Monday, April 11, 2011

Writing While Waiting

Every Sunday my husband and I indulge in brunch at an overpriced-except-that-it’s-so-worth-it café downtown. I LOVE it. I love the rotating displays of weird local art. I love the fresh fruits and veggies that come from their own farm. I love that one of the waitresses has memorized not only my order, but my obsession with feta cheese, so that the one time I tried something new she brought me a cup of feta on the side just for fun. I even love the fact that it’s staffed entirely by eerily similar dark-haired hipsters who somehow make illogical fashion choices look normal. 

The only thing I do not love is how many other people love it, and yesterday it was even more packed than normal. We were facing a half hour wait and I suddenly realized that I’d forgotten to bring a book. (Yes, I realize that I could have spent the time bonding with my husband. Shhh.) It’s extremely rare for me to not have a book; I was one of those kids who always embarrassed my parents by trying to read at restaurants…family functions…funerals… Okay, so maybe not that last one, but you get the idea.

What I did have was a notebook, so I sat down on the stairs outside the door and started jotting down random material for my WIP. During our wait, I made a few plot breakthroughs, wrote several pages of dialogue, and started a new map of the story world. It was kind of awesome.

So even though I’m woefully behind on the Off the Shelves Reading Challenge (like most things in my life) I think I’m going to stop carrying a book around all the time and make sure to tote my writing notebook instead. I’m excited about where the little snippets of time in my days could lead me. 

And as always, I have an excellent role model:

Neil Gaiman stealing some moments to write in a Berlin alleyway between events. From his blog.

 Now I just need Scrivener to finally release the real Windows version so that I can better organize all these bits and pieces.

Do you have a writing notebook on you always, ready to be used at the oddest times and places? Does it seem to work?


  1. I always tell myself to tote around a notebook, but I generally forget. But that's awesome that it helped you make real progress during a restaurant wait! What did your husband do to entertain himself for the wait?

  2. I actually have a notebook with me a lot, but I will pretty much always read a book instead if I have one... hence the new plan. My husband was fortunately quite content his phone, which is usually my other distraction (and I've never even played Angry Birds).