Writer Quotes.

The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.” –Agatha Christie

I love this quote. I was thinking of doing a character study post for today, building off of yesterday’s musings on my current lack of male main characters lately, but when I came across this quote, I knew I had to post it. I know it’s not the same for some writers; some writers can sit down at a desk, open a notebook (or a computer, more often than not these days), do some brainstorming and then get to work. I’m always envious of those who can work like that; I’m always too scatterbrained and easily distracted to really dedicate myself much to just driving through writing something unless I’m facing a serious deadline. I haven’t had serious deadlines since college.

But, for the rest of us, the best stuff usually comes when we’re doing something else. Like love, the best stuff always shows up when you least expect it. That’s how I read the quote, anyway, that it’s in the little things that our inspiration comes to us and we’re able to plan out and think up all of our brilliant ideas. It’s when we’re doing the dishes, or cleaning the bathroom, or driving to work. Driving to work seems an exceptionally active place for me, probably because I have no way of jotting down the thoughts and by the time I’m at work, I’m so swamped with stuff that it tends to fade into unfortunate oblivion or barely remembered strands. I still greatly covet some sort of recording device to just sort of keep on my dashboard. If anything, it would be incredibly amusing to listen to my babblings afterward.

Where do you feel is your best place to really plan or think about the development of your work? Are you more of a sit-down-and-do-it type, or the type, like me, who feels they work best when they’re doing one thing and mostly daydreaming about the other? I wish I could be more of the former; they tend to get a lot more work done, I’ll bet, but there’s a lot to be said about the dreamers, too. Agatha Christie doesn’t exactly have a piddling pool of productivity, after all.


  1. I’ve read something similar, said by other writers. Amy Hempel comes to mind right off the bat. She said we write even when we don’t. While walking the dog for instance. So yes, driving the car definitely counts! Daydreaming for writers is like a corporate meeting around the business table for other sorts. I think it’s the perfect job. 🙂

    As for women vs. men, I think we should write what we know. If you’re more familiar with women and their ways, then write about them. Writing stories with men as the main character may not work for you. Go with you heart.

    • Daydreaming for writers is like a corporate meeting around the business table for other sorts.

      I love this, ha! It’s so true! Especially if you’re like me and you have all your character’s voices constantly in your head, so you’re definitely not the only one at the conference table, either.

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