Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Be Prepared When Life Throws Curveballs of Unexpected Writing Time

Author Kevin Anderson writes a dozen books a year. How does he do it? In the workshop he taught at the recent Storymakers conference he talked about using one's time wisely. Even if he is just standing in line at the supermarket, he works on his writing by brainstorming or plotting. He inspired me to do better. But last Sunday I failed enormously.

Saturday night at midnight, my husband and I took my teenage daughter to the emergency room with stomach pains that had escalatuted, having bothered her for two days previously. They gave her an antinausea medicine and some pain meds in her IV, told her the tests didn't show anything and sent her home. We all got about 4 hours of sleep until she came into my bedroom at 6 in the morning saying her pains were back, she couldn't sleep and she felt terrible. We took her back to a different ER at a bigger hospital, with more waiting, hours and hours of waiting, while we still didn't come away with any better answers.

 But through all of this I came away with a better answer in terms of my writing: be prepared. I had managed to grab my lap top as we rushed out the door to the hospital. Unfortunately, I had non of the updated files I needed to work on, so my computer did me little good. I had hours of precious time, dying for something to do while I waited during and inbetween tests, but nothing to work on. Lesson here: in order to use every minute I have more efficiently, I have to always have something available to work on. I do most of my writing on my desktop and just use my laptop when I travel, so I just update files as I prepare to travel. No more. Now I will back up my thumbdrive everynight and place it in a location I can always find.

You never know when life is going to throw you some extra time to sit down an write, so always be prepared to take advantage of it.


  1. I was pretty amazed at Kevin Anderson's talk and how many books he writes! That amount of productivity seems unreal! It did make me want to use my time a lot better after hearing him speak. And to be more prepared to use unexpected blocks of time.

    And I hope your teenage daughter gets better very soon!

  2. Thank you, Leslie. She is feeling a little better.

  3. Good intentions are fine, but to establish them, you need routine. I love routine, in fact I'm lost without it. Right now, I should be writing the 50 words I've promised to work on every morning. But something came up to keep me away. And here it is: I'd like to nominate you for the Kreative Blogger award, little Aussie. I'll post it on my blog by the time you wake up tomorrow.


  4. Thanks, Francene,
    And you're right, I need to have more of a routine--even if I have to break it from time to time it will be there to help me most of the time.