February was a busy blur. The blog, as you can see, was neglected. Between working much more than usual, celebrating my birthday week, and searching for a new place to live, I barely had an extra minute to think, never mind write. My life was overbooked for 29 days, and I had to sacrifice some of the things I usually do daily to keep me balanced, like exercising, and writing. All of this left me exhausted, and with a cold that turned into what is now a painful sinus AND ear infection. Lovely.
Luckily, March is already slower and more manageable than February, and I have time tonight to write this post from a coffee shop that is a two minute walk from the apartment I found. Yes, I have a long list of projects, chores and things to buy to take my new place from grungy to cozy. But my priority is to get back to a place of balance, so these things will get done after I make time for the things that keep my healthy and happy, like walking, and writing.
One of my first goals for the apartment is to make a little nook for writing in the corner of my large living room, just as Stephen King suggests in his book On Writing. In it, he explains that for years he believed a writer’s desk should be a “massive oak slab that would dominate a room”. And so, when he could afford to, he bought the desk of his dreams and placed it in the middle of a large, sunny room. When he sobered up, and gained a better perspective on his writing and on life, he replaced the large desk with a smaller one, and placed it “in a corner under the eave.” He ends the chapter with these words:
“It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room. Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.”
I like this, not because I need to be reminded to not think too highly of my writing “talent” – I know my strengths and weaknesses. I like it because “art” being a support system for life is exactly how I feel about my writing. It enriches my life, and I’m grateful to have found something I love to do, even if it only remains a hobby for the rest of my life.
If you haven’t read On Writing, you should. It is half memoir, half instruction on how to write. I read it ages ago, but am so glad I picked it up again. King is opinionated for sure, and he throws in an f-bomb pretty often to get his point across. But his opinions are well informed by his years of trial, error, practice, failure, and, of course, great success. And, in that spirit, all I can really say is he is so fucking spot on about how to approach the craft.
It is not my dream to make a profession of this. But King’s advice and encouragement are giving me the motivation I need to keep up this hobby that I love. And now that stupid February is over, I can get back to it. It is fun for me, and keeps me happy. And with nearly 10,000 hits in 6 months, I think I finally realize that you guys enjoy it too.
More food, less pain,