December 21, 2010

If You Give A Writer Wrapping Paper

HINT For Beth's Birthday Hunt Clue #4

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You guys are going to be so proud of me!

I have squeedged my way through my office door!  And let me tell you, it wasn't easy!

Not only that, I have cleared a path all the way from one side to the other!  (I know.  It boggles the mind.)

"Hello, my friends!" I said to my beloved writing books as I saw their colorful spines for the first time in weeks days.  "Greetings!" I called to Phyllis and Woolliam (who were sleeping in my school visit bag and did not appreciate the interruption!)  "Achoo!" I sneezed, just because I felt like it and not because there was even the tiniest speck of dust in the air.

So now, let's just be happy with a little progress in that department and not talk about the fact that the path is very narrow, piled high on either side with Christmas presents and wrapping paper and piles of books that need to be shelved and writing/school visit paraphernalia of all kinds.  Rome wasn't built in a day.

Let's talk about something else entirely.

I work very well with deadlines.  But if there appears to be plenty of time, I am the queen of procrastination.  I shall give you an example.

I've got all these Christmas presents to wrap.  Christmas is 4 days away.  If I start now, and wrap a few gifts at a time, I'll be done by a reasonable hour on Christmas Eve.  But that is not the way I work.

I squeeze into my office (still thrilled that I can get in - it'll be a while before that wears off!) with the honest intention of wrapping.  But there's a lot to wrap.  Which present should I do first?  I look around and see the gift I picked out for my niece and nephew, and it reminds me of when my kids were that age, which reminds me of an amusing anecdote, which gives me an idea for a story, and the next thing I know I've found a scrap of writing paper and I'm jotting down notes for a story on the back of it because, really, I've still got 4 days to wrap, and if I don't write down an idea when I have it, I might forget!  This is what happens when you give a writer wrapping paper.  She uses it to write, not wrap.  The same holds true for napkins, ATM receipts, and the inside of the red part or the foil part of a KitKat wrapper, although the outside of the foil is useless.  In case you were wondering.

A person who is a writer can turn any occasion into an opportunity to write.  That is because we are creative!  And what better way to use our creativity then to turn a mundane task like wrapping, vacuuming, or closet organization (stop that - I hear you snickering!) into a useful time to think up a new story?  And write it on the back of whatever comes to hand, whether it be an old grocery list, a corner of the english muffin box, or that speeding ticket field trip form...

So, I have a sneaking suspicion that Christmas Eve will roll around and I'll be up wrapping until 4 AM.  I know this because it happens every year.  But if I'm lucky, I might have a couple new story ideas come Christmas morn :)


  1. Why thank you, Catherine. This post feels a little less inferior now :)

  2. This was such fun, and so true!

    I advise checking to see what bit of paper you've seen peeking out from beneath a pile of books, and you're now tearing a corner off so that you can write your brilliant idea, or you'll find that you've handily torn off a corner of something you'd proudly printed out... and now you'll have to do it again. Not that I know anyone who's done that, or anything.

  3. I'll be launching my own blog soon, and I expect to have lonely posts for a good long while. So I've decided to reach out to all the orphan posts I see and do my best to make them feel warm and fuzzy during this holiday season. That said, I was out shopping the other day and got an idea. The only paper I had was money or one of those stamps the grocery store gives you to collect and redeem for tacky merchandise. It now has tiny writing on it. :)

  4. Beth - I think we may be twins separated at birth :)

    Renee - thank you so much for taking the time to make my poor little post feel loved :) Be sure to let me know when your blog is up! And you must be a true writer if you're writing on grocery stamps - ATM receipts are my big fall-back :)

  5. Your office sounds just like mine! I have found a new best friend! And yes, all the above must be real writers to write their ideas on money or any sliver of paper they find.

  6. Clar - yes, the less neat among us seem to be coming out of the woodwork today :) People are less bashful about admitting the stat of their offices when they know they have company :)

  7. I am also a procrastinator, and end up staying up until the wee hours on many occasions! Hope your gift wrapping goes a lot smoother this year! Julie

  8. Julie - I hope so too, but i'd say given my track record it's extremely doubtful :)


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