Saturday, May 11, 2013

Story Time: The Writer-Hermit in Me

It had been a long and tedious day of packing boxes, moving boxes, moving them again when no one saw the GIANT letters K-I-T-C-H-E-N and placed them, instead, in the bathroom, and unpacking boxes.  The very last thing my brain wanted to do was attempt a little creativity but being the diligent writer that I am, I felt compelled to do it anyway.  I dug out my laptop and power cord, poured a generous glass of wine and found a spot on the couch that wasn't too covered in that wonderful dust that accumulates in no time at all during a move. 

As I waited for the computer to start up, I looked around and felt the hermit that dwells within my head begin to stomp around in agitation and grumble.  The lighting was  all wrong; the old house had great light in the living room.  I couldn't even get around the stack of boxes to set up the lamp, let alone find a suitable outlet to plug it in.  Oh well, dim lighting would just have to do for the night. 

Grumble grumble...

I clicked on the internet icon on my computer instinctively to turn on Pandora radio.  I have to have music to write to, you see.  Well, silly me, I forgot that our internet wasn't hooked up yet.  No music for me.

Stomp, grumble, stomp...

I sat and stared at the blank Word document for an hour, sipping my wine and listening to the hermit upstairs gripe about the unfamiliarity of the new place.  I gave up and went to bed, feeling dejected and thinking I'd never be able to write again in this strange and unwelcoming place.  (I have a tiny flair for the dramatic, eh?)

I am a total creature of habit, in case you hadn't noticed.  The stubborn hermit in my brain prevented me from getting any writing done for the first week in our new house.  I am finally getting into my routine again, but it made me think about how comfortable we writers get in our writing routines.  I realize not all writers out there are as stubborn about change as I am, but it seems to me that we all have found methods that work for us and get slightly cranky when they are disrupted.  It's a bit like sports players and their superstitious pre-game rituals, isn't it?  If I don't have the right light, the right music, and NO ONE sitting close enough to read my computer screen, (Yes, I am that uptight about people being able to read what I'm typing.  My own husband can attest to it.) then I can't seem to spit anything out.

I am also finding out that my routine is changing in the new place, because certain aspects of the old routine don't feel right anymore.  I used to write in the kitchen all the time at our old house.  The kitchen here holds no interest for my writer-hermit brain.  But now, for some reason, I feel the urge to write in the bedroom all the time.  I never wrote in the bedroom at our old house.  Just silly little things that make me ponder the writing process...

Where/when/how do you like to write?