10 Creative Things to Do While Waiting – Lite

“Waiting in line is a great opportunity to meet people, daydream, or play.” —Hunter Doherty “Patch” Adams

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You hate waiting—in a line, in a waiting room, in a restaurant foyer. It drives you crazy.

Forget about being productive. If waiting drives you crazy, then have some fun creating suggestions like these.

Best for while you wait in a waiting room:

mage courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
mage courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1. Pretend you’re working on a survey.

Say it’s a gynecologist’s office. On the back of a receipt from your  purse, keep counts of the number of women who wear:

  • lipstick
  • skirts
  • sneakers
  • costume jewelry
  • nail polish

Work up the percentages. Optional: Blog about the GYN fashion trend.

2. Rip coupons and articles out of your own beat-up magazine.

The magazine must appear to belong to the waiting room. Track how many people give you dirty looks. If you’re the brave type, interview them. Ask what bothered them. The noise or the appearance of vandalism? Another blog possibility.

3. Re-cross your legs in sets of 10, alternating legs.

You can treat yourself to dessert after your appointment—guilt free.

4. Try new fashion designs with your clothes.

Roll up your sleeves. Roll down your knee-highs. Tuck in your collar around your neck. Button up your sweater and then unbutton the middle buttons.

5. Study others’ noses.

Pretend you’re a plastic surgeon. Decide how you’d rearrange each schnoz in the room.

6. Remove everything from your purse or pocket.

Make collages on the coffee table.

Best for while you stand in a line

Waiting in Line7. Give the person in front of you a massage.

Good chance you’ll get to move up a space in line for your kindness.

8. Pretend you’re at a party and perform the Snail Shuffle.

  • Optional. Place your hands on the hips of the person in front of you.
  • Creep your right foot out to the side, placing your heel on the ground. Inch your right foot back in.
  • Repeat.
  • Creep your left foot out to the side, placing your heel on the ground. Inch your left foot back in.
  • Repeat.
  • Scuff forward once with both feet together.
  • Scuff backward once with both feet together.
  • Scuff forward three times. Keep the steps short.
  • Repeat the steps, until you reach the front of the line.

9. See how much closer you’d be to the front if you could rearrange people by height.

If the result is depressing, try rearranging from the least to most obnoxious. That should give you a better position—you minding your own business, and all.

10.See if you can pick up and return everything on the candy and gum racks before you reach the cashier.

Hey. Store people put those things along the checkout aisle for you to touch. If you succeed, they should give you a pack of gum.

You can use these ideas, or get creative with your own, and make your waits a little less painful.


What creative activity have you come up with for us to try while we wait?

How Waiting Brings You Success in Your Creative Work

“When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” —Exodus 13:17

By Richard Eisermann (1853-1927) (Bonhams) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Richard Eisermann (1853-1927) (Bonhams) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Do you ever feel like you’re filled with a creative spirit, and it’s time for you to succeed? So, you work furiously and send your baby out. But ouch! Others don’t see it your way. They give you 5s on a 1-10 scale.

We can embrace a little-accepted but powerful tool that will bring us success. I’ll call it the W-A-I-T tool.

1.  W is for Wonder

file0002075254789We need to ferment.

I want to watch my grandchildren go though all the wonderful steps to becoming fine adults. I don’t want them to miss their time to wonder and to learn how to overcome challenges. I want them to succeed.

God led the Israelites in a roundabout route to the Red Sea. He led them from a life of slavery into a new life. Why the roundabout route? Because He didn’t want them to face war. In their fear and discouragement, He knew they’d give up and turn back.

If we charge forward, the first sign indicating we aren’t ready may cause us to give up and turn back.

Whether we enter into a creative field at fifteen or fifty, we need to be led in a roundabout journey, learning how to wonder, to develop our craft, and to overcome challenges.

2. A is for Act

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur individual creativity needs to ferment.

You must develop and discover your individual stamp by working on it. Try different ideas and methods. Through persevering and production, allow yourself to discover what uniqueness you are called to deliver.

This is usually a good time to enter contests on a regular basis. Then watch scores and comments improve as you learn what in your work delights experts as unique and good.

3. I is for Idle

Our work needs to ferment.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALet the work sit. Overnight, a week, or if necessary, a month, depending on how long it takes you to return to it unbiased.

Much reverberates in our creative minds. Often, the good stuff we see in our imagination fails to make it into the work. Or it gets in but sits there in an awkward manner. Or the good stuff never has a chance to enter our overactive minds.

So, let the work idle. Hours after I’ve finished a scene, a word pops into my mind. Unaware I needed a better word, I find the interjected word is perfect for the scene.

Also, when I return to my work after days, I’ll ask myself, “What did I mean by that sentence?” If I don’t know, then my readers won’t.

Let your work visit a trusted critique partner. They’ll often catch problems that you don’t.

4.   T is for Trust

file9961246654490Our confidence needs to ferment.

Our roundabout journey has grown us. We’ve discovered and developed our individual flare. We’ve let our work stew, and then we honed it. Now, we need to let our baby go to find the right place for it to do the work it was created to do.

The first place we send it might be the wrong place. So, don’t get discouraged. Send it elsewhere. Or find a good agent.


  • Waiting is an excellent tool at several levels in your creative work.
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When has waiting been a boon in your creative work?