November 20, 2015

Before coffee thoughts: "Splendid Literary Isolation"

Having a quick coffee right now before an early morning load of laundry and a full day at work, dinner with a friend, and then maybe one more load of laundry late tonight. Then I have a few things to tidy up around the house tomorrow before heading overseas for the week—where, from what I understand, I'll have no wifi or cell service. Am simultaneously excited and petrified at the prospect of complete digital shutdown.

What I'm taking a stab at next week is Serious Writing. It's been 10 years since I wrote How Not to Look Fat—and that was prescriptive non-fiction (i.e. something I wrote out of my head during one particularly hectic September fashion week every night between midnight and 3 a.m.). For a decade I've convinced myself—using every excuse I could think of—that I don't have another book in me. But the truth is, deep down, I know I do. Maybe I even have three books in me...somewhere...I'm not sure. I think they're fiction, even though I've long suspected I have no imagination.

So this weekend I'll be in London. And then on Monday I'm heading off into the countryside to sequester myself in, what I read on another writer's review of the place, "Splendid Literary Isolation." It's one way of testing my theory, or, at least the thing I tell myself most, that I "don't have time" to write and pursue my own creative projects outside the office. I know a lot of people who feel the way I do at this age and stage in their careers—a little stifled, a little is-this-it? I'm hoping I can turn out a few chapters of solid work while I'm away in the middle of nowhere with no distractions. And if I can't, well, then I think it will be time for me to reevaluate what I've always held as a glimmer of distant hope in terms of a creative outlet/project.