[Creativity Challenges] Moving House, Part One: Dust in the Corners

The thought of deconstructing my studio space book-by-book, inspiration-by-inspiration, packing them away, carting their heavy bodies off to some as-yet-unknown location, and painstakingly re-assembling the lot is an awful concept to ponder for even two seconds. While the physical contents of my creative life will be carried to this new place, the sense of energy and safety that I’ve enjoyed here, in this spot, for 3 years, are nontransferable. They cannot be put back together again, but must develop organically in a new form that might not be instantly or easily recognizable.

I require a lot from my creative surroundings. Aside from practical considerations of size and wall space and aesthetics, most of my needs are psychological: a logical necessity that somehow manages to defy many points of logic. It doesn’t matter, though. I need what I need in order to write, to create, to be. To be, what? Effective, fertile, happy, productive. I’m drawn to this subject every time a move is on the horizon, when my well-being is jeopardized, scattered, marginalized. That time is almost here. I thought it would be nice to share part of this with you, as it illuminates another of the many over-looked facets of being a writer (or reader). So much of the creative process is odd, hidden, never discussed. Maybe we think that people, including other writers, only want to hear about the practicalities of writing and editing and marketing; about characterization and plots and publishing. I think most of us know that the truth is stranger and more fruitful than that: this truth, so universal, is also boring, terrifying, lyrical, sad, and hopeful. So, let’s do this. Let us look at writing and creating from unexpected angles. Showing the dust in the corners of the literary world is, after all, what this blog is all about.

How important is sense of space to your creative process?

27 thoughts on “[Creativity Challenges] Moving House, Part One: Dust in the Corners

  1. Privacy and harmony is highly important in the space where I creative. I feel like I can make due with just about anything else, but an inability to be closed in and away from all else and to have a sense of harmony in the environment around me, disrupts my ability to focus (I become uncomfortable).

    You’re right, the safety you have in one space isn’t necessarily nontransferable. It must be built again, as you’ve said. Like a relationship of any kind, with each new day.

    All the best.

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    • I do not necessarily need privacy. The place we are about to move out of is a large, open loft. My studio is kind of off to the side, but is still open to the living area. I can engage with my husband this way (when he is actually home) but also have some semi-privacy. I can work to music, the television, wailing sirens. The only thing I cannot abide is when our 2 dogs bark. No way. For me, it is just the sense that it is a welcoming place, safe, in harmony, with good energy. Not to mention wall space. Lots of wall space for my inspiration boards and book cases and art.

      Yeah, I definitely have to start over and build it into what it needs to be. It will all happen in time, as long as the bones are there.

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      • Wow. Hahaha. You can work to all that? You’re a trooper!

        Haha. I think that you will find your space in time. But a space the right one is a discovery almost. Not even a search, sort of like the right place to live. All the best!

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      • Yeah, I have always been that way. In high school I always did my homework to music or at least with the television humming in the background. It is the only way I can work. The only thing I cannot abide for long is someone in the room talking to me.

        I will definitely find, or make, my space. We have to move in 21 days, so the clock is ticking…

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      • So you’re visiting alotta places…

        Exhausting and disappointing I’m sure. Well, they say envision it. They say, hold the vision of what you want in your mind and act as if you have it (no, no idea how to do that, just hear it alot). But I get told this alot?

        I’ll envision it for you too – just finding your perfect space.

        I listen to music when writing the screenplays as well. But I have been noticing lately there are times when I have to turn it off. But all that other stuff? No. Oh and people talking? Never had to contend with it.

        But have you ever had a writing partner? I imagine then there would be some talking in the midst of writing (I haven’t yet).

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      • Well, not as many as we should be. My husband is training for a new job out of state and is only home 2 days a week. My car is not functioning and we live in a city without reliable public transportation, except for an annoying bus system. I know that we will be scrambling to find a place with one week to go before we have to be out of here. So, fingers crossed that whatever we end up taking has suitable space for my studio. Sigh!

        I have collaborated with someone on projects on and off for a decade, but we are usually living in different cities/countries!

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      • Wow. Intense. Well visualize that place — perhaps this thing works. Ah, so no problem with chattering on from the collaborators then. 🙂

        OHF…scrambling at the last minute (nerve wrecking), hope the place you two find has a space in it for your studio.

        But reliable transportation is a big deal. In NY employers don’t ever consider the subways to be anymore, but it is something. Anyway, bet you’ll be glad when your husband’s training is over. 2 days a week? Wow.

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      • I hope it does, too, for my sanity!

        I’ve been taking a lot of cabs since the husband has been working in Indiana. We live 3 miles from downtown, so walking to and from places is not an option. I am hoping to move within a mile of the city so that in future I can have the choice. I’d take a subway any day of the week over a bus. For real.

