Writing on the Train

If you use public transport to get to work each day, chances are you have a chunk of free time in which to write.

When I was working full time in Sydney my commute was more than 2 hours each way.

When people heard how long my commute was they always assumed it was a total negative. Yes, it had it’s down sides, but there were also a fe major pros.

The major pro? several hours a week of guilt and distraction free writing.

Your commute is the perfect time to write

Containment.

When you write at home there is always something you need to do that can distract you for your purpose. Like doing the dishes or walking the dog.

It can be hard to make writing a priority. Particularly when you work longs days with long commutes and have minimal time to maintain your home. But on a train (or bus) you are free to spend that time on whatever fills your cup. No side helping of guilt here, because there’s nothing else you could be doing.

What to spend your commute time on

The first two months, I wrote almost every day and finished the first draft of a novel.

But actual writing isn’t the only writerly thing you can spend your time on.

Creatives also need their well in order to create. This might mean reading (an essential task for any writer), researching, planning, and the all important daydreaming!

Thinking time is absolutely essential for writers, but how often do we give it precedence in our busy lives.

When I was a teenager doing my first NaNoWriMo I would go outside, lie in the sun and just think until I was ready to write again. Boy do I wish I could still fit that into my days.

It’s ok to not always be productive

I didn’t always write on my commute.

Sometimes I binge watched The Umbrella Academy. Sometimes I slept. I sometimes I caught up on emails.

It’s not possible to always be churning out the words, which is why it’s important to value the restorative activities like reading and daydreaming in your writing routine.

But it’s also important to have total downtime when you need it. When I was pregnant I think all my commute time was spent sleeping.

I rarely wrote on my return trip because it was late and I was mentally depleted from a full days work. Go easy on yourself. If you’re a writer you will write, if not now, then in the future when your life allows it again.

How long is your commute? Do you use it to write for other creative pursuits?

One response to “Writing on the Train”

  1. I admire your tenacity – and your acceptance and making use of time – a rare thing these days – people want instant result these days – result no time to do what you want to do

    Well done Sarah

    Connie

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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