Sunday, May 30, 2010

Changes of a changing change

Henri Bergson, the French philosopher said, “To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” I’ve proven that to be true multiple times. While many people are thinking about the impact of the phenomenal shift in the way books are now read (electronic as opposed to print), or how they are categorized in the book store, I’ve been thinking of a much smaller change and its impact on my writing: my writing space.

Anyone who has read my earlier blogs would know that for many years my writing space has been my bed. Writing on my bed permitted me to write on my tiny laptop long after the hubby and kids were asleep. It allowed me to reach for the laptop in the middle of the night when that errant insomnia kept me tossing and turning. It worked great. But then things changed.

Two things precipitated the change. First I got my book published. With that came the need for office space and faster more secure internet connection. Second I finished my basement. So when I got a coupon from Verizon FiOS for a netbook, I determined that a desktop would do me more justice. I bought a desktop, converted what was once my kids’ playroom into an office and kicked my kids down in the basement.

Not a minute too soon, because within weeks of purchasing the desktop, my seven year old laptop slowed to a crawl and eventually crashed. I happily relocated my writing to my newly acquired writing space: my office. Oh yes it was a good change initially. That computer was faster. There was the internet, my printer and fax machine, you name it.

But every change comes with its downside. First of all, the kids refused to play in their new playroom, despite all the wonderful décor and toys that made it look like a section of Toys R US. One by one they began dragging their toys back into my new office until it was a total mess. Of course being able to concentrate on writing became difficult.

Next, everyone wanted to use that computer. It was faster, shinier and newer than any other computer in the house. Writing time became a matter of competing with my husband and oldest kid for computer time.

Finally, remember those sleepless nights when I reached for my laptop and wrote for hours until sleep caught up with me? Now that was a thing of the past. I couldn’t drag myself all the way downstairs to my office to write after hours. So per the natural progression of things, my writing suffered. I was putting in less time doing actual work on my WIP than when I had my laptop.

Now, I long for my laptop, but it’s in the hospital, in critical condition, on the way to the morgue. In retrospect, I should have used that coupon toward a new laptop. My next step is to revive my laptop and change once again so that my writing can occur where and when I dictate. Henri Bergson was right, “to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” Me, my writing, and my writing space, are a constant work in progress. What about you?


Stefanie Worth said...

Ah, Jewel -- A photo close to my own heart! My office is a corner of the basement I took over a couple of years ago, the kids' "stuff" stops only inches from my door.

Though the physical boundaries are well-defined, the reality is much more blurred, with my need to maintain pace as a published offer competing with their need for care and attention.

Yet, somehow, we continually juggle, shift and try to make it work. Like you said, it's a constant work in progress.

Jewel Amethyst said...

Maybe when they all go off to college we will have writing space to ourselves. But then, that would require some changing again. Change is really a continuum...

Liane Spicer said...

Yup, change is the only constant. Not original, but so true.

My son is grown and living on his own now but the changes they keep a-coming. Keeps things from getting boring, I suppose.

Phyllis Bourne said...

I guess I'm kinda like your kids. Now that I finally have an office, I can't seem to stay in it. Me (along with my writing 'toys') migrate to the kitchen, bedroom etc.

Jewel Amethyst said...

Liane, I totally agree with you, change keeps things from being boring. We just have to embrace it.

Phyllis, aren't you glad they invented laptops? I guess the reality is, our writing space is really where we're comfortable. I should have thought of that before investing in a desktop.