5 Ways to further your writing project when you can’t work on it directly

There can be several reasons why it is not possible to work on your book, blog or other writing project. Maybe you’ve saved it in the cloud, and don’t have an internet connection. Perhaps you didn’t think you would have the time to write, so didn’t take your laptop with you. Or maybe you’re waiting outside the school gates. Whatever the reason, you can usually still do something. Here are the strategies that I’ve found work for me.

Exactly! Picture by David Turnbull


I do a lot of writing in my head. I’ve heard of other people who do this too. If you are able to do it, or at least come up with a few points, then do so. You can type it up later, as long as you don’t forget what it was.

Make notes

These days it is very easy to jot down ideas for writing up later. If you have a smartphone, there are plenty of apps available. See Top 10 Free Note-Taking Apps For Smartphones for example. Or use a notebook and pen – remember those?

I try to get the best of both worlds: I write my notes in a Moleskin Evernote notebook, and then transfer the notes to my computer when I get home.

Do some research

If I find myself somewhere that I have internet access, I often use the time for research. This afternoon, for example, I was looking at a website that enables you to sell books and other products from your website. That didn’t contribute to my writing as such, but as it’s research I would have to do at some point anyway it was a good use of time. Even more so when you consider that it didn’t encroach on my writing time because I couldn’t have written anything while I was there.


Planning is very important in my opinion. For example, today I jotted down an outline of what I might include in the book I’ll be working on after the current one.


Writing is definitely enhanced by reading. It doesn’t have to be high literature or an encyclopaedia – even a short article or a small ad in the local paper can start a torrent of creativity.


In my opinion, being a writer is as much about about having a writer mindset as the writing itself. Well, almost as much: you have to write something some time!

I have written this article as part of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge created by Sarah Arrow. This is the post for Day 1.