Writing Cave Essentials

The view from my writing cave today is very winter-esque and cavelike.  If my cropping has caused confusion, this is the view out the sliding glass door next to me as I write this. Yes, there is over 3 feet of snow on the other side of my (thankfully) well-insulated glass window. A warm cave is a good cave.

I don’t have an office. OK, that’s a lie—I do have a perfectly lovely office but I’ve never written in it even once. The only chair in my office is always pulled up to the sewing machine, and the floor of my office is covered in rolls of wrapping paper, scotch tape, ribbons, etc., year round. It’s my Wrapping Emporium as well as my Official Place for Stuffing Things That Have No Home.

Writing for me is a social solitary event— my favorite place to write is in the living room recliner, not locked away waiting for ideas. I understand that for many people the ideas don’t come unless they have an organized desk and ergonomic office chair, but personally, I like to be completely undisturbed while in the thick of things.

For some reason I can’t write with my feet down. If I don’t have access to a recliner, I am fine sitting on my bed with my legs stretched out. You may think I’m being facetious, but I have noticed that when I sit at a table or desk, I write short, choppy sentences.

In addition to my recliner, I have a few other essentials:

1. The helpful feline is actually not helpful at all, but instead is generally in the way and prone to inducing allergies, but it is part of his identity to be considered helpful so therefore contractually I must  refer to him as such in this post.

2. I write in Word on a 13″ MacBook Pro. I have tried to use other word processing programs and on one occasion had to use a larger MacBook and I was completely useless. I also have to have my tabs in order. I can’t think straight if my internet tabs are all willy-nilly.

3.  I do my best writing while wearing my essential polkadot bathrobe. The essential polkadot bathrobe sometimes has to be replaced with an essential purple bathrobe or an essential plaid bathrobe, due to temperature variations and the fact that some people expect me to wash it on occasion, but unquestionably, the red and white polkadots make me the happiest. The bathrobe is often worn over regular clothing as a portable blanket as well—the bathrobe does not have to only conceal nudity. But the bathrobe can never be worn over uncomfortable pants. That would be a crime against humanity.

Three things don’t cover all the needs for a well-equiped writing cave, I can’t lie.

I have something called Raynauld’s disease which basically means that my feet get cold really easily (and turn fun colors) so if I don’t have my floppy slippers all I can think about is how cold my feet are. That makes me write cranky sentences. Cranky sentences can sometimes be funny but as often as not they are bitter and annoying, so I wear my slippers to ensure I can modulate my crankiness and only deploy it intentionally.



I also need coffee. I mostly drink black coffee, but lately I’ve been trying to increase my calcium, and since I’m lactose intolerant to a degree I have been experimenting with almond milk. My SigO believes nothing should ever be added to coffee and might love me a little less now.  I am incredibly fussy about my coffee cups. The standard size coffee mug with it’s predictable cylindrical shape makes me sad. I will use one if absolutely necessary, but my writing takes on an Eeyore quality when I do.


Lastly, I need a selection of small chocolates, such as Dove squares, Hershey’s Kisses, or “fun size” chocolate bars left over from Halloween. I won’t ever eat an entire candy bar in one sitting, but I do wander into the kitchen at regular intervals and eat just one small chocolate. I realize it adds up to an entire candy bar most days, but I enjoy the frequency of the bite-size candy.

I hope you enjoyed a peek into the world where Girlish was created!  I wish all you the finest of things this December, including helpful cats, floppy slippers, polkadot bathrobes, coffee, and chocolate.


Author: Lara Lillibridge

Lara Lillibridge sings off-beat and dances off-key. She writes a lot, and sometimes even likes how it turns out. Her memoir, Girlish, available for preorder on Amazon, is slated for release in February 2018 with Skyhorse Publishing. Lara Lillibridge is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College’s MFA program in Creative Nonfiction. In 2016 she won Slippery Elm Literary Journal’s Prose Contest, and The American Literary Review's Contest in Nonfiction. She has had essays published in Pure Slush Vol. 11, Vandalia, and Polychrome Ink; on the web at Hippocampus, Crab Fat Magazine, Luna Luna, Huffington Post, The Feminist Wire, and Airplane Reading, among others. Read her work at www.LaraLillibridge.com