Using dead time to try new things — at the laundromat.

In one of my Guru Minute videos, I talk about using dead time — time spent waiting — to tweet. This time I tried my hand at something totally new — creative writing on Instagram.

You know when life hits you with the unexpected? It can be a bit stressful to say the least.

A few weeks ago, The Mr., went to the ER. Complications from dialysis had caused pneumonia. One night in ICU and two in the hospital and the fluid was removed and he’s okay. But he’s not 100%. My husband is a very active man — and I’m finding out just how.

Just trying to keep up with his part of our division of labor has been killing me.

Anyway, back to the story.

So I needed to go to the laundromat to wash our bedding which I was too exhausted for but it had to be done. Why not take advantage of it?

Firstly, I’d have two hours to myself. I could read the Internet and just relax. (It’s funny how you can relax while working.) But I was given another blessing: it was totally quiet.

So, like some of my favorite Instagramers, I thought I’d take a stab at some creative writing.


So I took one photo, made it black and white, and took a stab at a mini-story.

That was fun so I did it again.


Here are some things I learned:

  1. Previously suffering from writer’s block, this exercise has helped me feel more creative. I think the sense of feeling creative is a big part of writer’s block.
  2. I like the photo in black and white. It seems to emphasize the words and distinguishes from the rest of my feed. In this case, the photo’s not the point, only the attention grabber.
  3. Next time, I’d write the story/description in Notes on my phone or maybe email. After a couple of lines on Instagram, it was a challenge to go backward to edit. The platform doesn’t support what I would call long-form content.
  4. I had fun.

How do you use Instagram?

Photo by YODCOX!


  1. Meg Delagrange on May 23, 2016 at 7:53 am

    These are soo good. Instagram is my jam, I absolutely love that platform. I personally love mini blogging on it and I’ve been playing with getting my feed to look more consistent, yet still completely authentically me. Lately, due to losing my brother, all of the accounts I manage haven’t been as active. Reading your post this morning reminded me why I love the platform so much and got me excited about getting back in this week to post and interact from my own account and client’s accounts! You rock.

    • Bridget Willard on May 23, 2016 at 8:14 am

      Oh wow, Meg. I’m so sorry about your brother. I feel like you’re a great storyteller — and I’m so glad you’re inspired. I have another friend who uses IG to write posts on empathy and suffering. It’s amazing how people use Instagram. I think I’m finally starting to get it.

  2. Robert Nissenbaum on May 23, 2016 at 9:49 am

    LOVE this idea! For many businesses like ours with little visual content or draw to what we do, this is a great way to create connections and build a community. My strategy has been mostly to post under my brand personal or fun stuff I find. The idea was to show a more personal or softer side.

    • Bridget Willard on May 23, 2016 at 11:01 am

      I love how you’re doing that, too, Robert. You the only one who tells the story of the Ikea Men.

  3. Carol Stephen on May 29, 2016 at 11:33 am

    I love that you not only tell people what they can do, but how they find little bits of time between doing other things, to engage.



    • Bridget Willard on May 29, 2016 at 6:48 pm

      Sometimes it helps to break things down into smaller bits. Thank you!

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