Writing and Not Writing

Before I moved to Florida, I struggled to find the time to write. Evenings and weekends were the best option, but I worked full-time and had all the usual day-to-day obligations: housework, laundry, shopping, cooking, etc. Aside from my own chores, I had taken on my mom’s as well. My dad passed away last March and because she doesn’t drive, she’s dependent on others for her prescriptions, groceries, and errands.

Trying to write seemed impossible and I often felt that I should be doing more “important” things. That somehow writing was gratuitous and there was no return on the investment of time. I would never make any money or a name for myself, so why  bother? What I failed to realize was the satisfaction I get from the process, and the value there is in that fact alone. Just like when I take an invigorating walk, or eat a good meal, writing satisfies a need within me. The walk gets the endorphins flowing and clears out the cobwebs. A meal satisfies hunger. Writing quenches a desire that has always been there and I feel more “complete” for having done it.

Because of my recent move, my schedule has changed drastically. I’m not working right now and living with my children. Obviously, I’m helping around the house with cooking, cleaning, and yard work. I’m also job searching, but I still have more free time on my hands, which makes finding time to write much easier.

For now, my mornings consist of: coffee, beginning the writing process, more coffee, exercise of some type, and more writing. Interspersed throughout the rest of the day (depending on the day) is grocery shopping, meal prep, and chores. The computer is always waiting for my return, and I come back to it between the other items on my list. The breaks in between writing are the mediocre stuff of life, which can amazingly inspire the creative process, if we learn to keep an open mind. As writers we need to adopt the approach that photographers have, and that’s to always be on the look out for the next great picture. It can be an ordinary subject, but with a new or different perspective can become something extra ordinary.

If I suddenly had an extra block of time added to my day, I would use it for additional reading and writing, two of my favorite hobbies!

Let Social Media Inspire You


I never met a quote I didn’t like; I just like some more than others.

So, rather than limit my choices to five, I decided to scroll through the land of Twitter with #quotes as my search term. How can one resist the seemingly endless choices that the Internet offers? While it’s hard to narrow the list to one, I chose this because (a) I’ve never heard it before and (b) it immediately spoke to me. What did it say? It reminded me of two very distinct groups of people who I’ve encountered in my life: the Haves and the Have Nots.

The Haves are those people that enjoy the good life. In this quote they are defined as having everything. Conversely, the Have Nots are described as having nothing. The definition of “everything” has traditionally meant money, status, and power, while “nothing” connotes having very little, or next to nothing.

The quote talks about “your patience when you have nothing,” and this refers to worldly goods. How many of us would be patient if we had no homes or money and were forced to sleep in the streets or eat in a soup kitchen? Who among us would remain humble if we suddenly had everything we desired?

But what if the definitions changed and having everything meant the respect of others, honesty, and generosity? Poor folks can have these qualities, but do we think of them as having everything? What if having nothing meant you possess lots of money and prestige, but that you were dishonest, selfish, and entitled? There are plenty of rich people who fit this description. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, including this one.

I’ve known my share of people from all walks of life and one thing is certain: there is nothing classier than a Have who goes out of his/her way to help the less fortunate, and a Have Not who recognizes that money can’t buy the really important things in life and retains a true “attitude of gratitude.”

The Space to Write


Because I recently moved from Pennsylvania to Florida, AND got a laptop, I no longer have a dedicated space for writing. Prior to the move, I sat at my desk (with my desktop computer) and happily typed away! Of course, I hadn’t gotten into a consistent writing habit, so I’m hoping for better results this time around. The old computer desk went to Goodwill and my desktop computer is currently housed in my son’s garage, along with the rest of my worldly goods. My son and daughter both live here in Florida, about one hour apart. I’m splitting my time between the two as I job search; but,…that’s another post! The laptop gives me the mobility to designate any area as my writing space, so I’m pleased to have the flexibility!

There are a couple of things I do require when writing. The first is quiet. I can’t concentrate when people are speaking, whether it’s to me or each other. Conversation is too distracting. Number two, I do like very soft music playing in the background…very soft. Usually classical or jazz, but nothing too lively. Depending on what I’m writing, music can evoke a lot of emotions and inspire me further. I can definitely write with total silence, but music is often a plus.

I’m flexible as far as where I write. I can stand at the kitchen counter, sit at a desk/table, or sit on the bed, with pillows propped up behind me. Where I write at any given moment depends on what else I’m doing (if anything.) Multi-tasking isn’t my preferred method for anything, as I like to focus completely on one thing at a time. However, that’s not always possible or practical. Sometimes I have to stir the soup or fold the clothes as I compose!

Required equipment for writing consists of a computer, paper, and a pencil/pen. With the world and everything in it available online, I don’t need much else. Sometimes, I use the paper and pencil to sketch an outline, or some words and thoughts. But the computer offers the rest: dictionary, thesaurus, and search engines to find everything else.

I usually start my writing in the morning. However, I seldom finish anything before evening. I like to come back and reread my work with fresh eyes. Also, it gives me time to contemplate how to tailor the message that I want to convey. Sometimes, I get a new perspective on my latest writing project,  because of something that occurs or someone I encounter.

There’s another thing that can, at times, assist the writing process.

Beer-and-wine-glassesCan you guess what it is?

Nothing like some Cabernet or a couple of Stellas (as in Artois) to lubricate the old creativity wheel! Does anyone else experience the same thing, or have some idea as to why this is? I know that I’ve read about great artists, composers, etc. who imbibed and used drugs to enhance their work. I’m guessing it’s because we let our inhibitions and fears go out the window, and this frees us to truly express ourselves. I’m open to any thoughts/feedback on this, and that reminds me….

I would greatly appreciate your thoughts/feedback on the above question, as well as suggestions on what you think I should write about. Please visit the contact page on my blog if you have ideas to share, and I look forward to hearing from you!