A blog about the amazing things teenagers do, about writing for teens, books for teens, and occasional forays into my world and the world of publishing.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Write Here, Write Now

Last week, one of my ANWA friends asked the question, "Where do you write?" for a blog post she was doing. (See Black hole. Abductor. And other names I've called my desk). The other people who responded talked about the different desks they've had, or a special room, or a special corner of the house, my answer was this:

"...Because I have four busy kids, I write everywhere I can, like in my car while I wait for piano lessons, soccer practice, or play practice to get over, or at
the dentists office. I wrote a good portion of BREAKING BEAUTIFUL on the way up to the ski hill. I once spent a whole day doing revisions in my car while my son was at an indoor skate park. I even did copy edits between games at a volleyball tournament. Lately, to combat writer's butt I've been writing on a treadmill at my gym."

When I'm into a project I can (and do) write anywhere. I don't have a purse. I have a laptop bag. It goes with me almost whenever I leave the house, because I never know when a practice might go long, and I'll have a few minutes to let my imagination run away. (This might explain why my previous laptop is in the shape it's in--broken hinge, cover coming off).

I can write in the car as long as the road isn't too curvy, I can write when I'm with my kids at the pool or the park, I can even write (though not always successfully), in those few moments while supper simmers away on the stove.

(***An actual dinner burned while I was writing.***)

I'm ashamed to say I even took my laptop with me to a band concert a few days ago, thinking I would sneak out into the hall when my son was done playing and write. (In the end I decided to leave my laptop alone, enjoy the music, and visit with some friends I don't see very often.)

The good thing about my ability to work anywhere is that I can get through a project and still get my children, (most of the time), to their various appointments and activities. The bad thing is that I often have to reorient myself to the real world, "Mom, we just passed the piano lesson house again!"

My point is, you can write anywhere. If you don't have the luxury of a laptop, you can still take a notebook with you, or you can scribble something in crayon on the back of that coloring book at the bottom of your diaper bag, or you can just observe life around you and make notes in your head. Maybe the lady in front of you in line would be the perfect protagonist for your novel. Maybe the kid bagging groceries has a dark secret.

When my kids were little I didn't have time, (or didn't take time), to write down my stories, so I wrote them in my head. I honestly think that was helpful to me when I finally took the time to put something down on paper.

I feel like I'm proof that if you want to be a writer, you just have to do it. If I had waited for the perfect office, or the perfect desk, or the perfect time to start writing, it would have never come.

My advice...

Write here. Write now.

What crazy places have you written in? How do you carve out time for your writing?


  1. Hey friend! Well said!!! Thanks for linking our posts. What fun to read all the wonderful ideas. Yours especially. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who takes my writing to all of my children's events. :) And yes, ignored said writing in favor of actually joining in the fun.

    I agree that you can't wait for the perfect moment, because it never comes. And children produce some of the best fodder there is for the genre I write. Or maybe that's why I write for that genre. :) Great post!

  2. Just this morning I was sitting on the curb of the road writing while my kids rode bikes around the cul-de-sac. And last week while traveling I did a lot of writing in the car (straight roads only... I get motion sickness). But, just like you, I don't really sit at my desk for my writing. I stand at the counter while my kids eat or I crash on the couch when everyone else is in bed or I take the laptop outside while my boys play in the sandbox. If I were restricted to my desk not much would get done!