“Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.” ~Stephen King
The inevitable dead spots. You know where they are. The doctor’s office, in between classes, IN classes, on the subway ride to work. All of these dead spots in life should be filled with something. So, why not read or write?
For King, it was simple. Reading was the easiest way to learn how to write. Eventually, King’s reading in the dead spaces gave way to writing in them. It’s a logical cause and effect for those who pay enough attention.
I learned early on how fulfilling it was to read every chance I got. When I truly found a good book, NOTHING stood in my way of reading it. I would find the time to read because that was the most important thing on my mind. Now, it has transitioned into writing. I’ve been writing on the go for as long as I’ve had a dream of being a writer. Most of my writing has been done outside of a desk at home whether it be an assignment for class, poem, or just a note to a friend.
The pivotal point for my writing on the go was six years ago. I was working at a grocery store, and the downside to the job is that you have to wait, A LOT! It gave me an opportunity to write notes to friends and my boyfriend, but it was only until my first book idea came that I appreciated the free time. My first book idea was the role of those who served others. I’m not talking about the heroes like soldiers or firemen. I’m talking about those who literally serve: waitresses, cleaners, cashiers, cooks, manual laborers etc. All of the people who are taken for granted by those we call “customers” or consumers. We take for granted the hard work it is to handle each other.
As sad as it is, we change who we are the moment we walk into a store or restaurant that we aren’t going to work at. Sometimes those who have worked a crappy service job still don’t understand the respect other people deserve, but humanity isn’t perfect. What I know after 5 years of working as a cashier is that respect is a precious commodity, and it needs to be earned by the customer. Screw them being right! So, I began to write. Every minute of my shift, I wrote down the things that bothered me, the exciting chance to meet a interesting customer, and the sad part of leaving the new friends I’d made. It was the sarcastic, funny, mostly fictional story that thousands would read.
Once I started writing notes for my novel, the writing on the go grew. Two summers ago, I began a short story that completely altered my writing. It was a crime story based off the cliches of 1940s and 1950s detective fiction. Being a writer became a reality thanks to the time I spent writing little-by-little in the dead spaces. Today, I write everywhere I can, even at work. Although it may not be conducive to writing large amounts, the small bits of writing I get while on lunch give me the inspiration when I write at home. Something about being distracted by the job releases the creativity in me.
Where is the weird dead space you’ve written or read? On a public toilet? In a meeting? At a family dinner? Share the times you’ve spent filling the dead spaces in life.
Happy reading and writing, wherever it is!