Monday, May 23, 2011

The Olivia Method

I sit at home with a 5 and a half week old all day, so how do I find any time to write or even to come up with ideas for my WIP?  The answer to that is the Olivia Method (patent pending...okay actually I'm too cheap to get a patent, so you can use this method for yourself!)

So how does this work?  How do I manage to have 3 WIP going at once and how do I even get the ideas?  Sleep deprivation and random daytime TV is a good way to come up with ideas, but here is how I put them in motion.

A sounding board-  Sometimes Olivia just likes to hear my voice, but how much do you really have to talk about with an infant?  This last week I started talking out loud to hear about ideas for my WIP.  By saying the ideas out loud I figured out what it actually sounded like and if the ideas actually made sense.  Olivia doesn't talk back (she does make 'Ah-goo' sounds and cries sometimes), but when she'll give me a concerned look it makes me re-think the idea or even come up with another idea.

Example:  I gave Olivia the idea for one of my WIP then she gave me her trademark 'concerned' look and I realized that I had no idea how it would end or even where the book would go.  By saying it out loud and thinking about it, I finally came up with an idea how to eventually wrap up the story and have series potential.

Late night feedings- Okay, so not everyone is going to wake up in the middle of the night to feed a child, but sometimes we all have those dreams that are so vivid they can spark an idea.  I'm able to get up after these dreams and ponder this idea.  Since I'm up for about half an hour, not doing anything but feeding Olivia, I have a lot of time to think about these dreams or even just think on ideas that I currently have.

How can you use this?:  When I do have these ideas in the middle of the night, I now try and take notes on my Ipad or write them down.  You may not get up in the middle of the night to write down your idea, but it could help to have a notebook by your bed to write down that idea and even take some down time to think about that idea the next day.

Write when you can- I used to have SO much time to write and edit.  Now I'm constantly playing with Olivia or feeding her or napping with her.  I've now learned to make the most of the time that I have to write.  Now I take those notes and ideas and plug them into my WIP. I don't have the time to have writer's block and even if I think an idea might not work, I plug it in anyways to get something written down while Olivia is entertained my her play mat for 10 minutes or Daddy has taken her for a little while to play.

Make reasonable goals- Just like with Olivia, I have to set reasonable writing goals.  I make little weekly goals of things I want to accomplish with her (i.e. have her sleep through the night, wean her off of supplementing, getting her in her crib, etc).  I can't expect to get all of these goals accomplished at once and neither should someone in their writing.  I've realized that I can't plug out an entire novel in a week and I should expect to accomplish my Olivia goals in a week either.  Things take time.  I've been making little writing goals and it helps to keep me writing, while still having time for my duaghter.

Have you used others to help with your writing goals?  Have you used any of the Olivia Method?  How the heck do mom's ever find time to write?


  1. I know you asked questions to start a dialogue, but...
    the photo stopped my thought process :)
    Love the name Olivia, absolutely beautiful.

  2. I use some of the same methods, except I have a cat as a part time writing partner. His tell that he likes a concept is rolling on his belly on top of my papers. And if he doesn't like something I wrote, he either shreds it of leave a hairball on top of my work. :(
    Since I can't always tell if my cat is just being feisty or a critic, I also have my family as a sounding board. I love telling them about an idea and then they start asking questions about it. This helps me either expand the concept or realize it might not work.
    I also have a journal next to my bed to capture any thoughts that might slip into my head while I sleep.
    The thing I would add to the list is try to celebrate even the little successes, like reaching 10,000 words or so or completes 10 chapters. This gives you a positive feeling about your work and motivation to continue.

  3. Huntress- Thanks! This was from her newborn pictures and now I'm taking her to get her 6 week pictures on Friday. Time flies!

    Kelsey- I tried using my dog, but she wasn't much help. I use my family and my friend who likes Pirates as well for a sounding board! It's good to have people that can respond back to me...sometimes...other times I like having someone that just 'goos' at me.

  4. Six week! Time does fly. I don't think I could have written with an infant around. I was too busy catching up on sleep, LOL! So more power to you, if you can squeeze that time in.

  5. She is so beautiful! I'd play with her all the time (and nap too...) It must be hard to concentrate with all that cuteness around!


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