“Find the time to write. Protect the time to write. Be inventive: get gorgons. Forget email. Whatever it takes. Because you still need more time than there is, also it’s important to leave enough time to waste.”
Ann Beattie.

The truth of this quote was just brought home to me in a conversation with my fabulous writer friend Favel Parrett. She’s recently signed a two book deal with Hachette Livre Australia and they’re wanting her second book fast! She’s been working so long and hard on the first story that ideas for the second haven’t entered the picture. That’s where Ann’s “time to waste” comes in.

As creative artists we can’t keep pumping ideas out without stopping sometimes to refill the tank. Time to waste is actually some of the most important work we can do as writers.

Fuddling around, seeing movies, cleaning the house, sorting through old photographs, catching up with friends, going for long walks, travelling, visiting people or the art gallery or museum, reading all sorts of books, catching buses and talking to strangers, focusing on our real world and seeing what’s in front of us, spending lots of time in LaLa Land, dreaming up ideas and following them to see where they go, Steven King’s “essential afternoon nap”. This is where story ideas come from.

As writers we simply can’t afford to spend all our time writing! We need to go out and live and stockpile images and ideas then sit around doing nothing but day dreaming about them.

For a writer rest is as important as work.

Sometime, however, you are going to have to sit down, face the blank page, and turn those daydreams into words!

4 thoughts on “THE REST CURE

  1. ooooh I love this – thanks for the chat the other day Edwina. IT was just the thing I needed. Have been resting and daydreaming down at my shack and the ideas are starting to bubble away in my mind already.
    It is important to day dream and take time out – but often that makes us feel like we are ‘wasting’ time and being lazy.

    But it seems like the ideas only come when there is SPACE.
    … Now on to the sitting down and writing
    I’m starting tomorrow (after a surf !)


  2. I haven’t been checking your blog lately but I’m so glad I read this one! Great advice … and just where I’m at too. Favel (although I haven’t met you I feel like I know you because Edwina often talks about you) – CONGRATULATIONS on your Hachette Livre success – a two-book deal! Wow!

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