Give a Mouse a Cookie . . .Writing through Storms

On days like this, I’m tempted not to post. A cute lil field mouse has moved into my kitchen. But life goes on–as do deadlines. I met one already: Check out my guest column A BUCKET OF HOPE, on Daily Signs of Hope, where I’ll be posting monthly from here on. But what about those STORMS in life?
Writing Tip for Today: When the unexpected happens, what does the writer in you do? Here are some scenarios I’ve lived through and what I did to stay on track with writing:

  • Storms from the Kids. As I have written here before, I raised 4 kids and had an in-home day care on top of that. Nary a day went by that something unexpected didn’t pop up. I tried to give myself permission to write for 20 minutes, the same amount of time I carved out for workouts. Many days this turned out to be a few scribbles in a notebook–but I wrote. Before they get up, after bedtime, in the car waiting for pickups–moms are very creative when it comes to tricking youngsters into thinking it’s always about them. I used to stand at the kitchen counter, peel a potato, write a few words, etc. The kids all thought I was doing boring stuff and didn’t bother me.
  • Storms from the Spouse. Most of the time, our long suffering spouses just learn to tolerate us as we type away. They don’t get why we’re wasting our time, why dinner is usually late or why we’re very grouchy if interrupted. I’ve had to learn to give my husband some sugar in advance of chaining myself to the keyboard–otherwise he pouts.
  • Storms from the Boss. Are you a sly writer at work? When I worked in an office outside the home, the more I had to do my day job, the more intense and grand ideas I had for my novel. There’s nothing like a job you’d rather not do to give you the urge to get BIC and word count. Please don’t get yourself fired, but use your breaks or lunch periods to write, even if you have to sit in your car. Bring your laptop or tablet to the break room. Your colleagues will envy you.
  • Real Storms and the Rest. Fortunately, here in Oregon we aren’t shivering or flooded. Here’s hoping the Sandy and other storms’ victims get their power on and get back to normal. Today we have this poor mouse to contend with (which, by the way, involves cleaning out and scrubbing down every kitchen cupboard). Tomorrow it could be squirrels in the attic (please house, don’t blow up) raccoons in the fish pond or cats in the tuna fish. Come to think of it, those lazy terrorist cats wouldn’t so much as chase this mouse. All they could do was sit and stare at the cupboard for hours on end. Even if we smeared peanut butter on their paws, they couldn’t catch a mouse if it bit them. Now my job is to figure out some way to incorporate a mouse in the cupboard into my novel.

About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

2 comments on “Give a Mouse a Cookie . . .Writing through Storms

  1. I know exactly what you mean, Linda! I guess we have to make the most with what we get, whether it is 15 minutes a day, or five hours to write. One way or another, I try to put something down.

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