On Writing and Thinking

So, where do you write? I wonder. I’m curious about other people’s habits – all of them, but for this post I’m mostly just thinking about writing. And wondering where you do it.

I used to write in my journal in bed before I fell asleep. I remember doing that from the time I was 10 years old. I would write in my little diary with a lock on the front, in the pitch dark and then try to read what I wrote the next morning. I was always a little surprised – and maybe a little disappointed – when it was fairly legible. What I actually had to say probably wasn’t all that interesting, I guess.

But now I write at the computer in the room in our house that most closely resembles an office. The office look due in large part to the built in bookcases framing the window, but mostly to the wood paneling from the original design when the house was built in 1954. We decorate it now with kitschy cross-stitch pictures or velvet paintings. Paint-by-numbers and burlap big-eyed kids adorn our wistful 70s walls.

Usually I compose in my head, the first paragraph or so, and when I can squeeze in a few consecutive minutes, I bang something out. Either when Lily’s watching a movie or fast asleep – the only two times a day when she doesn’t need to be actively engaged in things only a 3 year old requires; making shopping lists full of nothing but x’s and o’s, mailing works of art made of stickers and bingo paint pens.

But most recently, I’ve been typing up posts at work, if at all.

My therapist called a couple weeks ago to check on me. I haven’t been to see her in almost 2 months. I told her I had to cancel an appointment initially because of a scheduling conflict but that lately I just don’t feel the need. She said she thinks I’m in a good place and that she would tell me if she felt otherwise.

I feel in a pretty stable place, too, for the most part. I still have moments of disbelief, regret, feeling cheated out of my happy life, stupid sadness and grief, but I know what to do with those feelings when they come around now. I’ve learned how to just feel them. Let them have their way with me for just long enough before I gently scootch them back
into their own sad room until next time.

I’m what they call, good-natured. Generally I just want to be happy, pride myself on being fair minded and pleasant. That’s one of those things about me that hasn’t changed. It’s one of those core values that seems to be what has kept me from drowning in my own sorrow.

I simply don’t want to. Deep down, I am not the type of person made to not get back up. As tiring as that sounds.

  1. #1 by sonia on June 23, 2010 - 3:32 pm

    Hi! Interesting question. I write mostly on my computer. I always have, ever since high school, and I realized how much easier editing is on the computer. But I write a lot these days on my iTouch. Typing more than a couple sentences on it is not nearly as difficult as it sounds.

  2. #2 by Catherine W on June 24, 2010 - 3:18 pm

    I love the description of your room that most closely resembles an office. I’m trying to imagine all the decorations, I remember doing velvet paintings and paint by numbers when I was a kid.

    I don’t think I ever ‘wrote’ anything much before I started writing a blog. Apart from poems and stories that would have been school assignments. I had numerous failed attempts that diary writing. One attempt appears to be a list of things I ate, I obviously had a rather dull childhood!

    I write in the front room of my house, it is the junk room (although it was originally intended to be a guest room). I am surrounded by hanging laundry and two rather over stuffed bookcases loom over me.

    I usually write when J is asleep, in the evening or the wee small hours of the morning when I can’t seem to drift off. Accounts for some of the over emotional nature of my writing possibly?!

    I like your gentle scootching, trying to master that trick myself. I really, really like the last couple of paragraphs of this post and I’ve typed out about ten different responses and none of them say what I actually want to say. I’m giving up. Oh and I love your description of Lily’s shopping list but I couldn’t seem to tie that in coherently any place else. So I’m adding it here.

    I’ll go write on my own blog now. Blushes. Runs. Thank you for the interesting post.

  3. #3 by livemotionally on June 24, 2010 - 10:34 pm

    Ironically, this post was written on my BlackBerry and updated at work. And these comments are on my husbands HTC Hero. I guess I should’ve included these devices in my list of places.

    Catherine W – I always love your thoughtful responses, don’t run away! I may just take your comments one of these days and make a new post and call you a guest contributor. 🙂

    What I love about your writing is how honestly emotional it is. It sounds like you’re writing when you’re not distracted so you can really reflect. I wonder how my writing would be different (less scattered, maybe?) if I wasn’t pre-programmed to pass out at 11pm every night. Writing in the middle of a busy day probably explains my sporadic thoughts.

  4. #4 by beth on June 28, 2010 - 2:27 pm

    i write mostly at home, but i have a netbook so i can also write at starbucks and the library, or generally whereever i am that has wifi. it rocks.

    i wish i wrote the old fashioned way more, but things flow just as well like this, so i shouldn’t complain.

  5. #5 by Hannah on July 13, 2010 - 5:38 pm

    This has been one of the most comforting posts I’ve found – just your gentle knowledge of your own nature, and that you are built for survival, for happiness, even if it is hard work sometimes. I’ve kept coming back to it over a few very difficult weeks and always found it so steadying – thank you.

    Where do I write? At work, at home, in bed, on the computer, in various coloured notebooks. Pre-accident I used to write a sporadic journal – after the accident, I filled up a series of paper journals as though the words were bleeding out of me, and also started blogging more. I do like the pen to paper feeling – most of my good writing comes onto paper first, and is then typed up.

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