Look at the sun shining your your work. No noise; just peace and quiet. You look around your home, your small writing area, the kids, the spouse, the laundry, the phone ringing, and you think – RETREAT. OH. YES. PLEASE.
You look around again and see “budget,” and know this is out of reach for now. The kids need you at home. Maybe later when they are older. Your spouse has a heavy work load and you feel stuck. Not so fast.
Hey, you are a writer — get creative and involve the whole family. When everyone takes part, they will begin to realize you write and need space, quiet space. Even if your home is small, look at all the different corners and speculate your area. I’d forget about the laundry room and the kitchen. Why? Heat and steam from the laundry might not be the best area for your computer. Kitchen has two reasons: 1) traffic flow to the fridge 2) heat from stove and odors of pot roast. Both can kill your train of thought and make you stop and eat. No. This is not your retreat area.
Brainstorm your home from corner to corner. What about the space behind the big chair in the living room? No one is there during the day. Look at any space in your bedroom. I know, bedrooms are for bedrooms; but sometimes during the day, the chair in the corner can convert to a “king’s” chair, complete with outlets, light and a window.
You think about the utility room. The room where tools are kept and remember there is heat out there. If heat, maybe you can have air; not the a/c, but a small fan and you remember the window. Your spot? One night at dinner you bring the discussion to the table. You’ve done your homework and now is time to present your retreat.
Shelves. Yes you need shelves to hold your material, your books, your research information. And, this area has shelves with ten year-old paint cans and who know what else. The bench would work for a table, once all the litter is gone and a new cover placed on top. There are outlets, and a light. Your computer would fit at one end of the table and give you room for revisions and research.
You need a chair, maybe two small chairs; one for the table to write, and one comfy, soft chair to read, edit, and think.
There is a window that does not open and looks out onto a scrawny tree, but you can fix this. Bring in fresh flowers and place them on a ledge below the window each day. Music from old records, only you remember the words to, and do not forget a candle.
Everyone seems to agree about the space. Movies on television won’t interfere, video games you won’t hear, and the i-pod can play the latest music sounds. NOT QUITE…..The notice on the door or area: WRITER AT WORK – DO NOT DISTURB FROM _____ TO _____. This is left blank until you enter your retreat.
Might not be the retreat you saw advertised; yet you have your own space and your family helped.They know what’s inside and feel more connected.
Happy Utility Room Writing.