Sunday, March 28, 2010

It May Not Look Like I'm Working, But I Am

Yesterday, my husband and I went to a charity event - a lunch and book signing featuring award-winning mystery/thriller writer, Harlan Coben. We had a great time - ate good food, were surrounded by others who love books and reading, and got to listen to a very entertaining talk.

One of the things I love about events like that is getting to hear a well-known author talk about writing. One thing he said really struck me - I'm paraphrasing here, but it was about how the hardest part of his job was explaining his job to others, how it looks like he's just laying on the couch but how he's really working. Boy, did I hear that!

Writing is not a show up to your office, sit at your desk, clock in and clock out, 9-5 job. It's 24-7, anywhere, anytime. It's stopping in the middle of cooking dinner to scribble an idea on the back of the grocery store receipt. It's praying you'll remember the great dialogue you heard in your head as you wipe the shampoo off your face and scrabble for a towel. It's asking your husband to write down a list of words and phrases that make absolutely no sense to him but is now the best plot twist ever in your work-in-progress.

And yes, it is also sitting on the couch, staring out the window, watching not the trees blow in the wind but instead watching a mind movie all your own. And yes, that is working. Just ask Harlan Coben.


  1. Hey just wanted to let you know the dead Madeline in my story pubbed today has absolutely nothing to do with you...other than I guess your name has a certain ring to it. LOL. Anyway, glad to hear you are writing, even if it's on the couch.

  2. Sigh. It's one of the down sides of having such a fabulous name. :)

  3. Madeline, thank you for leaving a comment over on the WOW! blog. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I completely agree that writing happens all the time. I get some of the best ideas when I'm in the middle of some other task, even when sleeping!

  4. And thank you, Stacy, for checking out and commenting here on The Shellshank Redemption. :)

    It's one thing to scramble for a pen and paper in the middle of the night, but I want to know what YOU do when you get a great idea while flying that plane?!