The Space to Write

Most of the time, I write in my living room on a repurposed sofa table I forced my wife to help me carry into the house after I found it at a dumpster. The only thing it doesn’t have is the ability to push my chair underneath it. But who needs that? I like to have my area clear, except for my multitude of colorful pens I tend to keep close by. There is something comforting about having pens close by, just in case I need to get creative.
Very recently, I asked my wife to hook up a second monitor to my desk so I can “research on one screen while I write on the other.” I haven’t quite gotten used to the second screen and I also have not actually researched much in the last week. Maybe tonight I will use the second screen to hold my homework notes while I retake some homework quizzes.
Right now, I am sitting on my patio. Most of the time, patios are bright spaces in back yards that overlook some trees. This patio, since I am in a garden apartment, is dug out and filled in with concrete. I don’t know why this condo has a dug-out patio while other condos in this same complete do not. Maybe the contractors realized it was a stupid idea after completing the first building. Although it is not pretty, gets no light, and no plants could survive here – it does offer a lot of privacy. I have my little table and chairs, yet, no neighbor talks to me since I am hidden from sight.
I have not had these table and chairs very long. In fact, I think it has only been two weeks. So far, I have used them three times to complete homework. This is my first blog written out here. I don’t need much to write, just a comfortable space.
A strange thing I do is put headphones in my ears even though I am not listening to music. It helps create an enclosure in my mind that outside noises take away. It makes me feel comfortable, so I do it to create that space I am looking for when I am writing.
I’ve never fared well when I go into a public space to write. I can handwrite outlines or notes but I cannot get into a creative mode to write a story line. I suppose I have not tried in a very long time. I think I prefer my patio to a library or coffee shop. Also, I have to pack everything up if I need to go pee – that sucks.
I suppose what I am trying to say is, everyone has their own place they use to get into the mindset to write. Writing at home probably makes me a homebody since I have to spend so much time not leaving the house. I think it is a necessary evil because I would otherwise be unhappy. I would never get anything done. Ugh, I hate even imagining it.
Ideally, when I am a grown up with a house, I will have an office with a window that looks out on a backyard or garden. This way, I can still feel as though I am sitting outside even when snow is on the ground or it is just too cold. For example, it is July 30 and only 70 degrees outside. It is a bit chilly in my underground patio.
I like my space because it makes me feel inspired. I don’t have to worry about ordering another coffee or losing my seat because I have a small bladder. It is also nice when my cat decides to sit in my lap while I am writing for what seems like forever.
I think being comfortable in a writing space is one of the most important aspects of being a writer. I am happy to have achieved at least some of my writing space needs. Now, I just need to make sure I am not getting distracted by cat videos and Facebook posts while in that comfortable space.

Breathing Grammar

I am on a mission to learn English grammar and it is possibly the hardest thing I have tried to learn in a long time. Here I was thinking “Oh, I already know grammar, I write ALL day long”. It isn’t that simple though – sure, I’ve learned to mimic good grammar. I know what sounds best when I am typing a sentence. It is almost unholy how wrong I was about English grammar being something that would be easy.
I recently began taking the Grammar Lab through the online certificate for copyediting offered by the University of California San Diego. I graduated with my MBA through Southern New Hampshire University in September 2014 and I have been itching to go back to school. Going back to school these days means following my passions instead of the necessity of trying to land a job to make my bank account not roll over on its back and die.
Creative writing has always been my passion. It has been that way since my childhood when all I wanted to do was write stories, read Stephen King and listen to Green Day. For a long time, I wanted to have a career in creative writing. Then, I kept being informed over and over that writing wasn’t something I should do if I actually wanted to survive on my own. Now, I am surviving on my own and I am still bitten by the need to write creatively and professionally.
Gaining the copyediting certificate is probably half my need to be a perfectionist at writing and half my need to just keep learning. I have written my first fiction novel, and although I have a lot of self-doubt about the novel itself, I still want to do it justice by editing it to the best of my abilities. I may also be procrastinating in editing it because I want to forget all about it so I can realize any dreaded plot holes. Either way, while I am waiting for my nerves to stop being jittery about my 80k word salad, learning how to edit will help me with my future writing.
Also, no one ever said I could not one day be a freelance copyeditor. People like to read and write but editing a book is difficult as hell. It is nice knowing that I can develop this skill so that it may become something more prominent in my life in the future. Sure, I put writing on my back-burner due to fear. However, this isn’t some long lost pipe-dream. I mean, I am only 28. You’d think I’d given up for 30 years by the way I am talking.
I wonder, if by the end of this class, I will be able to breathe English grammar. Maybe not – but I still own The McGraw-Hill Handbook of English Grammar and Usage, which gets into the nitty gritty of grammar like no other book I have ever read. I am sure I will learn more grammar as I get into the meat of the copyediting certificate. It is guaranteed since I am determined.

Origin of Mental Apparatus

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

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