Week 1: Inspiration, Internetlessness, Closets, Notebooks, Boys, Mochas, Books, and Writing Alone

I always do what I say I won’t do. If I say I’m keeping a vow to not eat chocolate, say, just as an example (what a horrifying example!), be assured that I will eat a bite of chocolate within four to six hours of making the vow, and I will feel guilty for an instant and then I will love it and be thrilled at the idea of breaking the rules and feel no more guilt, none at all.

I am now at the writers colony, where I said I wouldn’t blog. But maybe I can tell you random things focused solely on me and my state of mind because I like saying I’m not going to do something and then doing it anyway.

Here’s what I’ve found so far:

Already in my first week, I’ve had two distinct and exciting ideas for my writing that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. If I hadn’t been here, I wouldn’t have discovered these two sparks, as they are directly related to this place and this moment and this space around me. I got a shiver just thinking of them now.

I love not having constant internet access. I’m writing this post offline in fact, and I’ll have to carry my laptop to a place where I will be able to upload it, and I may get to that today or tomorrow or the next day, so the instantaneous feeling of writing this will be lost, and I guess it’s possible that I may write it and not post it at all.

I have trouble sleeping when it’s too quiet. Also, related: Closets in old houses are very, very long—have you noticed? Closets have the feel of tunnels, shrinking smaller and smaller the farther back they go in, and in daylight they look like ordinary closets, but in nighttime they seem to expand into new dimensions, and their doors must be closed while you’re sleeping. I knew this as a child, but I’ve just relearned it now.

Writing longhand in a notebook while sitting on a shady spot in the grass of a completely empty patch of lawn can be magical. Even if you always use a laptop and have forgotten your grade-school cursive, try it. Take a notebook. Consider a mechanical pencil—it makes a satisfying scratching sound, and you can erase. Find a place where you can’t see anyone. Put your jacket down on the grass and stretch out. Put pencil to paper. Feel the wind on your face. See what comes.

Boys and Mochas
I miss E. I miss mochas. I miss E more than I miss mochas, exponentially more. But I do wonder if Think Coffee has noticed me gone. Are they worried? Do they wonder if I’ve been kidnapped? I don’t know if Think misses me, but I know E does.

I was able to fit eight books into my suitcase and wish I’d stuffed in a few more. It’s only the end of the first week and I’ve already read four.

Writing Alone
I am not used to writing alone. It’s always said that writing is a solitary occupation, but I’ve realized that I am never alone by myself when I write. There are people all around me in the café, and there are people all around me in my writing spot, and that feeds me somehow, the knowledge that there are people and they’ll know if I’m not working. I never write in a room alone with the door closed, where no one can see if I’m working or not. But I am now. Imagine the freedom of that after never having it, never. Imagine looking around and seeing no one. Imagine typing and having no one hear you tap those keys. No one can see me doing it, but I’m working, I am, I can’t help it. That’s why I’m here.

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