Writing on the Run™

The Natural Way to Write Any Time, Any Place

The May ’05 Writer’s Digest magazine named Writing on the Run
as one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers.


                                                                                                                                                  Life is Your Page

Have a Guilt-free Day

Life is your page.  You’re writing all the time.  Whether you are actually sitting down with pen in hand or at your computer, writing themes and subjects present themselves to you constantly.  This means that it’s not only okay but also necessary to give yourself a break from immediately trying to manifest every idea.

Instead, trust the creative process.

Give yourself one day a week or more, if necessary, when you don’t even think about writing.  Take a guilt-free vacation from projects even when they are burning to be composed. Let them simmer.  Move them to the back burner.  Do something entirely different, preferably active.  Even when you have what you think is the greatest idea in the world, wait those few hours until dawn of the next day to write it down.

We know.  This is the exact opposite of everything else you’ve read on the Writing on the Run Website.  Yet, taking time off from writing is something we’ve found to be an essential element of creating satisfying and rewarding writing adventures.

To help you have a guilt-free day, use any excuses from the checklist below.

After reading the checklist, enjoy the guilt-free poetry at the bottom of this page.

And by all means, have a guilt-free day!

Guilt-freely yours,
Allen and Linda Anderson


Guilt-free Day Checklist of Excuses

Choose any or all of the excuses below to give yourself permission not to physically write today. You can’t help having brilliant thoughts and ideas, but wait until tomorrow to commit them to paper or a computer file.

It’s the (maid’s/butler’s/chauffeur’s/nanny’s/personal assistant’s) day off.  I had to do everything all by myself today so I didn’t have time to write.

Life intervened.  S_ _ t happened.  I’ll write about it tomorrow.

An act of God (hurricane/tornado/earthquake/American Idol finals) prevented me from writing today.

I have to (exercise/take a bubble bath/get a massage/have a pedicure) during my usual writing time today or my body threatens rebellion.  

When I picked up my children early from school and took them to an afternoon matinee, they asked who had kidnapped their “real” (mother/father).  That’s how I knew I had to forget about writing and spend the rest of the day with them.

I’ve become so enchanted by my fictional characters.  I prefer their company and conversation to that of my (family/friends/coworkers).  Time to reconnect with humans.

I’ve been spending so much time in my room writing that when I opened the door, my dog barked as if he didn’t recognize me.

I know where weapons of mass destruction are hidden and have to call the CIA with this information.  No time to write today!

Oprah called.  She heard that I’m writing a new book and before I’m one of her "dead" authors, she wants to have me as a guest on her show.  Sorry, no writing today.  Have to get my teeth whitened.

Note to Self: Refill refrigerator and cupboards.  Pay overdue library book fines.  Call the office to see if I still work there.

Since I started work on this (book/screenplay/short story/novel/epic poem), I haven't talked with my friends in so long.  They have (moved/changed e-mail addresses/forgotten that I owe them money).  Must spend today renewing acquaintances.

They have (closed down/changed the furniture/fired my favorite employee) at the (coffee shop/bar/restaurant) where I always go to write. I must stay away to observe a day of protest.

Every in-between time in (waiting rooms/grocery store lines/traffic jams) evaporated today.  Life moved so smoothly that I didn’t have time to take out my notebook or tape recorder.  Oh well, maybe tomorrow will be rougher.

We welcome your excuses to add to this important checklist. Thank you.

Guilt-free Poetry

 By Linda Carol Anderson

smooth ladies, their white
 throats encircled by
 sip ginger tea and
 dandelion wine.

they lounge on verdant lawns
 under the plumes of
 wide rainbow umbrellas.

chattering of taffeta

children unfettered
 by good manners,
 strutting to the
 tune of jingle-jangle.

their voices twitter like songbirds
 tripping up and down the musical scales
 with no thought of tomorrow.

 they do no harm,
 perched and sunning on life’s windowsills.

they have long ago overcome
 the pedestrian need
 to be useful.

how i envy them.


By Linda Carol Anderson

Twyla Tharp
says she begins
like a sunbeam, at 5:30
    every morning.
hails a new york city chariot,
gives the driver directions to her gym
and works out (with a trainer)
    for two hours.

then, off to the coffee shop.

at work by 10; devising new
dances to ripple through the
bodies of her strong-boned troupe.

she says
is the key to her

do it every day
without fail
until the mind ceases battle,
the body stops arguing.

marches to the drum of
"i don't know but i've been told
lazy folks don't break the mold."

light a candle, she says,
    burn it.
your sleepy old listless
will flame upon the pages
or canvas      or stage
with creative sparks.

play rat-a-tat music.
walk the dog.

eat prunes, whatever
it takes to signal the
constipated spirit to move.

the secret is not what
    but when.

same time, every day,
rain or shine,
snow or sleet.

discipline feeds the soil
where azaleas will bloom.

i think,
what are my           rituals?

all this day,
i catalog my            rituals
--hardboiled eggs without yolks,
--soapy bubble bath,
--flights to the inner worlds of god.

nothing I do this day says to
                      my muse,
    wake up
you lethargic lump of layabout.
find your way to the playground
         swing till your
                feet touch the sky.

and yet,
in spite of my indolence
i have managed
to write
    this poem.

The Romance of Writing
By Linda Carol Anderson

love dares to act without regret.
 pleasure surges without consequence.
 sealed, with no return addresses,
 letters plunge into the sea.

with every hope of being kept,
 promises, strewn like rose petals,
 cover bridle paths and walkways.

when overwrought,
 a gal does what
 a gal has to do.

like an expectant child,
 waits with a winking eye
 at the end of the story.


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