In the quiet time: the art of active waiting

Posted on September 5, 2016

A.L. Tait Lunch With The StarsLast week was a crazy-busy flurry of activity. I spent three days in the Big Smoke for Book Week appearances, and met some 800+ kids in the process.

On Tuesday I went to the Hogwarts-like grandeur of the International College Of Management for the Lunch With The Stars, put on by the amazing members of the Northern Sydney Sub-branch of the CBCA.

Favourite question of the day: “Do your own kids like your books?”

Wednesday saw me at Westfields Sports High School talking writing with a great bunch of kids from years 7 and 8.

Favourite question of the day: “Did you type those books on manual typewriters?”

On Thursday, I did four sessions with the fabulous primary school students at Casula Public School, as part of The Story Crowd Literature Festival.

Favourite question of the day: “Are you older or younger than you look?”

And now I’m back home, in the quiet time. I completed one edit before I left and I’m waiting for a new set of notes to arrive for a different project (which I’m looking forward to sharing with you soon).

So, what do I do while I wait?

This week, I’m teaching, researching a freelance story, and continuing to work for social media clients. I’m also clearing out my office, creating the space I’ll need to think about my new project, and cleaning up the back end of my website, organising my posts and making them as easy as possible to find. I’m reading new books, and re-reading old ones, and trying to learn as much as I can about screenwriting for another upcoming project.

In short, I’m actively waiting.

I have no idea if ‘active waiting’ is an actual thing, but I really recommend it. As a writer, you spend so much of your life waiting on one thing or another, that if you don’t use the time as wisely as possible, you end up wasting vast chunks of your life feverishly checking emails or just hanging about on tenterhooks.

So, if you need me, I’ll be over here, buried under a Quiet To Do List.

Are you waiting on something? What do you do to fill the time?


  1. Alison

    You are so inspiring, the way you juggle everything and have so many different projects on the go. I am waiting to hear if I have got anywhere with a historical crime idea I submitted. Hope the screenwriting is coming along.

    • Allison Tait

      Ah thanks so much Alison! I have my fingers crossed for you!!!

  2. Deborah

    In a work sense I’m always waiting to hear back from people so I can progress stuff.

    But – on a personal / creative note, I find I’m always mostly waiting on myself to find the ‘headspace’ or confidence or motivation I need to follow through on some ideas.

    • Allison Tait

      Ah, yes, that can be the most difficult kind of waiting!

    • Allison Tait

      Ah, that’s quite a different kind of waiting. Training yourself to write anyway is half the battle!

  3. Cathy

    I’m waiting on feedback for a writing assignment. For once I am investing time in preparation for the next one. I am also trying to write something every day making a note of what that actually is.

    • Allison Tait

      Fantastic Cathy! Good luck wiht the assignment.

Pin It on Pinterest