When I started to get serious about writing again, I realized I was going to have to let some other things go. And by let things go, I mean stop pursuing some of my other hobbies and interests.
Having multiple interests and passions doesn’t sound like it should be a problem. But for a writer, it is.
Because well, writing takes time. And carving out time to be a writer is hard.
I think writers are often terrifying to normal people, i.e. non writers in a capitalist system, for this reason: there is almost nothing they will not sell in order to have this time. Time is our mink, our Lexus, our mansion. In a room full of writers of various kinds, time is probably the only thing that can provoke widespread envy more than acclaim. –Alexander Chee in Catapult
You can read the full essay: https://catapult.co/stories/imposter. It is quite lovely.
Time is a writer’s mink. And I knew I needed more mink, if I really wanted to take this writing thing seriously.
I am a crafty person. I come by it from my mother, and she got the knack/passion from her mother. My Grandma Johnson was a wonderful painter, and she wrote too. But mostly, she painted.
My mom is more of a dabbler, like me. She did a little jewelry-making. She made stuffed rabbits and angels. She knits scarves. She used to make me the most amazing May Day baskets. And Halloween costumes. She sewed me a beautiful princess costume, complete with purple boa trim. She also made me a delightful Minnie Mouse costume.
I have also tried my hand at jewelry-making. I made a few necklaces that turned out pretty well.
I also refinished a number of furniture pieces in my home. Most of the pieces have turned out great, like my buffet, my dresser, and my desk/bookshelf.
My hot pink end tables also look pretty amazing. But it was too humid when I painted the tables, so neither one dried quite right. EVERYTHING sticks to the tables. I may try to go back and fix the pair someday, or I may not.
But that’s the thing. Repainting those tables is one thing I let go. I gave up those furniture refinishing projects. And jewelry-making.
Giving those things up allowed me more time to pursue writing. I can see it starting to pay off. I published a story. I will publish more stories.
But lately, I’ve been feeling the itch again. About a month ago, I decide to move my bed. I have a small bedroom, so I had the bed jammed up against the wall to maximize floor space.
I decided to move my bed, so it faces the door. The bed now dominates the room. But that’s ok. It is a bedroom, after all. I also bought myself some new sheets and pillows. I have to say, it feels like a new room. I am happier getting into bed, and in an odd way, I am happier getting out of bed.
I can’t explain it exactly, but the room feels lighter, more restful. It’s wonderful.
This minor revamp has me thinking about how I can make my space work better. And that’s when I came up with the idea of creating a writing room/library.
I have toyed with the idea before, but never really knew where to put it. I have a three bedroom house, but two of those bedrooms are currently occupied. The third room serves as a guest bedroom. I love having visitors, so I am not willing to give up that space.
I do have a front porch, which is separated into two rooms. One room houses my treadmill. The other room I use as sort of a big closet.
It’s a small room, but it could work, I realized. I can fit my desk and some bookshelves in there.
Of course, I started obsessing about paint colors, going back and forth about what was the perfect shade for a writer’s room. Then I looked at the space again. There are four windows and a door in this tiny room. There is very little wall to paint.
So I decided to let the big paint color decision go as well. I have enough grey or black paint to cover the walls.
But the chair. This is actually an important decision. I have never really been one to sit at a desk and write. So the chair needs to be something big and comfy, something I can pull away from the desk and just sit in, if the desk starts to feel too formal for me.
I found this beautiful chair at World Market. But it costs $300.
The chair, in all its pink loveliness.
So I’ve been prowling Craigslist for wingback chairs. I’ve seen more than a few that would get the job done and for much cheaper. I will make my mind up eventually.
This weekend, I am going to try to get the walls painted.
But if I don’t, I don’t. Having a writing room/library will be lovely. But not as lovely as having that time to write. Because writing is the one luxury I can’t live without.
This week’s video is “Holocene” by Bon Iver. I listen to this album when I am writing. There is something so peaceful and soothing about the music.