So, I’m in the process of setting up a signing at a local place and I’ve come to realize how out of things I have been, and still am.
Go from sending an email on that to looking at this WIP, and see all the flaws and errors and the shit that it is, and all I can do is give my laptop the finger. So, that’s what I do. Two of them, in fact. One from each hand.
Some old lady sitting near me at Panera cracked up and said, “I hate technology, too.”
She gave me a knowing smile and went back to her coffee and.
But we all know it’s not the technology that vexes me. A lot of it is this… and I’m taking this from the NaNo pep talk email from Min Jin Lee because it’s true and I have to get over it… “You better believe I wanted to have some respectability in my books. Consequently, in all my drafts, you could tell I was trying to garner praise, and my work suffered for it.”
I don’t know, Brownies, but I think that is what’s left nagging at my writer brain. It’s certainly the editor part of me, trying to correct everything as I go, but it’s also something greater than that. It’s not about money or being rich/famous, but definitely to not be thought of as a shit writer, a hack, someone who can’t get it done (when I actually do get it done).
Hey there, Brownies! I found the rough draft of this post laying around in the archives (from almost 2 years ago!) and thought I’d finish it up and put it out there. It speaks a lot towards why I decided to bastardize some Ikea kallaxes and a piece of pine into a desk (see posts here, here, here, and here…) and get a spot of my own carved out in the new house.
Finished picture is down at the end, by the way.
- It’s yours, man. Set it up any way you want to. Books here, pens there, Keurig there. Put some of the knick-knacks or artwork your kids or your spouse or your bestie (or all of the above) around the edges. Or don’t do any of that. Have nothing but a pad and a pen of paper or a laptop or a voice recorder. Use black lights instead of white; use candles! Don’t want a chair? Then use a fucking couch! The point of this exercise is you’ve created your spot, the place where you feel most likely to be at ease and productive, the one area that is yours and your alone. Screw design sense, screw fashion, go against the grain. Or, if those things are important to you, I’ll fuck off and you do your space, Hero. It’s special, this spot, and don’t forget that.
- You can tell people to bugger off much easier. Like, announce it to the world you live with that THIS IS YOUR WRITING SPACE, and when you’re in it, they are officially on MUTE. Grouchy kids? Upset spouse? Tell them to hit the bricks and don’t feel bad about it. You’ve spent the time to create your special space and you’ve told them exactly what it is and what you’ll be doing while in it, the least they can do is respect that. The unfortunate fact is they won’t… and we all know it. But, you’ve laid the ground work for yourself to tell them no, so don’t be afraid to use your words. Try telling the noisy fucker at Starbucks to shut her trap and see how fast hot coffee covers your face.
- It’s familiar. It’s like a comfortable hug for your pissy little muse who has social anxiety but craves Starbucks anyway. Here, in your own writing space, you know where everything is (duh, you designed and set it up), and creativity can happen much easier. You don’t have to spend time laying out your little two-person table with a laptop, a manuscript, a coffee, your phone and MP3 player, and that odd assortment of other stuff that you vibe with. You’re not suddenly digging for a red pen to massacre said manuscript because it’s right there, in your pen jar! Shit, your pencil just broke? OH LOOK A SHARPENER! See what I mean? Writing away from home has its benefits, trust me, but there’s nothing like having a spot at home.
- It’s reassuring, which varies from being familiar. If you’re like me and you have a family you live with, there’s always a sense of guilt when you leave to go write. Your sense of guilt may be huge or it may be small, but unless you’re a heartless shitbiter, you feel some measure of guilt. You’re not helping with the homework or the dishes or, Lort forbid, something really really bad happens–like a nuclear war–and you’re out at Starbucks with the fucksticks of America. Not so if you’ve got a great spot at home. Remember, you’ve learned to tell everyone to bugger off, so you have your peace, but you also have the ability to help out when needed and return to work posthaste. And, in the case of catastrophic events, well, you get to die with the people love most instead of the fucksticks who voted for the one ranked Most Likely to Start a Nuclear War. The point is this, though: you’re at home, so you’re not always worrying you’re not pulling your weight there. If it’s an issue, you can tug the rope and go back to work.
- Everything is “free” and it works. Yes, free is relative, because you’ve already bought the items I’m going to mention, but the low cost sure beats cafe prices. I mean, you make your own coffee at home and it sure beats $5.00 for a large mocha choca crappacino from Starbucks. Want a deli sammich? Hit the fridge and make the exact one you want. Need a resource book? Grab it from your shelf, or go online with your RELIABLE AND SECURE AND FREE WiFi to find what you need. Guess where you’ll always have an outlet to plug in your laptop? That’s right… you personal, creative writing space.
And even more art!