Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Table With a View

Like many mom-writers, I write at the kitchen table hoping to weave words into something resembling writing. My bathroom serves as my office, and although I have yet to figure out a way to fit a tiny desk in there, the kitchen table is where I write – for now.

Every night I pull out my laptop and set it up for my writing session early the next morning. Even though I sometimes wallow in self-pity and mumble ‘I’m sure other writers don’t have to do this,’ I’m also sure many other writers don’t have the freedom to write at all, so I keep my self-pitying wallow to a minimum. So I don’t have a real desk – at least I can write when, what, and how I want to.

Then every morning, because I have to do silly things like go to my day job, I pack away the laptop, transforming the table back to what it is intended for; breakfast, dinner and homework. It’s the same thing every night and every morning, but I do it religiously; my writing routine is sacred.

But I have come to love writing at the kitchen table. There are no desktop distractions like pens to organize or paperclips to straighten. My only distraction is the view from my kitchen window. Sure I don’t have an opulent million dollar view of beaches, forests or manicured estate grounds, but it’s mine.

When I am lost in thought for the next word, sentence, thought or idea to surface, I watch the seasons change; longer days, shorter nights, and then six months later, shorter days, longer nights.

I write at the same time every day, around 5 a.m. I prefer the dark mornings of winter when I am shrouded in pitch-black, pre-sunrise peace. The screen of my laptop and the streetlight outside are my only light. The glow from the streetlight serves as my weather guide illuminating the rain or snow. In better weather, spiders spin their webs hoping for moths.

The barbeque waits for summer, and before too long my mornings are brighter with the sun rising earlier. The hummingbird feeder sways in the breeze, and chickadees flit through the shrubs surrounding our yard. Leaves sprout in the spring, only to fall again in autumn. Our little garden that was stagnant dirt in the winter comes to life with shoots emerging from their winter hibernation.

Summer rolls around, and the kitchen window is flung open. Even in the early mornings, sweat from the summer heat hinders my concentration, my hot house unable to cool down overnight from the day before. The chirping birds are nice, but those hot, too-bright mornings are not my favourite.

And then it all starts again, and I am back to writing in the dark, my focus directed back to the screen.

Day after day, month after month, I am up before the rest of the world - no matter the weather or season – and I write.

I am thankful for a laptop with which to write, a kitchen table to sit at, a roof over my head, freedom to write, and my own million dollar view.

It beats a bathroom/office, any day.


  1. I like writing at the kitchen table but 5:00 is just too early for me. Great blog Lisa, keep writing!

    1. Thank you, Pat, for stopping by. Yes, 5:00 is early, but its the only time with peace I have...some days it's hard, I have to admit. Keep writing, and thank you for reading! Lisa

  2. I bet your middle name is Discipline, isn't it, Lisa?
    I admire your stick-to-it-iveness and I love the results. Your stories are wonderful.

    Have you read A Room of One's Own? It's the only Woolf I've ever read and I'm so glad I did. The "room of one's own" doesn't have to be palatial or luxurious or spartan - it's the psychological and emotional freedom to write that counts, whether it's in a bathroom/office, a corner of the kitchen, or the former spare bedroom.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. You are so right, Rachel. It's the freedom to write what I want that counts. I have to confess, however - I am not disciplined when it comes to sweets. Had to be honest. Thank you for stopping by, and for being you :) Lisa

    2. Wow!
      Outstanding post Lisa! That's so ultra early for me -but I admire how it works for you. Keep going!

    3. Thanks for the encouragement, Jodie! Yes, these early hours I keep are not for everyone, but the same discipline can be for those night owls out there. Thanks for reading, and keep writing! Lisa