The life of being a writer can be trying, but actually finding time to write can be the biggest struggle of all. With jobs, attempts to have a social life, and the demands of paying bills - carving out a proper writing schedule presents challenges. I do advise writers to put something on the paper each day - to keep the well-spring of inspiration rolling.
However, that is not always possible. I'm aware people may work two jobs or work as well as go to school. There are certain days you may not find time to write at all. What happens to the 'train' and continuity at that point? Missing days can throw the train off the tracks. Many writers struggle with this issue. What if you can only write on weekends or a few days a week? How can you 'pick up the thread of inspiration' after a certain space of time?
To combat part-time writing, I advise keeping a journal. Many writers outline novels and stories, but after a few days off have lost the 'feel' of it and an outline doesn't do much to get back on track. This is where keeping a journal can help.
In the journal I keep - I make notes of where I am in the story and how it feels to me. Where is my character at the moment I stop? What was that character experiencing/feeling and what mental state? I take careful notes of the last major 'stop' - time/place/changes to circumstances. I read these notes on days I can't do any actual writing to keep current with my characters and stories.
Taking notes in a journal about your story can help you get back on track when you do have time. Here is a sample from my latest journal entry.
Ella has just disclosed, after much violent denial, Ray 'abused' her. She admitted this to his daughter, Mary and it was an emotional scene that bonded them in a very fundamental way. Going forward, it's clear that Ella will be more of a mentor to Mary than mother and I can see pieces of scenes with them and Ella's 'toys'.
Note - this isn't an outline. It just gives me the basics of the last scene I posted so I can make a quick jump back into the action when I have time to do so. Yes, I also have an outline of scenes to come in the near future of this story, but those details do little to tell you where you are at present.
In conclusion - I find keeping a journal to be of the utmost important for a writer. Let yourself have the freedom to talk about the story. Where do you see it? What is happening and how has the story changed with the most recent scene? Keeping a log of these important matters can help you get back on track quickly if you are a part-time writer due to a hectic busy life.
Best of luck writing and if anyone has questions - do let me know.
From Las Vegas,
Stephen John Moran