This is my office. AKA: the Writer Containment Area. An area that is not allowed the isolation of Area 51 as it is in my bedroom. Sometimes, I have visitors.
I used to be considered a neat freak. I can hear you laughing and asking me what all that stuff, very important writing process stuff, is. Let me break it down in a precise clockwise fashion:
- writing on the floor
- writing on the desk
- books and journals I should have already read on the floor, the desk, and the sofa.
- Art I made four years ago (during creative crisis) and still have not hung
- The printer is on the floor because in yet another vain attempt at becoming a minimalist, I removed the printer’s table.
This is a
super embarrassing great photo to further illustrate how far down the slob rabbit hole I’ve gone. The old me would have ripped out the awful wall to wall carpet the day we moved in. It’s been two and a half years.
I’ve even let people see this space. Some of whom were without shoes. Or socks. Since I have rose colored glasses and can only see the lovely view, I imagined my visitors did as I did and ignored the stained carpet and all the papers, books, and floor obstacles. I am kind of impressed how long I let this mess fester. Like going to the hairdresser and having her say, “Your hair feels really healthy,” and responding, “I haven’t washed it in a week!”
The move two and a half years ago coincided with the book I was writing and the graduate school education I jumped into. While I was there I developed a Second Brain. Second Brain cares nothing for neatness and wants only to write books,devour literary journals, and write things that could, with a Herculean amount of editing muscle and luck, be printed in one. All was going swimmingly.
Then two weeks ago I submitted my manuscript to an agent who is, as we speak, pitching it to publishing houses. So obviously, I got a dumpster.
It’s like Oprah always says, “Clean out your Writer Containment Area if you want to get published.” No? Sure she does. She also says, “To make room in your life for unlimited prosperity you must remove your unattractive 1990s carpets.” Then she’ll send me the keys to a Mercedes and a lifetime of Sephora. While I wait for that, I give you Five Steps to Crazy:
Step One: Enlist husband to rip up old icky carpet and lay new floor. Buy beer and whisky. (Maybe buy the beer and whisky before enlisting husband.)
Step Two: Put all the stuff back and snap a “before” photo.
Step Three: a week, two sore backs, and many stubbed toes later, voila! A place for the dog to sleep.
Step Four: Realize how amazing the space looks (what to call it, Modern Shaker?) without most of your stuff- like minimalist nirvana was achievable. However, you must now write downstairs at the dining room table because the green upholstered Parsons chair is in the dumpster. A hole was worn in the fabric from sitting and
watching the new David Letterman series on Netflix writing.
Step Five: Because you don’t want to pester the agent (WHAT’S HAPPENING?!), buy more beer and whisky because the bathroom is next.