Skip to main content

Wasting time

So on Saturday I had this strange experience. I had absentmindedly forgotten to pick up egg dye (gasp!) and ended up going to two places to find it. Well my venture landed me at Rite Aid -- a drugstore of sorts for those of you outside the US. I'm standing there in line, tapping the box, while the woman in front of me argues over some buy-one-get-one offer on a pack of paper plates. By the time the manager agrees to give the lady the discount (just to get her out of the store I'm sure), 15 minutes had passed. FIFTEEN MINUTES. I would have gone elsewhere, but the egg dye in my hand was the last in the store and who knows if I would have found another box elsewhere. I stalk out of the store angry and frustrated that anyone would waste 15 minutes of their time on a $2 pack of paper plates.

But this tramatizing event got me thinking. What little things do we do during the day or week that detracts from the top, say, five most important things in our life? I often have people ask me how I find time to write. They then proceed to tell me how they are too busy to ever "pick up writing." Really? I have a toddler, husband, house, cat, and full-time job yet I find time. Why can't you? The same goes for other things. Church, if that's important to you. Friend-time. Personal-time. Whatever it is that you WISH you had time for, ask yourself, why don't you? Because I'm betting if you priortize those top 5 things, suddenly the day will feel drastically less stressful.

Of course, I'm a stress maniac so don't listen to me. :) Now revelation time. What sucks up all your time?



  1. I really hate the "I'm too busy to ever write" excuse. GRR. Like you, I have a toddler, full-time job, husband, house, TBR pile! :) I think I waste a lot of time online and catching up on TV shows.

  2. I spend too much time online. I limit myself, but even now I'm thinking, what if I was working on my WIP? Hmm. It's hard because I want to get myself out there and let people know who I am. We have to promote ourselves and connect with others. I really enjoy reading blogs and meeting new people, and it's important to what I do. So, I can't really say I waste time online. It serves a purpose. I just wish I was quicker when I'm online. :)

  3. I spend too much time spending too much time. I do so much during the day, so when the night comes I'm exhausted. I try to write, but now that I don't have to actually write, but revise, I'm slacking off.

    The internet doesn't improve this, either.

  4. Jennifer -- Totally agree. It drives me crazy when people say they could write, but just don't have the time.

    Kelly -- Online is my demon as well. I'm constantly reading forums or QT or various other writerly sites.

    Tyson -- I'm with you there. I write at night, but many nights I am just too exhausted. And I'm a night owl so getting up at 5 am to write? Not happening. I slack during revisions as well. I have to give myself a schedule else I take months upon months to revise.

  5. The gym and the internet... I always end up finding something to waste my time on rather than actually getting my writing going as I should.

    Also, nice blog :) I like the writing style.

  6. Letting small things eat away at us is like being nibbled to death by ducks -- just too silly a way to check out. Like you, I have to remind myself that life is too short to let little things rob me of the joy of the moment -- for it may be one of the last ones I have. Roland

  7. I can just picture you in RiteAid...waiting...and waiting... been there done that!

    I read a good keynote speech by Kiersten White the other day. She said: "The difference between someone who writes and someone who is a writer is sacrifice. Writers are willing to give up things to do what we do. If you aren't ready for that, that's ok. You'll know when you are."

    I think that's so true! You make the time if you really want it.

  8. Ha! This morning I walked out of a grocery store without the items I wanted because someone had left the cashier with her items half-rung up while she went to check out some cheap Easter candy. When writing takes up so much time, it's hard not to want every precious second.

  9. Like so many others, the internet sucks up my time...but also crossword puzzles and stewing over grocery lists. I hate that chore--I guess because I know I've actually then got to do the shopping. Maybe I fear getting in a line like you found yourself in?? Ha.

  10. CB -- I wish I could say the gym occupied my time! Thanks for the blog compliment. It's my 3rd version. :)

    Roland -- Well said!

    Laura -- Love that! I still need to read Paranormalcy.

    Andrea -- I hate when people do that! If I forget something when I'm already in line I just shrug and pick it up later.

    Kenda -- Too funny. Grocery shopping is relaxing for me. Perhaps because the hubbie keeps my toddler so I can do it alone. We mom's get so little free time, ya know? :)


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Pitch Wars 2017 Wishlist!

Hi! How are you? Excited? Nervous? Hating your MS? Loving your MS? Yep, I get it. Been there, have the wrinkles to prove it. But that's what retinoids are for, and besides--

Wait, let me back up and do this introduction thing properly. And, you know, by "properly" I mean Hart of Dixie style.

So, you're probably wondering who I am and why I think I'm a rockstar, when I'm just a brand new little newbie mentor. Well, here's the thing--I'm not really one of those "I think I'm a rockstar" kind of people, so we won't be going there. Sorry. BUT I can tell you who I am. Here goes.


USA TODAY bestselling author Melissa West is the author of more than fifteen novels, each set in the South and ready to steal a reader’s heart with Southern charm, sweet tea, and a whole mess of gossip. Her novels have received high praise and recognition from RT Book Reviews, Seventeen Magazine, Fresh Fiction, and Harlequin Junkie, among others…

Outlining -- a.k.a pulling your hair out

Outlining...yes, that organizational craziness that forces you to look like the poor cat above. Yep, that's what I'm talking about today. After reading a fellow blogger’s post regarding plotters vs. pansters, I began to research various outlining methods. The snowflake method is a very common approach that involves starting with a summary sentence (a.k.a pitch) then expanding out.
Some claim this hinders creativity, while supporters feel it keeps them on track. I've decided to use elements of the approach (click here). I like the pitch sentence to begin with. This took me quite awhile, but in developing my pitch sentence for Twisted Root I found that it helps to think in broad terms. A+B=C But the more interesting element of this model is the disaster moments in the story. You know, those moments where you become the evilest writer on the planet and your characters are tortured.
The Snowflake method suggests that you have 3 disasters (more with sub-plots) and an ending, ea…

Make your readers uncomfortable

I have this one scene in TWISTED ROOT that is…intense. It is so intense that I’ve had reactions all over the place from my CP’s and betas.

Let me start by saying I have a ton of people read my work. An 8 person crit group, 2 crit partners, and 2 that I would say are alpha readers—friends who read tons and have strong editing backgrounds.

So I receive crits all over the place, and this scene has created some interesting responses. One critter went crazy for it, loved it. Another referred to it as slightly icky. I loved that response. :) Another blushed when we discussed it in person. And all of the male critters I have thought it was awesome—go figure. Men have a much higher threshold for uncomfortable-ness, than most women. (JMHO!!!)

Now I’m not saying I don’t adore all my readers. I do. I couldn’t write without them. Each one makes my work stronger. But here’s the thing, I’m keeping the scene, as it is (for now). Wanna know why?

I think as a writer you should make your reader uncomfortab…