I would prefer to write than shower. Seriously. I know I am gross. I have been ordered to shower by my husband. I can’t remember the last time I showered, but please know that I have mommy brain so I can’t remember what I had for lunch. Oh, I didn’t eat lunch because I wrote. I get so caught up in the creative process that I will take any free moment I have to myself to write, take photos, blog, create, or organize my little create-o-sphere. I wouldn’t call my create-o-sphere too organized these days as there are so many piles of journals, papers, and junk all over my desk.
I am just going to name ten things on my desk:
1. A bottle of calamine lotion (I used this recently to make a hand print with my son for his father’s birthday card)
2. A photo of a church door taken in Vermont in 2000
3. A pair of scissors with an orange handle
4. A Little Tikes plastic sander
5. The book: Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published
6. A Patriots jersey — size 18 months with Brady written on the back, turned inside out,
7. A soup spoon
8. A binder with typewritten journal entries from a summer camp I worked at in 2000, and a journal made of construction paper — knot bracelets and friendship bracelets create a makeshift binding — the entry facing me says, “Dear Meg, I don’t think I know a freer spirit than you. I admire your intellect and heart of gold. The world needs more people like you. Stay sweet & don’t forget about me. Love Always, Madeline.”
9. A roll of Dollar General clear tape
10. One flourescent green sticky note: blank
I am not sure how to get this mess organized. It seems I just put stuff on my desk after taking it out of my toddler’s hands. He recently ripped a photo of my grandmother from the 1920’s. I am living in a state of chaos.
I am reading Natalie Goldberg’s, Writing Down the Bones — on page 101 – 102, chapter titled Write Anyplace:
Take out another notebook, pick up another pen, and just write, just write. In the middle of the world, make one positive step. In the center of chaos, make one definitive act. Just write. Say yes, stay alive, be awake. Just write. Just write. Just write.
Finally, there is no perfection. If you want to write, you have to cut through and write. There is no perfect atmosphere, notebook, pen, or desk, so train yourself to be flexible. Try writing under different circumstances and in different places. Try trains, buses, at kitchen tables, alone in the woods leaning against a tree, by a stream with your feet in the water, in the desert sitting on a rock, on the curb in front of your house, on a porch, a stoop, in the back seat of a car, in the library…in Texas, Kansas, or Guatemala, while sipping a Coke…
It wasn’t the physical accommodations that were perfect, but when we are in the heart of writing it doesn’t matter where we are: it is perfect. There is a great sense of automony and security to know we can write anyplace. If you want to write, finally you’ll find a way no matter what.”
So, here I am writing. Trying to absorb the chaos as motivation, as muse, and something to get me going. But really, all I want to do is tell my husband –“Why don’t you take Ben to Grampy and Grammy’s house. I’ll get cleaned up and meet you over there.”
I love time alone. I can be surrounded by a million things, and I will make a space of 12 inches by 12 inches and write. But noise, and toddler tantrums, and splitting my mind in ten second fragments doesn’t work for me. So I write on the weekends and at night, when my husband can watch our son. I just am being flexible. What other choice do I have?
I should really shower — seriously. But I think I will write some more, since I have the house to myself (the dogs are outside and my boys are at my in-laws) and a fan on my desk in the room I call the Art Room, where I write. I was once mobile, but my laptop crashed. The Art Room is not air-conditioned, but I have a fan on my desk. I think I could place a cat on my desk and it would blend into my desk, which is such a mess.
What things are you doing to overcome your difficulties to make time and space in your life to write and create?
What doorway do you walk through to overcome your struggle to find space and time to write? (door metaphor — since I really want to share the photo of the church door in Vermont — #2 in messy desk list)