View Full Version : have you ever fallen off the tracks...

01-06-2011, 08:45 PM
Have you ever fallen off the tracks and not realized it until you looked back and saw the train wreck behind you? That's what I did a couple weeks before Christmas. Almost a year ago I gave up my office so husband's daughter could move in. She needed help, we tried, it didn't work out. In fact, it turned into a huge mess.

Just before my train tipped off the tracks I'd finished the first draft of a novel that I felt was incredibly important for me to write. I'd been working on it for a while and the goal was to give insight into living with PTSD but not in a clinical informational way. I wanted to convey how reality and fantasy mix so seamlessly for someone who has it. I wanted to create that confusion felt.

I got involved in the novel area, posted up in some threads. Did a lot of reading. Started to get involved in other peoples stories. I felt like I was reconnecting with the community. It felt good.

Things changed suddenly and I spent nine months walking around the house trying to find a place to set my coffee and computer down so I could write. I kept setting up spaces and finding they didn't work.

I feel like I've been lost for all this time wandering the desert unable to find a pencil and paper so I wrote in the sand. Every time I found a quiet moment, the words flowed but only in my head.

I'm sitting in my reclaimed space this morning, the walls a beautiful shade of tan instead of the clown shoe blue hidden beneath, and I'm wondering about those of you who can sit in any space afforded and crank out thousands of words. How do you do it? How do you curl up your legs underneath you and write with life buzzing around you?

(I guess I should have put this somewhere else instead of OP)

01-06-2011, 09:11 PM
OP is a perfectly good place for this, IMO. (But hey, what do I know?)

I'm among the people who needs a physical space meeting certain minimum specs to set my mind free to write. I need it to be pretty quiet, and I need few visual distractions. No matter what view the room might offer, I face the wall.

But I know people who haul notebook or laptop to coffee houses, the beach, a park, just anywhere they happen to be going, and when they get there, they can write. Yippee for them, but so what?

Shape your environment to give yourself what you need. That might mean preparing a space, or making time each day during which you ignore life buzzing all around you. It'll still be there when you get back.

Maryn, luckier than many

01-06-2011, 09:14 PM
I have an office. I share it with my husband but he works days and I work nights so I do most of my writing in the day when he's gone. The door locks. I too am lucky. I don't think I could hack much more than repsonding to e-mails from a coffee shop or even my living room.

01-06-2011, 09:38 PM
I can't work anywhere but at home, but it can be noisy, quiet, it doesn't matter I can write. After all the upheaval of last year, I've learned that my main requirement for getting things written is that I have to be 'settled'.

When the weather (and thus, the house) warms up a bit, I'll be working at this space:


01-06-2011, 10:22 PM
I have to have certain things around me when I write. My coffee cup, my ashtray, my cigarettes and lighter. If something is out of place in my chaos, it drives me nuts. I know that sounds stupid, but my messy desk is MY mess. It has to be just so.

Do what works for you.

01-06-2011, 10:37 PM
My view is a fence, so I don't have to face the wall but right now I am.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/hs041.snc6/167112_172068552829140_100000779892679_301217_1702 255_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs1359.snc4/163114_172068569495805_100000779892679_301218_1589 942_n.jpg

Soon the desk will be moved to make way for french doors opening into the front room. I'm trying to spread light and openness around the house with still being able to close the doors. Oh, it's super clean because I just got the room back.

I'm still a bit surprised I can't write with distraction anymore.

01-06-2011, 10:42 PM
I fall off the tracks all the time. But it's only a conscience thing, so painless.

I fell off a train once. Now that hurt. Nothing worse that waking up on the lines, drunk disorientated and in pain, and realising the only way home is to follow the railway.

I'll never forget it. I trudged along the line with a broken ankle and finally got to the platform.

As I was struggling up, I got a tap in the shoulder. Ah, tears came to my eyes. I'd found a helper.

But no.

Have I missed the last train to Barrhead, the ba... fellow asked.

Bust ankle or not, I still tried to kick him.:D