Writing- you get better the more you practice. We all know this but finding the time is hard.
I don't always have time to practice traditionally because I spend a lot of my time sitting at the ball park for my son's games and practices. I cannot whip out my laptop or notebook there but there are plenty of times when my son is on the bench and I get a little bored cheering for the other parents' kids. Nothing against the kids I just do not like baseball. I know, very un-American of me. During these times I love to practice my writing. How do I do this when I can't use my laptop or a notebook? I observe the people around us, the location, listen in on conversations and write them in my head. Bear with me here and you will be doing this soon yourself.
As I sit and cheer mindlessly with the other parents I image how I would describe the scene; the cool breeze chilling the metal seats as it wicks the heat from my body, the sounds of the younger siblings playing around the bleachers, the grandmother knitting juxtaposed next to the grandmother who is pretending she is too young to be a grandmother.
I don't limit myself to "writing" only at the ball park. Today at lunch I watched an employee walk by the open door and instantly started "writing" how I would describe his gait if he was a character in my book. Here is what I came up with: ...his feet shuffled resistently along the carpet as his bulky hands worked like paddles moving him laboriously towards his destination Or worked like paddles as he lumbered towards his destination.
I love some of the things I have come up with during these sessions and have quickly jotted them down or secreted off and recorded them into the voice recorder app on my phone.
I have heard some interesting conversations, observed some interesting behaviors and people and paid more attention to my surroundings.
Writing in my head, creating scenes, using bits of dialogues as prompts, creating character back story, and describing what I am seeing have all helped me exercise my writing muscle and I am a better writer for it and my time in line, at the baseball park, on long drives, etc. all go by more quickly.
I hope you find this technique helpful too. I can't wait to hear how it has worked for you.