Tuesday, March 1, 2016

How Writing is Like a Bathroom Remodel

Today, there are people destroying my bathroom. We had a leaking shower pan, so the bathroom tile had to be ripped out, and since we're already ripping everything else is also going in the rubbish. Out with the old, in with the new. It will be nice to have a new bathroom, but in many ways I feel I'm on the cusp of change--and not just my bathroom.
Things are going to get tumultuous, and I'm not sure how I'll balance my writing with my real life. I'm not even sure when, or if, the dust will settle. If I want to write, I'll have to stake out the time--and protect it-- to make it happen. This will mean going to the library or finding some other quiet space where I can't be interrupted...or tempted.
And so because I can't see how things are going to go, I have to decide what I really want. It's not so different from picking out the tile for the bathroom. Ricardo, the tile guy, told me I made a good choice--which is nice to hear. But the truth is: not very many people will ever see my bathroom. It's not a place where I invite guests. The bathroom is pretty much just for me and my husband. Still, I want it to be nice. (And I do not want a leaky shower pan.)
Writing is somewhat like that (for me.) It's lovely to have Ricardo's and who-ever's tell me I've done a good job, but in the end the opinion of others is not why I do it.

John Green said it this way:

Don’t make stuff because you want to make money — it will never make you enough money. And don’t make stuff because you want to get famous — because you will never feel famous enough. Make gifts for people — and work hard on making those gifts in the hope that those people will notice and like the gifts.
Maybe they will notice how hard you worked, and maybe they won’t — and if they don’t notice, I know it’s frustrating. But, ultimately, that doesn’t change anything — because your responsibility is not to the people you’re making the gift for, but to the gift itself.

And I love this quote by Andy Warhol

And this poem by Lewis Caroll

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

And in the upcoming months or years where I'm sharing my space, home, and time with people I love and my hours are not quite as much of my own, I hope I'll find the time to write of shoes, ships, and sealing wax. And in the end, I hope I'll be happy with what I've done.

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