So, wanna see what I just did for myself? I’m not gonna lie, I kind of love it.
Fist let me explain. I have this attention problem, you see, where if I’m near any noise whatsoever I am immediately distracted from what I’m doing. And our home office, you see, is right by the front door on the main floor which means that when I try to work there I am basically… never working and instead paying attention to all kinds of other things going on like kids going in and out of the house and kids playing Magic Princess Dress Up right outside the door and kids playing tag and kids playing “Kitties” with really loud meows three feet away from me as I’m trying to construct sentences. And kids crying. And kids. (Did I mention that kids are a distraction from time to time? Because they are.)
I needed a space that I could go to to escape from distraction. I didn’t know what it would look like. But my instincts told me that with my ADD, it needed three things. 1. It had to be close to my bedroom so I could go straight there without getting distracted by other things. 2. It had to be quiet and away from distractions (read: kids). And 3. It had to have a small desk.
The other morning, it occurred to me
that our walk-in closet is nearly large enough to house an olympic sized swimming pool or a small country or something (I’m bad with dimensions), and that it is in the middle of our house, away from everything
, and that it is adjacent to my bedroom. As opposed to all those other bedroom closets not
adjacent to the bedroom. So, I told Lolly that I wanted to find a small desk and set up my Writing Home there–the place where I’ll spend hours and hours writing and writing and writing. Then she thought of something genius.
This is my writing alcove. Where by “alcove” I mean “walk-in closet.”
We inherited her great-grandmother’s old Singer sewing machine table from like 1901 or something (I made that date up. I actually have no idea how old it is.) So we dragged it upstairs and shoved it into a corner, and… it is perfect. There is nothing around me to distract me. It’s small, compact, isolated. Plus, I really like the industrious feel–that many hours were spent yesteryear fabricating clothes and wholesome things at this little table, and now I spend hours and hours fabricating as well, just constructing something different, with words–the similarity of the processes is very compelling to me.
And that stack of pages there on the left? That’s the manuscript of my first novel which I wrote several years ago but never got into final form. Imma finish that sucker. And the memoir. And a bunch of poems And I will be industrious. And productive. All at my little Singer sewing machine table from 19-something, hidden deep in my Writing Alcove where no noises can distract me. It makes me all happy and peaceful inside.
(Coincidentally, on the day I set this up I read an interview with Irish writer Colum McCan. Guess where he writes? In his closet! (There’s definitely a gay joke in here somewhere, but I’m too lazy to flesh it out.))
Speaking of writing, the Deseret News asked me to contribute to a story on fatherhood. I shared some thoughts on what my kids have taught me. You can read it here