Sunday, May 10, 2009

Writing in Small Spaces

Hello from Central Pennsylvania, where it's apparently a great day for blogging! My name is Lisa Hess, and I write…well, lots of things. My books have been published in the educational market, and I’ve written numerous articles for educational, parenting and a few other publications. I’m currently working on another book for the educational market as well as an inspirational novel.

Before my daughter was born, I wrote on Fridays and weekdays in the summer in my quiet house while my husband was at work. After my daughter was born, I temporarily lost the ability to string words and sentences together unless they were about her. As she got older, I began to learn the art of writing in small spaces – not physical spaces (at least at first), but temporal spaces. Naptime was a particular favorite.

As Leah grew, so did my opportunities to refine the art of writing in small spaces, namely the front seat of my car while she was at dance classes, or for short snatches of time when she was happily and independently occupied. I hit the jackpot when she began going to gymnastics on Saturday mornings. My husband volunteered to be her chauffeur, and I stayed behind for a blissful two hours of uninterrupted writing time. When she no longer wished to attend those Saturday morning sessions, her mother supported her decision, but the writer inside her mother cringed, terrified that her reign had ended.

Fortunately, having learned the art of writing in both small and large chunks (and small and large spaces), I continue to adapt. Despite the fact that my house is now a busy place on Saturday mornings, I still try to eke out some writing time, but sometimes I just give up and take my laptop to Starbucks, where I am now refining the art of working in a busier, noisier place with my favorite beverage just inches away.

I think I can adapt.

Lisa Lawmaster Hess is the author of Acting Assertively and Diverse Divorce. Her articles appear frequently in Central Penn Parent. You can visit her website at


DW Golden said...

When writing is your passion you make the time and the space when and where ever you can. Before my kids headed to school my writing time was when they were sleeping and I was lucky Mom in that my little girl could keep herself occupied quite well from a very early age.

DW Golden
Sour with fairies in this new young adult novel: Purple Butterflies.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I never used the term 'small spaces' but that's exactly what I've been doing for years. Thank goodness for alphasmart that can go anywhere. Practices, between innings of baseball games, watching the kids play in the pool and between batches of cookies. I think your clever term of phrase will stay with me.