Monday, May 08, 2006

Waiter or Writer?

Today I'm waiting for these folks to call me back so I can interview them for one of the columns I write for the monthly HBA newspaper.

You would think that while I sit at my desk waiting for each of them to call me back, I could also work on my novel, or something a little more productive than a blog post.

Especially in light of something Shannon Woodward said at this weekend conference I just attended. (Okay, she said a lot of things, but this is easy to remember, and one of her comments that stuck with me ...)

"If you are waiting for inspiration, you are a waiter, not a writer."

I think these weren't her words, originally, but frankly, I've enough distractions pulling at me today that if I get up and find my notes from the conference where I heard her speak, who knows if I'll finish even this brief post.

I fear that if I start "my own thing," my outstanding calls will all return, leaving me to finish the day with that exasperated, interrupted feeling writers so loathe. So, I sit here, grazing blogs istead.

Yet, if I've learned anything about the discipline of writing it is, in addition to Shannon's lesson, that I not wait for those elusive luxurious stretches of protected time to engage in my craft, but that I also fit it into the pieces and snips and sometimes unplanned moments where I find myself, like now, waiting for something else.

I wonder, did Hemingway scrub toilets, pay bills, cook dinner, run errands? Surely not. But, he undoubtedly must have faced and persisted through interruptions of the day -- even those of his own making.


Prince Myshkin said...

Great post. I hate that stupid waiting feeling with absolute passion. Found your site through F*i*F. Cool stuff! :)

shannon said...

Hello Sandra!

For some reason, I'm not able to send you an email directly. I've tried four times and each time, they come back to me with a "permanent failure" code.

Just wanted to say thanks for sending the link--and thanks for the mention. :)

I've been taking a bit of an "internet sabbatical" this week. I didn't think I had it in me, but I did manage to stay off the laptop for most of the week.

Great site! I like it. :)