Friday, October 14, 2011

Thankful for the Words and I

For the past year, much of my energy has been spent thinking about my bathroom.

Upon moving into our home - complete with one-and-a-half bathrooms - over a year ago, I claimed the ‘powder room’ as my own. My own office, that is. And I have exuded extreme patience while waiting to make it into my own place to write. But time and money needed to create the office of my dreams, in and around the toilet, have failed to surface. I won’t let those dreams completely flush away.

With a house too small to situate a desk elsewhere, every nook and cranny occupying Legos©, Nerf© guns, gaming systems, and cat paraphanelia, having a desk of my own, elsewhere, is not an option. All the bedrooms, albeit small, are inhabited. Now I see why folks get excited when their brood fly the coop – they immediately make plans for the bedroom left behind. Not that I am anxious for my growing little weeds to leave, just so I can selfishly foster my writing-space dreams, but…..

Books, endless paper (of all kinds), make-up, hairspray, and countless jars of anti-wrinkle cream are stashed on shelves, under the sink, and on a TV tray - from the 70’s, no less. But I love my room, it’s mine, and I can put anything I want in it.

Even autographed Rick Springfield albums.

So, while I wait for the bathroom transformation, I write at the kitchen table at 5 am before the world awakes. Every night I haul out the laptop, brush dinner crumbs off the kitchen table, and set it up, ready for the next morning. But, over time, resentment seeped in. Why can’t I have a desk like every other writer? Why is my office/bathroom STILL not a fully functioning office?

One night as I aggressively wiped a smear of ketchup from MY spot on the table, I remembered – countless writing careers were started at the kitchen table. And in the basement. And in the garage. And better yet, in the bathtub.

Now if my ‘office’ only had a bathtub…..

And although I am nowhere near being the next (insert famous author name, here), the bottom line is, I write.

I met someone the other day who admitted they always imagined writers as being reclusive and mysterious, living and writing in a castle far, far away. Heck, I’m a writer, and my castle is my rented townhouse. And really, I guess you could say I DO have my own throne.

Maybe it doesn’t matter that I don’t have my own office. Where ‘home is where you hang your hat,’ my office is wherever I write. Whether at the kitchen table, or sitting on the toilet seat lid and scribbling a few thoughts with paper and pen, or on the bus, it doesn’t matter. I write.

And I have also come to realize that not having an actual desk has been beneficial. No distractions.

The most distraction I have during the wee hours of my sacred writing time is watching a spider spin his (or her – I didn’t check) web under the glow of the street light outside the kitchen window. Sometimes the kitchen tap drips, so when a writerly thought is stuck, I get up to tighten the faucet. But once that procrastinating-task is complete, and I am sure the spider hasn’t fallen off his/her web, I am back at it, thoughts refreshed. And it’s just the screen, the keys, the words, and I. No paperclips to bend into weird shapes, no books to get lost in research, no nick-nacks to dust or rearrange. Nothing is within reach to distract, fostering procrastination.

Maybe not having a dolled-up desk is best, after all. Who knows….

Despite the spiders and faucets, I would still like to have a desk. All this doesn’t mean I am giving-up, thereby resigning to the fact of ‘never’ having a desk. There is always ‘one day,’ and the dreams surrounding it are endless.

But for now, I am thankful for what I do have. I have a space of my own, complete with toilet paper. I have a roof over my head to write, and the means with which to do so. I enjoy every moment my kids are at home, nestled in their rooms, and Rick Springfield watches me do my hair every morning.

Now, excuse me – I have to visit the powder room...


  1. Lisa - thanks for the laugh. Can so relate especially this year. My downstairs bedroom/aka office is under renovation. My office has been a small end table - seating - the floor, the kitchen table, and now a desk in a small sitting room. Five a.m. every morning, 5:30 if I'm lucky and sleep in. Shall we do a 5 a.m. toast to our unique offices with our coffee cups tomorrow?

  2. Ahhhh.. good luck with everything! But I have to admit I shivered at the mention of that spider :)

  3. Hi Ryshia - yes, sounds good.....we will toast each other and our make-do desks! Thank you for sharing your own unique writing space! Will be thinking of you at 5 a.m.! Thank you for reading! Lisa

  4. Welcome, Writing Nut! Sorry about the mention of the spider....but as I said, he/she was outside, which was FINE by me! Thank you for reading, and hope to see you again! Will be visiting your site. Lisa

  5. I love the idea of bookshelves in the bathroom. How clever is that!

  6. Hi Judy - thank you for visiting and for reading! Yes, the shelves in the bathroom are a tad 'different,' I know, but it works for me! Hope to see you again soon! Lisa