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      • Wow, cabs? Are they expensive out there? Haha. I prefer the subway too Maedez, but it’s $2.50 one way now. So to go anywhere then return home it’s $5.00 (same with the bus out here).

        But, I’m kind of not a bus person? Unless I am in another state.

        This training must also be exhausting for your husband too though. The traveling.

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      • I never have to go more than 10 minutes (and if I do I cop a ride from a friend or wait for The Chef to get home), so it is usually $12.00 or $13.00 + a tip. I normally don’t have to take cabs very often, but since the husband is out of town I’ve been doing it a few trips a week.

        I am definitely not a bus person unless I have to. As far as I am concerned, I do not have to!

        He is definitely ready to come home. Fortunately, the second half of his training is just across the river and down the road. Like, 15 minutes away tops.

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      • You call your husband The Chef? 🙂 Wow, the cabs are expensive, but you’ve got to do it cuz you guys have to find a spot right? Plus shopping?

        Oh that’s good! He’s only 15 minutes away!

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      • Haha, I call him The Chef because he is, well, a chef! 🙂 Right now, he’s an hour and forty minutes away, but only until the 23rd! Then he will be 15 minutes away. I cannot wait, and neither can he!

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      • Oh! That must be wonderful (I’m a real foodie). Does he do alot of the cooking when he’s home? What kind of food? That is totally cool when a man knows how to cook.

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      • Yes, although he works a lot so it is no more than once a week. Honestly, we both work hard and go out a lot. He seems to know someone everywhere we go, which helps. He can cook anything. He usually cooks whatever he feels like, but he takes requests!

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      • Haha. Sounds like you both are foodies. Yep, that’s the climate in America now. We’re all working our you know what’s off, and then some.

        So what kind of food do you all enjoy most?

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      • Oh, yes, we are!

        I like almost any kind of food, as long as it is good. I was a vegetarian for a decade, which actually made me a more adventurous eater. The Chef has eaten some very strange foods (by Western standards, that is). His fave meal is any that someone else makes for him.

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      • A vegetarian for a year? Wow. Much longer than I managed. Did you become anemic or paper thin?

        I love eating vegetables — now — but it took training.

        Haha…his fave meal is any someone makes for him? That is sweeeeeet.

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      • Nope, ten years! A decade. I was vegan on and off during that period, as well. I have always been quite thin, so no. And no anemia. I felt fine, but must admit that I feel even better now. I still eat a mostly veg diet-probably 90% of the time. I eat meat if The Chef cooks it or if we go out and something on a menu looks good or if my body is craving it, but I never make it for myself. I love veggies, almost all of ’em! Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts are two of my fave foods.

        Yeah, he says that line a lot. It’s his go-to response, and it’s definitely true.

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      • That’s good, then you were an educated vegan. When I was a vegetarian I quickly became anemic, but that’s some issue with my body because I eat a say 70/30 diet of veggies and protein and still anemic. I’ve done a bunch of cleanses too.

        It got better but never went away. o_0

        Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts? 🙂 That’s great Maedez.

        You’re good. I love some vegetables, kinda ho hum about others. I was never a big veggie fan though, I’ve grown to like what I like. 🙂

        Haha. Well then you’ve gotta keep wowing him with your cooking back! 🙂

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  2. Moving always makes me terribly anxious, but I comfort myself with the fact that there will be a place, just for me, where I can write. The key, to me, is to have books handy so I can easily pull them off the shelf and refer to them – and to be not too far from the kitchen. I’m serious! I love to eat when I write.

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    • I have to be surrounded by my books, too. I prefer to have my studio double as my library. Not having that is not a deal breaker, but it sure is nice. I hear you about the kitchen. I do not need food, but like to be near the tea kettle…

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  3. I am in the midst of packing up to move to another place for six months. In that other place I have a studio and a quiet place to write and my bookshelves. Moving is so stressful though – what to bring, what has to wait for me to come back. Creativity can be done anywhere – a small notebook on a long car ride – but having access to tools, paper, easels, etc. is my comfort and anchor. When we share the dust, we are really, really sharing. I tend to doubt people who are positive all the time, boosting constantly. That is not the way artists are – we are full of questions and doubt and I love the ride that brings me around to completing something I can live with.

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    • I cannot imagine doing 6 months here and 6 months in another place, logistically speaking. Mentally I think it would be fabulous, though. You must have it down to a fine art by now. I always have (too many) notebooks with me. I can, and will,, write anywhere but my studio space has to have a special feel or I cannot function.

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  4. One of my dreams for years is to have a room all my own.. not a bedroom but a place where I can write, develop my photos, just some peaceful, zen-like space ..I am moving soon and rest assured that 2nd bedroom will be Lynne’s space.. mine all mine 🙂

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