The Quest for Solitude
Living in a one-room condo makes writing difficult. When I write, there is no door for me to shut, and we are both home during the day. The only true path to solitude is for one of us to banish the other. I wish that solitude wasn’t required, but it’s difficult for me to get in the zone when I’m with people.
Lately, I’ve tried a few approaches to finding creative solitude:
Opening a cabinet door to create a visual barrier between us, akin to a folding screen. From my position on the couch, with the cabinet door open, I cannot see P at the desk. This works pretty well.
Going downstairs to our condo recreation room, to sit at one of the tables near the window. The space is rarely occupied during the day, but it’s chilly in winter. Not bad. Bring a sweater.
Putting on earphones and listening to music. I find music distracting, but it does “shut the door.” Gets the job done for an hour or so.
Twice, I’ve taken pillows and blankets into our deep bathtub, built myself a nest, and pulled the curtain closed. This is wonderfully private and cozy, but it dirties the bedding, and is an admittedly weird thing to do. My moist fortress of solitude!
Overall, living in a tiny space is one of the best decisions we ever made. It’s affordable, low-impact, easy, well-situated, and nearly maintenance free. I could not afford to write full-time if we were living in a bigger space. But oh how I miss having an office of my own!
My tweaks are working fine, though. Perhaps I’ll fashion myself a set of blinders, like the kind horses wear. Some sort of blinder ear-protection combo. Like a hoodie on steroids. Then I’ll make ten million dollars selling them to those poor bastards who have to work in open offices all day. Collaboration is wonderful, but sometimes you gotta drift into your own inner world, right?