From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Monday, March 26, 2012

How to stop yourself from dying your hair blue

So I don't know about you, but I'm pretty much one of the most impatient people ever. I get really, really antsy and stir-crazy when I know how I want something and it's...not that way. Combined with an Amazon sized stubborn streak, this leads to some pretty single-minded, bull-headed plowing forward.

However. Sometimes there's just nothing you can do but wait. When you're waiting to hear back from grad school, jobs, beta readers, agents, there's simply nothing you can do to speed up that process. I feel like I'm waiting on all the things right now, and sometimes it drives me crazy. Grad school, beta readers, jobs, the final spark for the next novel. All of it's up in the air, and sometimes I feel like pounding the desk and screaming "I need some instant gratification right now! Or at least some kind of win." I haven't even been waiting that long, really, for most of these things (except job...*le sigh*), but like I said. Impatient to the max.

But yeah, since there's really nothing we can do to make someone else go faster, we can only manage things on our end. This pent up ball of crazy wibbly wobbly waiting energy has been's led to a spontaneous haircut (thought of dying my hair blue...but I'm green...yeah...) and a spontaneous $80 spree on art books and colored pencils and markers and a sketch book. I'm still working on finishing up edits for novel #1, and brainstorming/outlining novel #2, which is the next big project. But I've got to do something while I wait or I will go mad. So here are some ideas for side projects that I've come up with. Any of them sound interesting to you?

  • Video: Oh the things YouTube has made possible. Everything from vlogging to interactive stories. Or audio-visual poetry and children's picture books. All things I've thought about and wondered if I'm crazy.
  • Art: Anyone who's cracked open my sketch book can tell you I'm definitely no artist, but it's actually been super fun to just see what we can come up with. It's a very interesting mental exercise to use your hands in that way. Carpentry, sketching, painting, clothes-designing. I highly recommend it for the antsy pants.
  • Photography: In a way a blend of the above, but also cool. Photoshop might be a worthwhile investment, and you could do some cool stuff with that plus superimposed poetry. 
  • Music: This is the one I've dabbled in the least. I guess I'm more intimidated. I think trying my hand at lyrics would be awesome, but I wouldn't even know where to start with the music part. I can read music, but that's about it. So much for those 8 years of piano. But yeah, maybe this is one of your secret talents/passions that you can unleash for a little while.
  • Mini writing projects: Still working on putting together that short story collection. Really that means waiting on the magazines to reject the rest of them, because I might as well give them a shot. More waiting, right? But still, this kind of project. Amazon and the Kindle has opened all sorts of options. If you have something you just really want to get out there, you can. I've actually considered starting work on a non-fiction book. (about having Turners Syndrome...we'll see).
  • Real life cool things: Like auditioning for plays or volunteering at the local aquarium or animal shelter. Or visiting national parks or museums in the area.
  • Gardening: Because it's spring and it's beautiful outside.
Anyway, these have got to tide us over, and really I think they could turn into some pretty cool things. What do you think? Do you need mini-projects too, and what are some other project ideas?

Sarah Allen


  1. When I'm waiting, I clean... I clean a lot, obsessively! Your ideas are a lot more creative though.

  2. Maybe you should try writing lyrics and see if you can find a friend who writes music :-)

  3. Why not go blue? I think it would look cool. I bet you look fabulous in blue. :)

    I'm not really helping, am I?...

  4. I get antsy waiting in between edits too, but I do like being able to get out of a chair more often. Sometimes sitting here makes me nuts!

  5. I pretty much do all of those things you mentioned (except drawing...I'm really really bad at that). Also, I've considered putting a pink streak in my hair this summer. Pink + Blonde = FABULOUS

  6. Actually that picture you used - she looks GOOD with her blue and purple hair. (I, on the other hand, know I would NOT.)

    I like exploring - museums, parks, etc., and in LA there's always tons of weird stuff I've never yet seen.

    I wish I had Artistic Talents, but I don't, and my singing would make dogs howl. So, stuck on readin' & writin' and an occasional outing.

  7. Paint a wall in your house. That will keep you bust for awhile... Then paint it the original color again. :)

  8. I get that way as well when I'm waiting for something too. Those are some great suggestions for keeping busy though!


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