Wasting Time…No, Generating Ideas



One thing you have to be aware of when you’re self-employed is wasting time. Monday morning was an example of that for me…well, so I thought.

My mid-morning ritual is to make myself a mug of green tea to carry me through until lunchtime. I work from home so that means going into the kitchen. The window of which looks out at the backyard and beyond…trees and oftentimes wildlife.

As I waited for the kettle to boil, I noticed lots of squirrels heading toward the woods. The area is squirrel heaven but there seemed to be more than the usual amount. I’m talking crowds of them, making a noise, all heading in the same direction. I watched as they all headed up into the trees. In fact, to the highest branches on cottonwood trees. I’ve heard of animals acting strange when a earthquake’s about to happen and then I thought maybe it was snow on its way. I glanced down on the ground and saw a female coyote arriving. She’s passed through here many times since fall but this time she laid down under the trees looking up at the squirrels. A few minutes later, a huge coyote joined her and I’m assuming he was male and she’d found a mate. He stood close to her by a tree and also looked up at what he was probably thinking was an appetizer, main meal and dessert all rolled into one.

My tea was ready, I had work to finish but I went and grabbed the binoculars. I stood there watching these two animals not take their eyes off the trees not even blinking for more than a few seconds. I watched as one squirrel bravely jump from one branch to another and the city girl in me, shouted, no, look out, don’t fall.

The coyotes didn’t get that three course meal, they eventually left and I continued to watch as the squirrels seemed to sense danger had passed and they left in exactly the same manner they’d arrived.

Drama over, tea cold…I’d wasted thirty minutes. My post was going to be about the dangers of working at home, being self employed, but then I thought, no, wait a minute, I have something else to share with you.

When you’re a writer, no time is wasted, every minute of every day is an opportunity to generate ideas for stories and articles.

Okay, I said, if I was still a freelance writer what ideas would I be pitching an editor today-

How to attract wildlife to your backyard

How to keep your pets safe from coyotes

How to create a safe haven for wildlife to avoid predators

How to create a backyard haven

And okay… how to keep focused when you’re self employed.

The list could go one, there could even be a short story or two based on this experience.

Keep on open minded, be a sponge and I assure you, you’ll never run out of ideas.

Oh, and if anyone has ever seen squirrels do this sort of thing before I’d love to hear if it’s normal when they know predators are around. I don’t know if it’s my overactive writer’s brain, but if I didn’t know better, I’d say they sent out a message (squirrel Twitter maybe), and arranged a rendezvous point about where to gather to keep safe.


Writing How Tos Writing Tips

1 Comment Leave a comment

  1. Good post! Sometimes time-wasters come at us when we think we’re being productive, too. I often get sidetracked while prospecting for new clients, because researching them invariably leads to the social media time-suck!

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