I told a friend I would blog just once this weekend because I was going to spend the rest of my free time cleaning out my writing room. She pushed back to blog twice because everyone loves a make-over. I took some “before” pictures, intending to oblige.
Maybe the mess doesn’t seem like much to you, but it’s kept me outta there since October: the dog hair on the baseboard, the random electric guitar propped in the corner, the crowded desk, stuff shoved under the bookshelf, the boxes of stuff I take to book signings, things leaning against walls instead of hanging on them. I’m not OCD about many things except for writing in a clean space. I wrote most of Lu in small increments of time from home. The rooms I wrote in were messy because my house was messy. I was always tempted to clean it before getting to work. But if you have only 30 minutes, you have to make choices.
At the end of the day, do you want to say you wrote or you did dishes? Do you want to say you finished a chapter or picked up toys for the 57th time?
I finished Lu by consistently (not perfectly) choosing writing. The beauty of claiming a home space just for writing was it was mine. I’m the gatekeeper, and so I wouldn’t allow random toys, lonely socks, and dirty dishes to infiltrate. My writing room wouldn’t smell like boy. But spaces don’t always stay as they’re intended. Plans don’t always run as intended, including my plan this weekend to make this space shine. I did spend a hot hour in here, hammering a couple nails in walls, throwing some stuff away, and shoving crap in the closet. It was supposed to be my first hour of many, but then I got sick and spent the rest of the weekend coughing and taking stock of the joints that ache (which is every joint). I didn’t get around to doing anything worthy of an “after” picture, but I see the change. This little space is becoming a space I can write in again.
There aren’t any changes worthy of “after” pictures, but there’s hope – hope that one morning soon, I’ll be here writing that second book. One of my biggest regrets in claiming this space was I didn’t do it sooner. God validates at the point He calls, but I needed the external validation of my first draft of my first book before I cordoned off square footage, even some as humble as this corner of my basement. I’m happy to tackle it on the front-end this time, to clear in hope, and wishing you all the same on this third weekend of NaNoWriMo.