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Space to Write

November 1, 2015

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I found a new place to work this year, at least for one day a week. My oldest daughter is living at home while ski racing and working, which is great—until she stumbles in for breakfast during my morning writing session.

We’ve worked out some parameters. She stays out of the house two days a week while I hole up and write, and I leave two days a week: one spent at a coffee house and the other at an awesome office housed in a nursery. It’s a tropical paradise, filled with plants and dirt and sunlight.

On my first day, however, I had no idea where to begin. For writers; beginnings are difficult, daunting, and often avoided. I dug through my bag, found my pens, opened my computer, and then, I sat. I found a few better pens, moved papers to the floor, wrote a few notes, and then, I sat. I changed the music, checked my emails, glanced at my notes, pulled up a few files, and then again, I sat.

My frustration grew. I was paying for the space and knew that doing a load of laundry was a more efficient use of my time than sharpening pencils. I tried again. Finally, after three and a half hours, I revised a chapter—one lonely chapter (on a good day, I’ll revise six). I left, met my daughter and puppy for a brief walk, and raced back to the office, cramming in what I could. One more chapter done. Not a good first day at the office.

On subsequent visits, things got better. My twitchy brain finally welcomed the space, and I settled in.

Now, when I arrive, I breathe in the deep, oxygen-filled air that smells of geraniums and roses, give gratitude, and get to work. Without a doubt, it is now my most creative, productive-filled day of the week. For any writers out there pondering the idea of renting one’s own place—I highly recommend it—if even for one day a week.

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