A few weeks ago this particular relative called to complain (surprise, surprise) about being stuck inside for nearly five days due to a winter blizzard. She complained because she was bored and had run out of things to watch on TV. I could sympathize. I was also stuck inside but I remembered that I had once endured an ice storm where we lost electricity for four days! So I wasn’t complaining. However, in my present situation, as the minutes (felt like hours) dragged while I listened to her, I suddenly thought “What is wrong with you? You’re missing the two gifts.”
What were those gifts? Material and Time.
Anyone or anything that makes you laugh, cry, stew, rage or whatever is Material for a writing project. Strong emotions are gold. Don’t just vent over the phone with a friend, put that feeling down on paper. Want to throw a tantrum? Do it while working at your keyboard. I always laugh when people ask me where I get my ideas. Life offers many. Ideas are everywhere. And the same is true for Time.
Time is the one thing most people believe they don’t have much of. I understand. I’m a busy woman; however, I’m an expert thief of time. When I see time lying around, I grab it. My relative also happens to be a busy woman with a household to run, a full time job and a burning desire to one day become a full time writer. The problem? She complains that she doesn’t have the time to write. And yet, somehow given the gift of FIVE WHOLE DAYS she lazily wasted them by watching television and bemoaning her fate. I couldn’t help thinking that if she’d taken just one hour on one of those days - she would have been that much closer to fulfilling her writing dream.
Think about it. If she’d taken the time to recognize the two gifts--Time and Material--she could have:
• taken a picture of the snow and written a poem expressing her feelings,
• drafted an essay about cabin fever,
• created a how-to article on creative activities to do on snowy days and submitted it to a magazine of her choice,
• started to write a one-woman play about an aspiring writer going stir crazy,
• tried creating a new recipe to warm up a cold day and blogged about her results, or
• begun drafting the beginning of a short story, screenplay or novel.
Time and Material were there for her taking. No permission required. Both gifts, like the newly fallen snow outside, had been laid at her feet, but she couldn’t see them and that was a pity.
Winter blizzards aren’t fun, but they can be useful. A little over thirty years ago, a young mother had to endure a winter blizzard. Instead of going crazy dealing with the cabin fever of her young sons she decided to start writing and a phenomenal career was born. Her name was Nora Roberts. So, no matter what life throws at you, look for the silver lining. Who knows what may be in store?
Find out more about my new release WORDS OF SEDUCTION on my website: http://www.daragirard.com