Monday, June 02, 2008

TO WRITE: Waiting and waiting. . . and waiting

I just spent a good five minutes on hold with a national company I do business with before hanging up in disgust. (I know, I know, you've spent 15, 20, 30 minutes in such situations. Still, I say anything over 10 seconds starts to get miserable.) And why don't they just play some dignified classical music instead of old Neil Diamond hits of the '70s?

Waiting can be tough, whether its for customer service or for something much more serious -- getting a call about an adoptive child (We're still waiting!) or a hint of relief from severe, chronic depression symptoms.

Play with this. . .
A writer friend of mine recently challenged her students to write on the question: What are you waiting for? Take 20 minutes to answer that one, writing continuously without stopping to edit yourself a lot.

Are you waiting for the confidence to register for that class you've been wanting to take? Is it the nerve to ask him or her out to dinner? Is it the energy to pick up your pen and write? Are you waiting for that last 20 pounds to disappear? After you've written, take five minutes more to consider what you might be able to do to either make the waiting end sooner or to better get through it. In my experience, my mental health depends upon this.

4 comments:

Lisa Guidarini said...

Elizabeth, see my blog today for a review of your 'Writing Through the Darkness.'

And thank you, thank you, thank you for writing it!

http://bluestalking.typepad.com/

Lisa Guidarini

Lisa Guidarini said...

P.S.: the writing exercise you mention here is WONDERFUL! I'm going to try it the next time I'm with my journal.

Another I've had recommended recently is to write a letter to your future self, say five years from now. Tell yourself how you have healed, how things are better, what you expect to have happened in the interim. You may already know of this but I found it just so helpful.

Elizabeth Maynard Schaefer said...

Lisa,
THANK YOU!
And I love the exercise you suggest -- look out, Tuesday writing group, you're getting this one next week!
-- Beth

Mary said...

I love both these exercises. Lisa the one u mentioned may well help me with my "self" I'm going to try it. thanks...Mary