Lately, I've had kind of a weird problem.
I haven't been able to write in my office.
Years ago, when I first started writing seriously, I worked for a huge investment bank as an administrative assistant on a trading desk. There were people screaming trades over my head, phones blaring, televisions flashing...and yet, I was somehow able to put on mental blinders and write despite the constant chaos. I wrote half of my first novel while working there. I prided myself on being able to write anywhere.
And yet, for the past few weeks, my Muse has become very resistant whenever I pass through the doorway to my lovely office. She turns me into an antsy six-year-old child who can't sit still in her chair and restlessly looks for some distraction - any distraction - to keep me from writing.
Seriously...what is wrong with my Muse?
I don't know. I'm sort of content to let it go for a while, figuring that I'll eventually find my way back to my office. But one of my other writing friends, who teaches writing & creativity workshops, has become fascinated with this problem. She's been asking me every day whether I've written in the office, and given me all sorts of advice on how to trick my Muse into getting back in there. It's like her Muse is my Muse's therapist.
As writers, we know how important it is to claim your space. Even at a coffeeshop, we need a good table where there's no glare on our computer screen and far enough away from the counter traffic and anyone who looks even remotely chatty. We all have our rituals that we perform before we face the page - lighting a candle, reciting an affirmation, holding a talisman, or praying to the writing gods to please please please let me finish this freaking chapter. These rituals are important. They are as sacred as crossing yourself when you enter a church, praying before a meal, or chanting Om Namah Shivaya during meditation. After all, treating your space seriously means treating your writing seriously.
So in an effort to make my space more sacred, I cleaned the office the other day. Not a big purge or anything, just a good thorough dusting and straightening up. I'm happy to report that I'm writing this blog post while sitting at my desk. But I can feel my Muse squirming in her chair...
Where do you write? What are some of your favorite writing rituals? And is there a place where you absolutely can't get any writing done?
Nicole Maggi lives in Los Angeles, CA with her amazingly supportive husband and is a mom to one-year-old Emilia. She worked as an actress for many years in New York before the lure of sunshine and avocados enticed her to the West Coast. Though she still acts, her focus now is on her writing. In her very limited spare time, Nicole enjoys yoga, hiking, baking (and eating what she bakes), reading, reading, watching reruns of LOST, and more reading. Please follow her on Twitter so she can reach her goal of 1000 followers by her book's release date!