The Writing Life: My Outdoor Room

Envious? Don’t be. Usually it’s raining.

It’s a glorious afternoon here in greater Portland (Oregon) where I live.

So I’ve taken the laptop out to my summer office.

Isn’t this ideal?

Well…yes and no. I still have to work.

My students will smile to see the yellow composition book.

Yes, that’s a timer clipped on the cover. I still use both, just like in class.

When the going gets tough, I follow Barbara Baig’s advice and write for 10 minutes without stopping. It’s like priming the idea pump.

Bottom line, writing never gets any easier.

Even in Paradise.

7 thoughts on “The Writing Life: My Outdoor Room

  1. I love it! It looks beautiful there.

    The jounaling class I took last year had us writing every day with a timer. I should start doing that again. It was really was helpful.


    1. I must confess, I used the “magazine photo shoot” strategy and piled in all the nicest flowering plants. There isn’t enough light in my shady grotto to keep them alive! But it makes a nice picture.


  2. Thanks, Candy! It’s 78 degrees, 47% humidity … perfect.

    Usually it rains.

    As for the timer, something happens when one is forced to keep writing—anything that comes to mind—without stopping. At about the five minute mark, the creative brain begins emptying out. All kinds of ideas, conversations, plot twists come boiling out. Things I never knew were in there!

    Kudos to you for journaling. When I’ve tried that, my inner Mary Musgrove speaks. It’s all complaints and whining! 🙂


  3. The timer would drive me nuts, and I would stomp on it. I hated metronomes with a passion, and timers remind me of them.


    1. Ah, but you are not a sloth like I am, Robin.

      And it doesn’t tick. That would drive me nuts.

      I hated metronomes too—and the glaring bust of Beethoven that sat at eye level to my right. (What is it about pianos and Beethoven?) Another reminder that I could not (would not) read music. I have a sharp memory and would duplicate what the piano teacher played.


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