Work Space

workspace posterizedYes, I am talking about the actual physical space where you write. But I am also talking about the space in the writer’s head. People have asked me “Where do you get all your ideas?” They ask about writer’s block.

The truth is, I have WAY too many ideas. My mind is a swirl of stories. Day and night. I dream stories, I write stories in my head when I walk, shower, drive, swim, or vacuum. If I live a thousand years I will never tell all the stories that swirl around.

Last January I took another writing class. It was a good way to get focused on my next novel, and I finished the class on a high note, ready to move forward. I suffered a medical setback and stopped writing for a month. Then I started a new medication and stopped writing for another month. Then I asked myself “Do you really want to write this stuff down?” I had lots of excuses for why I wasn’t writing – my health was a priority … have to train the new puppy … there’s always time to write later.”

But a friend, who happens to have the same medical condition and is on a similar medication,  pointed out something to me. “Robin” she said, “The medication makes me really unfocused and forgetful. Maybe you have the same side effect.”

Suddenly I realized why, in the last four weeks, I have abandoned all my projects. Not just writing, but painting and yard work and traveling and more. I have let people down by forgetting about commitments and problems. I haven’t been returning phone calls or emails.

I’m not down at all. I’m happy. I’m walking and swimming and kayaking. I’m training and playing with the new puppy. I joked to a friend “I’m like a stoner. La de da, who cares?”

I needed a jump start. I know that I love my activities – writing, painting, reading – but I had lost the flame. So I invited a bunch of friends over and we spent the day “working” on projects. I painted rocks for my labyrinth. And when the day was over I felt a great boost. So I set up my “work stations” again. Writing with my idea and character board in front of me (pictured), painting out on my screen porch where I can enjoy the yard and watch the new puppy frolic (and make sure she isn’t destroying something!) and reading out on my sky chair in the fresh

The focus on the physical work space has worked to clear the work space in my head!

What about you? Are you tied to environmental cues? For your work, your hobbies or your mental state?


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