Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Recreating the writing space...

AKA when you need a writing retreat but can’t travel.

That’s where I’ve been the past few weeks. I just had a writing retreat in February and it was wonderful, productive, and both grounding and exhilarating creatively.

Back home, we’ve had rain, and mud, and mud, and rain, and now cold weather and wind. There are too many things on my to do list and getting to the writing time has been hard.

I needed a getaway, a place to do the deep work that I’ve committed to this year, but the garret was a mess. I craved space to spread things out, a room where I can close the door if I want to and leave things sitting. The garret had litter boxes in it, so I couldn’t close it off, but then the kittens started using the bathroom outside the litter boxes and I needed to shake that up to stop it. The litter boxes were moved and the garret door closed until further notice.

Something about seeing the door closed tipped a domino and I went on a wild purging rampage last weekend. I cleared and cleaned, cleaned and cleared. Got ideas, abandoned them. Looked at expensive Pottery Barn desks, shopped in my basement storage room. Moved furniture, got rid of furniture.

Went through every single piece of paper in the room. Sent a feed bag’s worth out the door.

This is what is left.

This wasn’t anywhere on my to do list, but it had to be done to get me writing again.

See the skinny thing hanging on the wall behind my iPad? That’s a storyteller, created by a local artist I love. She’s the guardian of writing time. 

The sun hits the window in the morning and the golden hour illuminates the crow forest outside the window in the late afternoon. And of course there are cats. 

My grandma’s old sewing machine is still in the room for little excursions to the past when a drawer full of buttons and threads of every color mesmerized me.

There are still four large piles of papers that need sorting and filing but guess what? I resubmitted a story today, I edited the novel for over an hour, and I did research on where to submit several other stories and essays awaiting attention. I think the tempest in the teapot has been set free. 


Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Looks like a wonderful space billie!

Grey Horse Matters said...

And the green is a soothing color too. Love what you’ve done with the room. It looks clutter free and ready for great ideas and uninterrupted writing time. I also have an old sewing machine like that and was wondering what to do with it. I saw some great ideas for making the bottom into a bathroom sink but I hate to lose the machine part. For now I’ll just keep it as is. Have fun in your garret.

billie said...

Thanks, A - the green has been there since we moved in and the idea of painting was too much for me - I like it and had brightened it up with the quilt a bit. The old desk was a Danish modern I’ve had for 25+ years and it was starting to become unstable as a piece gave way and then the other side began to go. And it was crowded with my desktop and lamp and I never was able to spread my work out on it. Now I have lots of clear space to spread out manuscript pages, iPad, writing pad, and even more if needed.

I have fond memories of being very young and standing with my grandma as she sewed. The spool drawer was full of threads of many colors and the button drawer was full (I still have her old buttons in it!) - I think that was one of my earliest experiences of being with someone as she created something and when she died that was really the only thing I wanted of hers. It still works too though I haven’t tried to use it in many years.

billie said...

Thanks, C! It feels very light now and I like the view of the trees outside. I’m wishing I could get some other rooms painted - this one is fine as is but all but one other need new paint and new colors. I’ll never run out of projects, that’s for sure!

Carolyn Burns Bass said...

Oh how I love this post. There is nothing quite like having a studio of one's own to inspire the muses. You've done a marvelous job of giving this space the nurture it needs to give it back to you. It makes me want to do the same in the studio I reserved for it upstairs in this new (can I really say eight years is new?) house.

billie said...

Do it! I bet you’ll love it.