After several weeks of MWC meetings, we were discussing the structure of our writing process. What time of day worked best? How did our environment help or hinder our progress? For each of us, the answers to these questions were evolving. We were experimenting to see which scenarios oiled our creative gears.
I expressed my gratitude for having a space of my own. Since my kids left for college, I had taken over the TV room in the basement. There was a window, and I could leave projects out, without having to put away my paints each day. I brought Leah down to have a look.
Since I wasn’t expecting guests, the place was a little messy. I don’t have consistent tidying habits, and unless something is up for public consumption I tend to cut corners a bit. Leah liked the potential of the space, but was bewildered by its current state. “Are those the cushions for your porch furniture?” she asked, pointing to a huge pile of pillows taking up a lot of room. “Um, yes. Temporary seasonal storage,” I explained. Leah nodded. “This could be a real sanctuary for you, with a desk for writing by the window, and another area for painting.” Her enthusiasm was inspiring.
I began to imagine the possibilities. Looking at my room, I could see a careless space. It was disorganized, and filled with items that did not belong there. Anyone might assume that whomever was working there was not very serious about whatever she was working on. The next day, I made a plan. I emptied everything out of the room and cleaned it. A trip to the town dump followed, where I left a massive contribution at the Take It Or Leave It area. I gave the room a fresh coat of paint. Then, I installed a wall of shelves, and brought in my favorite books. I painted an old desk I found at a consignment shop. Finally, I started an inspiration wall with significant quotes and images. One item remained on my wish list: a comfy armchair. The room would have to do without one, as I had blown my budget on the shelves.
I was eager to show Leah the finished space, after working on it for ten days. She was happy for me, and generously completed the makeover with an upholstered armchair and ottoman she no longer needed. Its muted stripes perfectly matched my accent color.
Order works that way. Once we get it going, it can’t help but fall in all around us, from every direction. We just have to create a space for it.
Leah and Carolyn