Monday’s Writerly Quote

Happy Monday!!!

Yeah, did you believe that? But I bet my Monday is worse than yours. Currently I’m standing in a line. And this isn’t just any line…oh no… This is that line. You know which line I mean. The DMV line.

Shudder and weep for me.

But I’m making good use of time, right? Blogging in line. It works. Anyway, oddly enough I came across this quote this morning from Henry David Thoreau:

How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood to live.

At first, we probably wouldn’t think of standing in line at the DMV of all places as standing up to live, but it is. It’s really living, because isn’t what we do for most of our lives is wait for something. And if anything can amplify the frustration of waiting, it’s the DMV.

I mean, they say the A/C is on, but we all still feel like we’re standing in front of a hot oven. And forget the flies buzzing around, like something’s gone rotten in here. (I’ll let you know if I find it.) The walls are mustard yellow and taupe and gray. There are a few beauty shots of Utah, likely an attempt to make the wait in line less depressing.

Just a second. Oh, this is new. Now there’s a line you have to wait in before you get to the real line. How thrilling! Well, I’m in the second line now, doing real living.

Point being, for a writer, any moment in life is good fodder for writing. We can make our stories that much more authentic by simply paying attention to our lives.

Now, please, make sure your interaction with the real world does include more than three occasional visit to the DMV. Okay?

Do you loathe the DMV our your country’s equivalent? What moments in life do you have to deal with regularly that you dislike? And those you like? What do you do to stand up and live?

11 thoughts on “Monday’s Writerly Quote

  1. My DMV is within walking distance to my house. It is a small gray building whose whole front is windows, so lots of light gets in. The wait at most is 15 minutes, any time I’ve gone there. They are fast and efficient. It is by one of the 5 traffic lights in my town (though, this place claims to be a city). I never want to move from here. Well, except when its snowing. But, we’ll talk about that in winter. πŸ˜‰

    • Envious! A bunch of peeps told me about a better DMV to go to, so in 5 yrs (that’s how long we get) I’ll see if I can’t get a better wait time there.

  2. Great advice – who’d think of the DMV as a place for creativity, but you’re making it work! πŸ˜‰ One thing I really dislike doing is grocery shopping…I think it stems from these epic grocery trips I used to take with my parents when I was young, where we’d drive all over just to find the best deal. Getting food for dinner could take hours…hours! Now I can only make myself go if I piggyback it on top of something else, like heading home from work or something, but I’ll try reminding myself it’s possible story fodder and see if that helps. πŸ™‚

    • I think the grocery store is an even better place. You can people watch like crazy there. You’ve got more of a spectrum of emotion too. I think the DMV spectrum is dismal to devastated. πŸ˜‰

  3. “It’s really living, because isn’t what we do for most of our lives is wait for something.” So true! Modern technology makes it bearable, though. I don’t know what I would do without my phone and/or Kindle while at the DMV, doctor’s office, post office, etc.

  4. I remember going to the DMV when I was in the US, to get my license changed over, and I though there is a hell and I have found it. You did make good use of it though πŸ™‚ .

    • Now they allow people to set appointments, so it’s kind of improving. Of course all the dates I needed were taken, but in the future I’ll see if that helps save time.

      • An appointment is a much better idea. I think they do that here, but I haven’t been in some time. Most of it’s done online.

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