Oooh, looks like I’m the first new Deb on the dance floor. I’m feeling a little self conscious all decked out in pearls and this shiny new tiara, but I’m so thrilled and excited to be here. I had hoped to put my best foot forward and show you all of my star quality dance moves right up front, but alas, it is not to be. The band is playing a theme called “Where Do You Write?” and this is not a song that allows me to perform with grace. I look more like a rubber chicken dancing old disco moves while the band plays waltzes.
The truth is, I squeeze, sandwich, sneak, and cram the writing into the chinks and corners of my life. I write between the chaos and the clutter, the teenage messes and the dinner dishes. I write between clients and appointments, between Twitter updates and emails. Also, it turns out, between one life crisis and the next.
This means that I write anywhere and everywhere, and that most of these spaces are what I like to call creatively cluttered.
This is the kitchen table and my favorite place to write when the house is quiet:
I love the light and the window. But since it is part of the kitchen (duh) and also part of the living area, and also midway between the teenage dens located on either side of the house, it tends to be unreliable as a writing space. The Viking who lives here and likes to cook also likes to communicate while cooking. And who can blame him? The teenage creatures who live here engage in TV Watching, Video Game Playing, Music Listening, and the Art of the Electric Guitar. This was a problem.
Therefore, voila, we created an alternate writing space for me:
My Mud Room Office has a door I can close between me and the rest of the house. Mind you, I’m also shut in with the chaos of boots and shoes and the clutter that gets moved here from the rest of the house because there’s no room for it. Also, anybody wanting to go outside, or come in, must inevitably pass through my space. Headphones are magic, even when I forget to turn on the music.
On work days, I try to get some words during lunch break. I’m sparing you the pictures of a very mundane office and my laptop. This is not my favorite place to write – my head is too full of counseling clients and paperwork that needs to be done and it’s hard to shift into a creative space. But some days, I take whatever time I can get.
When I can, I sneak away to my favorite writing spot of all:
They make the best ever coffee, especially when my very favorite barista is in. She knows what I want without ever having to tell her. The noise is a background hum of voices that have nothing to do with me, and it’s easy to tune them out. I’ve also found that when I come here specifically for the purpose of writing, it makes it easier to focus and – you know – actually write, instead of puttering or twittering or procrastinating in some other way.
One way or another, one place or another, the words get written, and that’s the part that matters.
So what about you – do you also disco like a rubber chicken? Or do you have one dedicated writing space where most of your work occurs?