I ask this question with several things in mind. Of course, where have the words been the past 6 months that I haven’t posted here? Where are the words to respond to the state of the world? Where are the words for my next manuscript? Answers: On hiatus, speechless, and forthcoming.
Subscribers of my newsletter for writers received a note last week after 6 months of silence that explained my pandemic-influenced focus on family, immunity and health, and food security. Pre-COVID, I knew my spring and summer were going to be demanding. I went into spring (swarm season) with more hives than I had ever had at the start of the season. Last fall I expanded my growing area by 25 percent in my in-ground garden, and doubled my container space on our decks, so I knew I was going to need more time outside in the next growing season.
When the world changed, I didn’t even have the words to continue my own creative writing let alone keep in touch here on my blog. Like so many others facing uncertainty, it didn’t make sense for me to announce an official leave, and I honestly didn’t think anyone would care as all of our priorities bubbled into other areas.
I’ve been speechless over and over again for many disparate reasons. When the stay-at-home order happened and there was no end in sight. (The same week our library closed “indefinitely” and still has not opened.) The riots. Freelancers receiving unemployment benefits. Brutality. Fires. I’m grateful for those whose voices get louder during these times.
Where the words are now
Something I recognized many years ago is that fall is rapturous for my creative spirit. I expect and rely on the changing season to fuel whatever I’m working on. It’s not that the seasonal pull is aesthetically inspiring, fall envelopes me and gives me no choice but to write.
Knowing that the autumnal shift wasn’t far away, I took advantage of the hottest days of summer when it was unbearable to do much of anything outside, and I renovated my office. Sort of like nesting for a book baby. (Although we have no children and intend to remain child-free, the preparation and work I did for my office renovation felt very much like I imagine mothers-to-be feel prepping a nursery!) I had never done any type of home DIY work before. Google Images, YouTube, and Instagram served as inspiration, and YouTube continued to serve as a mentor where I watched videos on installing vinyl flooring and shiplap. My inexplicable fascination with tiny houses helped me implement new ways of extending the room and maximizing space.
My office went from 1970s green shag carpet, pallid colorless walls (which I learned on closer inspection were painted wallpaper), and never-enough-light to smooth vinyl and a colorful throw rug, “butterscotch cream” walls with a shiplap accent wall, and multiple unique light fixtures.
I’ll share more details about my office renovation in another post. There’s a lot I’d like to share with you, and hope I can learn some ideas from how you’ve set up your writing studio, office, or other creative space.
My “new” space prompted me to send my newsletter last week. In all honesty, I was thinking that after 6 months of silence, why bother sending a newsletter again? Why bother posting to this blog either? But I sent a little note to my subscribers anyway, with no promise or reference of future frequency. Then a reply came, and another, and another, and I realized: I have readers. What a great thing for a writer to have. ❤