Thursday, December 22, 2011

Room to Write

I'm not one of those writers that can write just anywhere. I envy those types. They are the ones with laptops balanced on their thighs, riding the motions of subways or the ones that sit, tapping away with ear buds in, stopping to sip at a bit of coffee, while a cafe full up on humanity hums around them.

Put me in those chaotic situations and the last thing I want to do is write. What I do instead is take in the people, digest their features and words, catalog away the things that might do well in one of my stories. When life is too darn ripe, I absorb, not create.

So I need my own space. I've had it in the form of a tiny desk pushed into a closet, sans doors, for two years now. My hard Ikea chair, my too-high tabletop, these things have seen me through hundreds of thousands of words.

But there is that pesky urge for more. You know it as well as I. More lemon cake, more fireworks, more expansiveness.

So I'm about to move out. Move out to a room of my own, one constructed by my loved ones and myself. We started the room in August. It didn't matter that we'd never built a tiny house from the foundation up. All that mattered was that I needed room to write. So we made it happen.

Paint is going on the walls. Soon the floor will be put in, a desk built that's just the right height to keep the tendinitis in my wrists placated. I'll put in a light over the desk, something that puts out what they call "daylight" light. Something that will mimic the sun for me at 4am, when my muses are just waking up, poking me to stay with them, lifting up my eyelids with the tip of a Sharpie pen.

End of a year. End of writing in a space that's been kind to me; still kind even though I've outgrown it. A new year will see my room finished and me in it. I'll put characters through the motions of life in that space. I'll be a character through the motions of life in that space.

Until I feel the call to write somewhere new. I can't discount this. The craftiness of The Future can never be discounted. Maybe I will become one of those transient authors that carry their stories with them everywhere and steal minutes from the craziness around them, turning it into tranquility and then creativity. Maybe I'll get better at dissolving myself into my worlds instead of living in my own world. But the question is, what is the difference between my own world and the worlds I create? A fine line that one. Thick as one of my hairs.

It's a question I can't answer, no matter where I write my life or live my writing.

For now, it's enough that I just have the room to figure it all out.


  1. one year I decided that the only thing separating me from those peppy professionals who go to the gym BEFORE work was *the perfect gym bag.*

    perfect gym bag: noun. accessory. motivational enabler.
    perfect for its many compartments that keep dirty away from clean and the soles of shoes away from the absorbent fibers of cloth. perfect size. perfect shoulder strap. perfect silk-lined jewelry pocket and plastic-lined shampoo/conditioner/body soap organizer. perfect breathable mesh side vents. the whole thing just screams, "i'm smart, I'm professional, I can afford this bag, AND I work out."

    We had a brilliant overture, my perfect gym bag and I. We went to the gym before work for exactly 4 days straight. And then, on the fifth morning, we hit snooze on the alarm and admitted defeat upon this resolution: curly-haired people will never have the luxury of quickly showering after a workout, nor tease greatness out of a locker room hair dryer.

    My perfect gym bag and I did, however, become savvy after work gym-goers. Together, we beat the 5:25 rush for the treadmills. We never forgot our running shoes and seldom forgot our athletic socks. We never forgot my lock combination. And once we got a nod from the cute latino athletic trainer. Let's face it, the cute latino athletic trainer was ALWAYS the real motivational enabler at the gym.

    Dear Erica, I know you to be a brilliant person. And I know this new room is going to enable you to do all of the things you already do, with ease and comfort and organization. Because you are often more brilliant than I am, I know that if ever this sparkly new room entices you to expect more from yourself than you're already giving, you will poke it in the eye and show it who's boss. You're the BEST.

  2. I've written in hotels rooms all over a lot of the world I guess...I've even written in bathrooms. But I've never built a house, with the sole intention to write. You must be good to do that. Confident. Erica, you are both...and super hot!!!!

  3. I'm excited to see your writing room progress! Looking forward to seeing you and giving you your christmas presents, I found handful of cute objects to serve as a tiny tribute to your amazing writing brain. Love you!

  4. A few things: Jenn, get your blog up and running again. Please.

    Brit, can't wait to see you. Your additions to my writing den will surely fuel my creativity!

    Vince, someday I'm going to be just like you, traveling all over the world and writing as I go. I wonder if I could compose a poem while riding in a tuk-tuk? You're good enough to deserve your own house to write in, Vin, and you have confidence in spades, much more than me. And you're super hot as well!!