Early yesterday I read a letter from a writer to Randy Ingermanson, the Mad Professor of Fiction Writing. The young man asked Randy for tips for staying focused on writing through upheavals in location, writing space, and writing time. Randy gave Isaiah some great advice about finding a place to write, planning time to write… but you’ll want to read it yourself.
A few hours later I sat in a chain restaurant waiting for a friend who was quite late. Just before I left the house I’d finished reading a book. Because I was running late for our scheduled meeting, I didn’t have time to grab something interesting to take with me.
Now, I get some great reading done in restaurants. Not when I’m with someone, of course. But while waiting for friends, or eating alone – those are stolen moments when nothing else is on my Must-Do-Now list. So I read.
But since I didn’t have a new book in my purse, and for some reason there was none in my car, I had nearly an hour to kill.
Now, I could have ordered another ice tea, had some dessert as an appetizer while waiting, watched other people load their plates at the home-style buffet. Or I could do something productive.
I grabbed my trusty composition notebook and a pen, and I wrote.
Many of my story ideas start with a title. And this time was no exception. “The Waiting Game” flashed into my mind as I uncapped my pen. Appropriate. And then a man in a hidey-hole in the desert appeared. And for the next forty minutes I wrote his story.
My friend showed up before my plot was resolved, but I have around 1000 words to transcribe to a computer file. And the inkling of a twist ahead in my story.
It was a wonderful reminder that even if I can only write for a few minutes I can begin creating something. So there will be times in the future when I plan to get to a meeting place early and write instead of read. Just so I can steal a half-hour or so to discover the story lurking in that booth or at that table.
When was the last time you wrote while waiting for someone? Were you surprised by what you created when writing in a different environment than your usual space? Leave a comment and tell us what you’ve discovered about changing up where you write.