Ian Philpot

This past weekend marked my first wedding anniversary. Erin and I went to Niagara Falls to celebrate. We stayed at some absolutely gorgeous hotels and snapped some great photos at all falls. It was incredible!

Leading up to the trip, I was thinking about how little writing I’ve accomplished since Script Frenzy ended. I haven’t written much of anything in the last month. I was hoping to take advantage of the extra time away from work to focus on some personal writing. Sadly, that didn’t happen.

But something did happen. Something that always happens on vacations. I caught myself creating stories on the trip. I noticed people in the crowd and gave them stories.

An elderly Asian woman was there because some sinister/misunderstood/genius villain was waiting for her to leave the ransom money on a bench near the Horseshoe Falls so he would release her son who had been abducted in Belize a week earlier.

A young couple stops to kiss in the middle of the Rainbow Bridge on their way to the U.S. from Canada. He’s about to propose, reaches for the ring in his pocket, but the moment catches up to him and he hesitates. She notices something is wrong and asks him about it. He pulls the ring from his pocket, but he loses his grip and the engagement ring that once belonged to his grandmother has fallen two hundred feet into the water below.

And the ideas just kept pouring into my head throughout the day.

Since the return from the trip, I’ve come to realize that the ideas for writing isn’t the problem. It’s finding the time to write. And that’s when I noticed that, word for word, the last twelve months may have been the most productive months of writing I’ve had since I was seventeen.*

And I’ve been a newlywed for those months! All of the changes—moving twice, sharing a schedule, planning out shopping, making new married friends, etc.—and I’ve somehow still been able to produce pages.

So how did I do it?

I’m not completely sure. I can say that Erin is very supportive of my writing. The challenges of NaNoWriMo and Script Frenzy have been a help too. What doesn’t help is that I like being alone when I write. It’s very difficult now that I’m married and “alone” doesn’t mean the same thing that it used to. Apparently that doesn’t matter because I’m still getting the words out.

Will I do anything different going into the second year of my marriage?

Maybe. I may try to find some time in my schedule to visit a coffee shop on a regular basis. I’ve already started carrying a small Moleskin with me in case I ever need to jot an idea down. I’m also going to try to win at NaNoWriMo this year by starting my researching and plot planning early.

But even if I don’t do those things, as long as I can do just as good this year as I did last year, I’ll be a happy husband.


*At seventeen, I was young enough to not understand how incredible it was to write three short stories and ten poems a week. By nineteen, when I did understand it—and when I’d had enough experience to start writing better—writing became a much bigger challenge and I quickly learned what writer’s block is.