Write. Rinse. Repeat.

Sometimes when life overwhelms me, I’ve just gotta drag my Muse into the shower to sneak in a creative moment.  I’ve crafted some of my best paragraphs while showering, repeating them over and over in my head as I rinse off.  Then dashing, dripping wet, to the closest piece of paper I can find and recording my words before I forget them.

I’ve also forced my Muse to tag along on my morning commute in the past.  One sultry morning years ago, I began writing in my head while jammed up against dozens of commuters.  My bangs started melting into my eyes from the humidity of the combined body heat in the subway car. I used my realization that I desperately needed a haircut to come up with a metaphor for this micro-story titled “Denial”.


A British publication paid me ₤10 for those two sentences!  Though I’m not always sure if that payment provided adequate compensation for the pitying looks I’ve gotten on occasion from people who read the tiny story.  It is fiction, really.

I’ve been thinking about these captured moments of creativity, and I decided to come up with a list.  Tiny bits of time we overworked, stressed-out writers (that’s all of us, right?!) could used to craft a few sentences in our heads.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  • In the shower
  • While driving or riding a bus/subway/taxi
  • While washing/clearing dishes
  • While vacuuming or dusting
  • While folding laundry
  • During commercials (30-second creative bursts!)
  • While blowdrying your hair
  • While walking the dog
  • While grooming the dog/cat
  • While grooming yourself
  • While tweezing (this one depends on how much unwanted hair you have!)

If anyone has other ideas or has found unique moments in your life when you can write a sentence or two, please share them in the comments!

Copyright @ Sandy Ackers, Strangling My Muse: Struggling to Live a Creative Life in a Stressful World, http://www.stranglingmymuse.com

9 Responses to “Write. Rinse. Repeat.”

  1. 1 carrie June 5, 2009 at 10:22 am

    First, if I started writing in my head while tweezing, very bad things would happen to my brows. But we’re in sync these days: we both ‘write’ in the shower, and I was going to make a sidebar with my favorite writing exercise, which is to write the first sentence of a story, but to make sure to start in the middle of the action. Your 2 sentence story is perfect.

  2. 2 Mollie Hart June 5, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Mine are when I’m walking! Sometimes exercising, sometime just to and from errands…

  3. 3 Rochelle Ritchie Spencer June 5, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Yeah, don’t even get me started on the tweezing. I also liked “Denial” it packed a lot of punch in just two sentences – amazing.

    I sometimes “find” good ideas in that hazy, spacey, hour of the morning when I wake up, but don’t yet have to get up. When my inner critic, Eunice, is not yet awake.

    • 4 stranglingmymuse June 6, 2009 at 3:19 pm

      Carrie, I like your favorite writing exercise–it’s perfect for those little found creative moments. Speaking of writing in the shower, I recently heard someone talking about using old-fashioned grease pencils to write on shower walls!

      Mollie, I can’t believe I left “while taking a walk” off the list–I write in my head while walking all the time! But I usually carry some form of paper and pen with me, and sometimes even stop and sit on a bench or wherever I can and start writing more. Thanks for reminding me that belongs on the list!

      Rochelle, I also love first-thing-in-the-morning writing. It’s a great time to capture whatever’s bubbling up from the subconscious, creative self! I can picture Eunice, with her pinched-up face and shrill voice. I’m glad she likes to sleep in late!


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