Thursday, December 29, 2011

Writing in Waiting Rooms

I've spent a good portion of the last few days in waiting rooms --at the ER, in doctors' offices, etc., due to my elderly mother's recent fall.

I always tell my students that, during stressful times when "life gets in the way", your writing provides a sanctuary, a place of refuge. It's like a daily yoga or meditation practice -- you may feel resistance on the way to the mat or the cushion, but if you do it any way, you feel better and get results.

That's what writing does, too.

I'm under extreme deadline pressure -- getting a book out to one publisher, while also prepping a series for another publisher. I have a heavy roster of classes to teach, and other freelance work that also pays the bills. Writing is not just my vocation and my passion -- it's how I pay the bills.

I can't make excuses, I can't "not write", or there won't be a roof over my head.

I'm taking notebooks with me, for several different projects, and switching between them during those interminable waits. I'm taking galleys and going over corrections. For just a few minutes at a time, I escape into my fictional worlds, and they help me deal with the decisions and stresses of the "real world" when I'm pulled back.

I'm also eavesdropping shamelessly in all these locations, gathering material on situation and character for future pieces.

Because, when you're a writer -- everything is material.

With best wishes for a peaceful, prosperous, and healthy new year!

Annabel Aidan

Annabel's Champagne release is the paranormal romantic suspense ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT. She can be found at


AstonWest said...

Hmmm...I've never really considered writing in these places stress-relieving, just more time that I have available to write. I've written in several waiting rooms, as well as in airports, on airplanes, at events with in-laws...the list goes on. :-)

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Not only good advice but I love what you said about eavesdropping. You caught me!

I have gotten some great ideas from the lives of others. You can't make this stuff up!

Rita Bay said...

Hope your mother is better. Spent a lot of time in hospitals and at home with sick Mama and husband this year. Can only plot in a hospital. Hope and pray that everyone will remain well in 2012. Rita