I am a writer—a good one. And once upon a time, I just assumed that applied to all types of writing.
I tend to assume a lot of things about my skills and abilities in general. Like that time I took tennis lessons.
I’m a pretty fit and active person, so I just assumed I’d channel my inner Serena Williams and kick ass at it.
In some ways, living in an apartment is worse than living at home with your family.
Not exactly movin’ on up.
Admittedly, apartment living isn’t all bad: it makes it possible for those not blessed with boatloads of money to live in urban areas.
As well, as an environmentalist, I’m definitely in favour of the densification that results from apartment living, as well as the concentration of resources like transit and amenities like shops and cafés that tend to spring up around apartment buildings.
However, when you live in an apartment (or condo, or university residence, or any other such non-detached living space), compared to living with your family, you can’t tell the people living among you what to do.
Correction: you can, but your family is far less likely to tell you to go f*ck yourself.
It’s that time of year again.
Come tomorrow, as the song goes, I’ll be leaving on a jet plane – travelling from sea unto sea to Nova Scotia for my annual Christmas sojourn home.
It’s not that I don’t want to go home or see my family. Rather, there’s just very little in this world I find more arduous than actually getting there.
I mean, to begin with: airline travel at Christmas. Airline travel is bad enough during any other time of year, fraught with such indignities as,
- Having to remove my belt (which, far from being just a fashion accessory, is actually necessary for keeping my pants up),
- Having my hair patted down for concealed weapons, and,
- The full-body “I-can-see-you-naked” X-ray scanner.
At Christmas, I get to enjoy all of the above and wait in a long-ass line for it at that, as if eagerly claiming a special prize.
So, my attempt to maintain my writing schedule while on vacation didn’t go so well.
This isn’t to say I did absolute NO writing. For I did; I wrote five times. In three weeks.
But two of those times were while on airplanes – that’s a huge step outside of my normal creative environment and my comfort zone. I even wrote a sex scene while on a plane. While sitting in the aisle seat no less. That’s got to count for something!
It’s not the end of the world that I barely wrote while away. It’s not like a wagered money on it or anything.
(Maybe I should have wagered money on it; maybe that would have been just the motivator I needed, for I despise spending money needlessly.)
I even learned a few useful tips to follow the next time I go away for an extended period of time.
And so, for those who were duped by my original Writing While On Vacation post, searching in vain for advice from someone who hadn’t a sweet clue how to do so herself, I now offer you the benefit of my newly-acquired wisdom:
(Or, Why I Can’t Write in Coffee Shops, in a series of confessions)
A Distractions & Subtractions post
There are only two places that I ever do any writing:
- On my bed, lying prone, or
- Sitting at my dining table
As both of these pieces of furniture are in my apartment, I guess, technically, they count as only one writing place.
Allow me to start again:
There is only one place that I’ll ever do any writing….
This is not to say I’ll only take writing notes at home. Rather, I’ve done this at work, on transit, on the sidewalk, in the grocery line, on my bike (not while in motion, of course; safety first), and a multitude of other locales. Indeed, it’s my willingness note-write anywhere (and everywhere) that allows me to write-write anything at all.
But of that write-writing – the actual construction of sentences and paragraphs, foreshadowing and figurative speech – at my humble abode is the only place I can make the magic happen.
Whether I like it or not.
Which I didn’t always….