I stayed at a friend’s house this weekend, watching her dog and cats. It was a lovely, secluded area (by NYC standards) and I thought it would be a nice, quiet place to do some writing.
Except I kept hearing strange creaking sounds, different from my house. And the occasional car would break the dead silence and startle me as the headlights flashed in the night. And my friend’s laptop keys felt different to my fingers. (I know, that sounds weird.)
One cat inserted herself between me and the laptop that rested on my lap and reminded me how wonderful purring sounds, even if awkwardly placed. The backyard was green and fragrant. Everything caught my attention.
I couldn’t write. There was too much to absorb, sights and smells that offered new ideas and details I will probably use in some future writing. But I couldn’t write in that house. I was too busy experiencing.
Writing at home has a familiarity that allows me to ignore the creaks and the chores and turn to the page, where new things await. New places, different places, are where I go when I need new fodder for my work.
Not everyone has the luxury of having that space in their own home, and I can see how a writers’ retreat would be a great place to work. But I was happy to go home with new perceptions to absorb.
Time for me to write!