My bedroom writing space
Yesterday, I was in the lobby area of the hotel having coffee with my wonderful husband and doing my Morning Pages (aka therapeutic journaling, aka daily brain dump), and a woman stopped at our table. She apologized for interrupting and asked if I was a writer. I looked her straight in the eye and said, “Yes. Yes, I am. And one day I plan on being a professional writer”. She noticed my Florida Writers Association t-shirt and commented on it and I was glad I had worn it.
She asked about my projects. I told her I had a blog that I was trying to pay more loving attention to, and an idea for a non-fiction book that I have established a URL for with the idea of blogging it into existence. She told me she had a screenwriting idea for a complete story arc for a current television show that has had a poor storyline into its latest season. I wrote down my blog URL for her. We exchanged the titles of a couple of books each thought the other might enjoy.
It was so cool!
I would go on and on here for awhile, but Mother keeps looking at her watch and asking when we’re leaving for Wills Point and our family Thanksgiving get-together. I guess I’ll stop making her wait.
Every morning, I write Morning Pages. It’s something I’ve done off and on for almost two decades, starting with the first time I read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. A couple of years ago, I reread it and went through all the exercises and endeavored to make Morning Pages a daily practice. At first, I spent $10-12 on each ruled, wire-bound journal, purchased from the bargain table at Barnes and Noble. When I got to the point where I was actually writing every day and going through one blank book per month, I decided that the $1 composition books from Target or Office Depot worked just as well, and when I watched for the Back-To-School sales, I could pick them up for half-price or less. Now I have dozens of them stashed around the house, ready for me to fill up with what is essentially a daily brain-dump.
Sometimes I sit at an antique secretary in the den, sometimes at my sewing machine/desk in the bedroom, and on the weekends when I feel the need for extra solitude and quiet, I take myself out to the travel trailer that is parked on the side of the house between camping trips. I have taken my current journal with me to early morning doctor’s appointments so that I could stop by the coffee house afterwards and do the writing I hadn’t had time to do before the appointment. As I’ve progressed in this daily writing habit, I have found that I am able to write with more focus in what at one time would have been unbearably distracting conditions.
Some people refer back to their journal/diaries for reference or as a memory aid. I have almost never done so (as if I’d be able to decipher my handwriting anyway). Others keep theirs as some kind of gift to the future or a legacy for their children. Since mine act as both a writing lubricant and therapy tool, I don’t believe that I would want anyone reading them, nor do I think anyone would find them particularly interesting. I do keep them, although I’m not sure why, but I only have them dating back about 6 years, as shortly after I moved to Florida, I had an amazingly cathartic bonfire in my backyard, burning all the pages I had written up until that time.
But, I digress. The original direction I had for this post was that it took me about three years to fully integrate Morning Pages into my daily routine and make it something that I anticipate as I know how it enriches my day. My next step is to make regular blogging so much a part of my routine that it is just the next step in a natural progression after coffee and Morning Pages. Maybe one day, I’ll get yoga in there, too.
I have a couple of nice writing spots at home – my closed sewing machine cabinet/desk in the bedroom and the antique secretary in the den – plus the travel trailer when I need to have quiet on the weekends, but sometimes I just want to get away from the house. I had heard that our library had a little cafe’ space so last week I decided to check it out.
I had already had my morning writing session at Nosh!, so I just stepped in to take a few pictures before heading into the library proper. There was one other person there studying, but I thought it would be rude to interrupt her or take her picture without asking, which is why you don’t see her in these photos.
There’s a vending machine:
and free reading material:
a few tables and lots of natural light:
and you can even get buy a bottle of water to help support the library!
They said they’d like to attract a vendor to have an actual cafe’ there, but it might be hard for them to compete with the local Starbucks. Although, come to think of it, it is a lot easier to get to and has a lot more parking. Even without scones and cappuccino, though, it looks like it might be a good place for a quiet writing session.
I recently tried a new cafe’ in Oldsmar, Nosh!, where I got a breakfast sandwich pressed on Cuban bread. It was really yummy and I can’t wait to get back to try some of their specialty coffee drinks and other breakfast and lunch items.
I also got one of their crumb cakes to go. It’s hard to tell in this picture, but it’s 2/3 “crumb” and 1/3 “cake”. It was pretty tasty, but I would have preferred less crumb and more cake, myself.
It wasn’t too crowded mid-morning, but did have a steady flow of traffic. It seems like a good place for future morning writing sessions.