Write (Now) Newsletter – December 2005


WRITE (Now) NEWSLETTER – December 2005


“If the doctor told me I had six minutes to live, I’d type a little faster.”

– Isaac Asimov

Hi Writers:

Thanks to everyone who sent kind wishes to me and my family. I was unable to respond individually to each of your emails, but please know that we continue to appreciate your amazing support. My niece made it through the operation bravely and has begun a long course of chemotherapy. This sounds trite, but these things sure focus your priorities.

The past few months have challenged me to practice my “finding time (or places) to write” skills. I’ve spent most of my productive writing hours accompanying friends, family and pets to medical appointments. Rather than writing in my lovely office at home, I’ve found myself in the main lobby of Grant, Riverside or OSU Hospital, either in the ER or some office in the bowels of the building, or in the lobby of one of the following: an orthopedic surgeon, a chiropractor, a cardiologist, a veterinarian, or an ophthalmologist.

I’ve put the time to good use. I’ve written and revised several short stories and essays, completed five applications to graduate schools, drafted and edited many chapters in a nonfiction book I’m writing, started a novel, prepared for the classes I’ve taught, and written the essay for this newsletter each month. Have notebook (or laptop), will travel.

Here are my tips for successful medical lobby writing:

1) Invest in comfortable, high quality earplugs. Put them in as soon as the patient goes with the doctor and don’t take them out until someone taps you on the shoulder and tells you the patient is ready for you.

2) If possible, turn the TV in the lobby off. If not possible, sit with your back to it or directly beneath it so you can’t see it.

3) Do not strike up friendly conversation with the staff or the other patients. If someone speaks to you, simply point to your earplugs. They’ll take the hint.

4) Decide what you’re going to work on in advance and take only that one project with you.

5) And whatever you do, DO NOT EVEN GAZE AT THE MAGAZINES. Many a brilliant novel was lost to the pages of People. And, no, reading about anorexic starlets does not count as research!

Nita(isn’t that Britney Spears?)Sweeney
(c)2005 by Nita Sweeney