Category: Tips from a Busy Person

Script page hanging from washing line

Laundry Writing

Script page hanging from washing lineI not talking about dirty laundry… okay, I kinda am.

Think you don’t have time to write? Well, if you can fit laundry into your schedule, then you have at least some time!

Scenario 1: The Laundromat.
Heave your loads to the laundromat. Dump the dirty garments into a row of machines and get them started. Now pull out your journal and pen (or open up your computer) and off you go! Write away the waiting time until it’s time for the transfer to dryers. That’s a good 30 minutes of timed writing! Use it as a warm up if you must and plan what to do when your laundry is in the dryers – because the drying cycle is longer; you’ll have at least an hour of focussed writing time. Cool, eh?

Okay, then there is…

Scenario 2: Laundry at Home.
Even better. You don’t have rows of machines to do all your laundry at the same time. Load #1 into the washer gets you 30 minutes of timed writing… the “Laundry Writing Warm-up.” The bell on the washer tells you it’s time for the transfer to dryer. Load #2 into the washer at the same time. Now you’ve got a good hour of focussed writing time. The washer’s bell is a mere warning sound; it’s the dryer’s alert that tells you it’s time for the transfer/re-load break. To delay folding until the end of your writing session, lay out the clothes loosely on the bed to minimize wrinkling… the deal is to get back to your writing as quickly as possible. Use the laundry to schedule writing sessions.

So there you go! I’ve just gifted you some time for writing that screenplay or novel, short story or poem that you’re itching to write. Celebrate the time you have – the time you can carve out your busy life – and use it well.

Cheers & happy laundry-writing to you,

– – – – – – – – – –

Deborah (Deb) Patz is the author of Write! Shoot! Edit! for teens and Film Production Management 101 for the industry – both books are published worldwide by MWP. She’s also part of the editorial board for Prism International. She’s kinda looking forward to piles of dirty laundry now… how odd is that?!

WHERE IS DEB? (upcoming events and appearances)
July 2019 – UFVA Conference, Minneapolis, MN

Paperback or eBook: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo, Waterstones, direct from the publisher and from plenty of other great bookstores worldwide.

Tips from a Busy Person – Step 1: Pencil & Paper

Just as you are falling asleep, your mind finally relaxes and a thought floats in to your head. It’s something you HAVE to remember to do tomorrow.


It’s 3am and you partially rouse from sleep. It’s like that task you forgot to do yesterday has nudged you awake, reminding you to do it later that day.

Sounds familiar?

If so, you are a busy person (like me).

When the mind truly relaxes – i.e. when you’re falling asleep or at some ridiculous hour of the night – lost, niggly thoughts buried under the 1,000 to-dos and obligations that swim around your brain finally rise to surface. Sure, there’s a voice in your head that tells you not to worry. That thought is so clear, so obvious, it’s bound to resurface come morning. Such a fibber, your semi-conscious self! You won’t remember.

What to do?

pnclbdEquip a pencil and paper beside the bed. “Write away” that thought or idea and get back as fast as possible to your sleep and recovery journey.

Why not a smart phone or tablet? Too many swipes and clicks and that bright screen. Using one will wake you up to near or full consciousness and that puts you in danger of having trouble getting back to sleep. You’re back at square one (sleep wise). The trick is to get your semi-conscious self to scribble down some trigger word or doodle while busy-mind conscious self is still unaware you’re even waking up.

As for why a pencil? It’s a more reliable marking device and any marks that miss the paper clean off the furniture more easily.

For paper, recycle the backs of old scripts or other documents. The nocturnal prompt only has to last as long a breakfast when you’ll be awake enough to decipher it and translate it to the day’s actual to-do list (on smart phone, tablet or wherever you have it).

Pencil and paper. Hmmm. Sometimes old school and low-tech is the way to go.


Cheers & a good night’s sleep to you,

– – – – – – – – – –
Deborah Patz is author of “Film Production Management 101” and the upcoming “Write! Shoot! Edit!” both published by MWP Books.  Happily, she didn’t need to make any 3am notes last night!

WHERE IS DEB? (Events, appearances)
Jan.24 – Author guest at the Tea & Ink Writing Cub, Vancouver
Jul.30-Aug.3 – UFVA conference, Los Angeles