Are you the kind of writer who can write in a parked SUV until your muddy soccer players (at least, you hope they’re yours) pile onto your seats? Can you outline a novel while sitting in a drive-through line, not bothering to look up when you shift gears to edge ahead? Can you pound out a chapter in a Starbucks invaded by an entire middle school of coffee connoisseurs armed with video games?
Then you, my writing friend, are blessed with qualities of concentration I can only dream of.
In order to write, I need a peaceful place where I can park my creaky frame in a cushy sofa or chair. Desks stifle my creativity. So do real waistbands—elastic, please, or none. I want a room with windows I can open or shut, according to my body’s hot flash weather report, with a view of something green or pretty that doesn’t need watering, trimming, or re-potting. Two cups of real coffee early in the morning are a must, then a large, steaming pot of decaf to warm me throughout a fall or winter day. When temperatures rise, a pitcher of iced tea or water is my constant writing companion.
But most of all, I need quiet—sweet silence or muted small-town noises, enhanced by the audio velvet of classical music.
I am spoiled because I began my writing career during midlife—after my children had lost their last residue of mom admiration and either rolled eyes or ran screaming when I addressed them. As they left, one by one, for college, I grew accustomed to my everyday quiet writing kingdom, where I can plan my schedule and wear jammies all day, if I so choose.
However, small, not-too-distant rumblings have begun, barely perceptible now, but growing louder with every day … retirement.
My husband’s, not mine.
He is a considerate, supportive spouse, mindful of my need for solitude.
But if he reads, sitting near me, he just has to share passages that excite him.
Deeply spiritual, he loves to discuss what God has been teaching him. In great detail.
He sneezes. And flushes. He crunches big bowls of mixed nuts and guzzles ice cream my diet-starved soul longs for.
Can it be that I may have to banish my laptop and me to my [gasp!] office?