My Writing Desk

Installing the upper windows required some problem solving!

Installing the upper windows required some problem solving!

by Autumn M. Birt

I have in my mind, the perfect writing desk. It is located in the house I’m building on the second floor, looking out into the quiet forest through four tall and narrow windows. These windows in fact. I can write there undisturbed by anything but squirrels and wind.

The problem is that the house isn’t quite done. It isn’t even livable yet in fact. Furniture? Hah! Still in my dreams.

Every weekend since the crazy idea to build our own little house entered the deluded minds of my husband and myself, I’ve spent designing and building my cottage in the woods. I gave up so much for this effort: kayaking, motorcycling, vacations, writing . . . .I knew that would happen, but was willing to make the sacrifice because I knew the building would end with a result worth far more than a summer’s discomfort.

That was last summer.

Admittedly, this one we are into the final stretch: insulation, drywall, flooring, and trim. The time when my weekends will consist of cleaning rather than constructing the house are tangibly close. Just not quiet yet. Which can be so frustrating at times.

You see, I’m truly addicted to writing. A day without touching a work-in-progress is a horrible waste to me. My mood suffers along with my life outlook and passion. I embrace every aspect of life when I’m writing – even the day the rafters nearly collapsed in a spectacular failure (that is another story). I documented the moment knowing someday . . . someday I’d want to write about even that.

Not just a writer - I handle design and heavy construction!

Not just a writer – I handle design and heavy construction!

When I don’t write, I’m missing a piece of my soul. So I try to fit it in as best I can, ignoring the nagging demon that whispers I’d be so much further ahead in publishing if I hadn’t decided to build a house (annoying little-know-it-all that it is). I know the house will be great. I know that next winter, I’ll be trapped by a snowstorm lost in writer’s nirvana, locked happily in my cottage next to the woodstove typing away.

But I also know that is an illusion – a dream as much as any of the fantasy I write.

When the house is done, I won’t be spending every weekend inside writing all summer (or fall, spring, or winter). I’ll be out hiking or kayaking, camping or motorcycling, skiing or snowmobiling. One of these days, I’ll quit my job and go hike the AT (six months of no internet will definitely impact marketing) or jump town on an outgoing sailboat. I’m not stationary (or sane, apparently).

I travel. I move. I do. I dream best when in motion. Ideas click together. For now, they are growing in wild abandon as I put the finishing touches on my little cottage. It is like the weeds have taken over the fertile garden of my mind and they are cross breeding some monstrous and amazing things.

Me: writing while cooking dinner while camping during a motorcycle trip (with dogs and husband) through Canada to Vermont. I am the QUEEN of doing it all - or too much?!

Me: writing while cooking dinner while camping during a motorcycle trip (with dogs and husband) through Canada to Vermont. I am the QUEEN of doing it all – or too much?!

The ideas don’t stop and the longer I leave them the bigger they grow. At some point though, I will have to give them attention, most likely in an unstoppable bout of creativity that will take over my life as much as house building. There is always a balance to reckon with and considering how long it’s been since I’ve created a full piece of work . . . . Well, those ideas are going to be very demanding in their need to be released!

For now, dreams are leaking out around the edges of my life.

I know I may never have my perfect writing desk. I hope I do, but that is okay if I don’t. It doesn’t take the perfect spot for me to write. Notes are written and ideas captured whether I’m at work or taking a break between building walls. Like all true addicts, I can’t really stop myself. And I honestly I don’t want to!

This weekend, I’m building a house. Next week, I might be working on a new world.

– Autumn is the author of the epic fantasy novel Born of Water and its Novel Companion and, most recently, the compilation of adventure travel stories Danger Peligros! All are available at Amazon, Smashwords, and other retailers of e-novels. Her next novel, Rule of Fire, will be available late this spring. You can also find her online building friendships at Twitter at @weifarer or on her Facebook page and on Goodreads.


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