It dawned on me this morning that I take a lot of things for granted. One of them is undisturbed quiet. You know what I'm talking about - that lack of kids asking where their [fill in the blank] is, TVs blaring, phones ringing. I am (mea culpa) incredibly spoiled. I have the luxury of a quiet office, with few distractions, where I can write whenever my muse strikes. Up until yesterday, I took this all for granted.
Yesterday the work crew arrived to clean/remodel the attic and basement. At this very moment, I'm listening to furniture and boxes being dragged across a bare plank floor over my head. Every so often a loud thud punctuates the annoying buzz of a high-powered vacuum. This is not, really not, conducive to writing. Was that crash the box of antique bone china?
Every writer has his/her perfect environment -- real or dreamed. If you're an author, you understand the need to have a special area that stimulates your creativity. Early in my career, I worked as a reporter, in a cubicle in a noisy newsroom (back in the days of Selectric typewriters. Yikes, I'm old!). I didn't have to be terribly creative - I wrote about software and computers - and I could mentally block out the racket. Later, when I commuted to New York, I created my "space" by popping on earphones to drown out the noise of my fellow travelers. I found Handel's Water Music particularly inspiring. The hour-long trip on MetroNorth was MY time. Now that I'm (unwillingly) unemployed, I rise early in the morning, grab my coffee and settle into the peace of my home office. Just me and my 12-year old Golden Retriever who is more than happy to do nothing more than doze all day. Are you jealous?
Every writer needs -- make that deserves -- a place of their own. "Borrowed" space just doesn't cut it. Even if you have an incredibly small amount of space available, you can turn it into your dream writer's paradise. Commandeer a large closet, add a desk, your laptop, some shelves and you're there. A large "QUIET - WRITER ZONE" or "ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK" sign helps, too.
I know I'll be thrilled when the remodeling is done. But now, after only two days of blank pages (I'm afraid to contemplate how many more there are to come), I'm wondering if I couldn't have lived with the clutter for a few more years? I miss my quiet.