to figure out a way to write through it. I will take on your challenge. When I have bits of piece and quiet I will use that time for editing. I always have more than one WIP going on at once.

    1. Sounds like you have a lot going on Hayley. Glad to hear you are joining me in this challenge. Let me know how you get on, either here or on twitter @AlanaMander. If you use the hashtag #writinginchaos maybe we can spur each other on and get others involved as well. Happy writing :)