Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Room of my Own

The reigning advice of the day for writers is to have a space where you can write everyday.

I used to be a binge writer, taking a vacation day from work to write all day. In a few weeks I’d repeat the process. Subsequent binges required I re-read the pages from the previous binge. The process became more re-reading to get the threads firmly in my hands and less writing.

I shifted to weekend writing in the upstairs bedroom which served as the “office” for my husband and general junk room for the family. When you work in someone’s office or in the family storage room you’re most likely going to be interrupted by someone or the family or both and especially on the weekend.

The perfect arrangement came in the form of an old desk that I received from the alumni director after I presented my debut novel,
The Rosary Bride, at my alma mater’s reunion weekend at Rosary College. The college was upgrading the dorm furniture and classic hutch type desks were available.

The photo of me on my website is taken at that desk which is tucked in a corner of the landing on the second floor. I’m a daily writer now, rising at 5 a.m. most days and writing for two hours before I get ready for work. When everyone else starts stirring I stop writing and join in the family flow.

I have a corner window the view mostly filled with a sturdy crab apple tree. I have my reference books on the built-in shelves and I have my solitude. I have my laptop that I share with no one. Writing is a solitary adventure requiring the right place and the right time to make it happen. It happens for me in the wee hours in a room of my own right out in the open.

Luisa Buehler

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