A Place For Me and a Place to Write

For the first time in a long time, I haven’t even tried to write of late.

Every year I’ve done these pretty deep excavations around the time of my mom’s death anniversary, but this year, not so much. Not directly related to THAT, anyhow. My excavations of late have come from the unearthing of my life as I burrow through my past and take my home apart under the watchful eye of Terra & her organizational conquerings.

Order is slowly returning to my life, and with it I’m starting to feel the ebbing-away of my “comprehensive panic” I’ve been living under for months.

My home reached the ultimate low last week and I felt like someone was emotionally stabbing me into a thousand deaths. I had no rest, no peace, and I felt like my world was closing in around me. I couldn’t sleep.

I couldn’t even walk across ANY room without having to carefully choose spots between shit on the floor. It was as bad as chaos gets, and I cannot live nor function in such a world. Some of the darkness and despair of last winter, when my back problems were at my worst, are becoming more clear to me now. NOW I remember how fucked up I felt and for how long.

This… waking up this morning to bookshelves that have order, a desk with some visible space, and floors almost entirely uncovered and open… this has been a very freeing feeling this morning. I hate to leave my home.

It’s far from done, which makes me smile, because I know it’s going to feel better than I can imagine after living for so many months in a home I haven’t been able to stand.

I guess the it’s-been-days-since-I’ve-written realization makes sense now that I really take a look at how discordant I felt in the chaos. Creation takes a certain environmental need for most artists, and writing, for me, requires desk space, comfortable seating, silence but for the clacking of keys and the slapping of tires on roads nearby.

I’m within a couple of weeks from having created (with the professional help of Terra) what I think will be the perfect home in which to disappear and hibernate through the winter months.

I’m wanting a sanctum in which I can feel safe, take creative risks, and feel like I’m alive in, while I’m living north of the 49th in what could be another brutal winter for the record books, if this summer and last winter are any indication. Mother Nature’s on a roll; underestimating her now seems unwise.

My winter will come with incredible change. My plan is to become more of a commuter by choice — with the city’s gleaming jewel of a transit system, the Canada Line Skytrain, opening in just 7 days, it’ll be bringing massive change to my life. I will train most of the time this winter. I’ll be walking everywhere… with a body that no longer hates me and legs that have come to love walking. I’ll have to read more, observe life more. I’ll have my shiny new iPhone on the go all the time. For me to become a walker, an observer, an in-the-thick of it Citizen Public, will be a big and interesting change, one I hope I can bring to life on the blog with the use of multimedia I capture as I Live Life At Large.

As part of that vision, I’m thinking I want to transfer my blog to Squarespace and get a new multimedia-built blog where I can put videos and photos with ease. I find WordPress intimidating.

To work toward all that, I’m creating a home in which I’ll feel I have no more distractions, and then my plan is simple: writing is everything. Blogging is a part of that writing goal, but the writing goal is far bigger than just that.

I was talking to Terra yesterday as we were organizing my place, saying how I wanted to spend some time later to write, and she expressed how she couldn’t relate to use schedule-in-writing types. But she writes for a living, and right now I write for a hobby.

That needs to change. I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me. I know I can write for a living if I work at it hard enough.* Trouble is, freelance doesn’t interest me right now. My first plan of attack is a book. I know, yeah, why not set my goals a little higher, huh?

But, really, everybody and their bitch is writing a book these days. That hardly distinguishes me. So, I’ll just have to make sure mine’s one worth reading, that’s all. Something tells me that’s probably an attainable goal. But first I need a place that makes me feel like I have that in me.

It’s funny, I’m sitting here at once feeling this overwhelming confidence about writing a book–“Oh, THAT? Nadaproblem, man.” …while being consumed with the all-knowing awareness that, to write a really great book in the genre I plan to write in, one has to leave it ALL on the page. And while I know I can leave it all on the page, I question whether I’m prepared to do so.

When this little household project comes to a close, though, the gloves are off. The plan gets made, my two-year path begins anew. One two-year phase, in which I have accomplished nearly everything I had set out to do, including the 75 pounds I wanted to lose, comes to a close on August 24th, 2009. That’s the anniversary of when I decided to quit the job that had made me begin to hate myself and life, in the effort of returning to my TV work, losing weight, and becoming a person I could live with again. So, uh, that happened.

It’s fucking great. I’m here. I’ve done what I wanted to, it’s time to set new goals, to look forward to the next phase, and to check off this long list of things I’ve done.

Having a new home with a new layout makes sense. The flow’s good here, each room is clearly laid out in this open 1950’s floorplan now, and it feels like a writer’s cocoon. But the new perspective is fantastic. I see so much more from where I write now. It’ll be wonderful. Perspective is everything, like in Dead Poets Society when Williams makes the kids stand on the desks and take a new look from a new place. So too with writing from a new perspective. Let’s see where it all goes.

Great things will happen here. This is the calm before what will be my literary storm. And that excites me more than you will ever, ever know.

*As Richard Ford wrote and I have had around my writing space for years, “Writing for a living is a privilege, not a God-given right, as the opportunities are few though sought after by many. There are years of rejection, which serve as a crude winnowing process, after which those left standing are those who simply must write.” I will always write, for money, for fame, or for naught. I’m a writer before I’m anything else, and it has nothing to do with my work being read; it’s about what happens between the brain and the page, nothing more. If it’s about more than that for YOU as a writer, you might want to rethink your motivations.