At the time of writing I’m sitting outside the physiotherapist’s room waiting for my husband, writing notes, a to do list, answering a questionnaire from another writer. It’s warm, it’s quiet and there’s even a drinks machine on hand should I get thirsty. My husband was involved in a car accident and had damaged his hand among other things (car included) and can’t drive, so I’ve spent quite a lot of time in waiting rooms either here or at the hospital. To begin with I took along a book or magazine to pass the time but today I’m writing. When I get home I’ll type this up and that’s given me a sense of achievement, a feeling that time hasn’t been wasted.
I’m of a mind that once we become used to writing for long periods on the computer we get out of the habit of writing by hand, in rough, the method I used when I first started writing. I hate lugging the laptop or ipad around with me and although I could type notes on a mobile phone I can’t be bothered. In fact I’d rather poke my eyes out with a stick than use a mobile phone to write. My texts are usually one word replies to my kids – yes, no, later, ok.
But it has got me thinking. We can always find time to write, and write anywhere. Use so called ‘dead time’ for getting your thoughts in order. When I used to walk to collect my daughter from school I would quite often pass parents waiting in their cars, reading magazines or just gazing into space. Why not use that time to write. It’s amazing what you can produce in ten minutes. I often ask my students to tally the words they’ve written in a ten minute on the spot exercise. More often than not it’s around 250 words. Times that by four and you have 1,000 words. There a quite a few articles in this month’s Writing Magazine that cover this very subject. Well worth a look. I haven’t read all the way through my issue yet but Kick-start your Writing Year by Joanne Borrill should get you started. Off you go, no excuses, ten minutes, 250 words.