Too Distracted to Write

Since my last post, my whole world has shifted up a few notches. And I mean that literally, as I've moved into a top floor apartment. I now have a study with a view, unlike my last study, which was a nook in my lounge room that faced an uninspiring wall. My new view is so picturesque that I may find myself too distracted to write. 

Image of night sky over eastern Melbourne. Wispy clouds with stars shining through.

I suppose that's today's theme: too distracted to write. That's how I feel, after only three weeks in my new place. Everything is still so fresh and novel that I'm still in the 'staring at new things' stage. Staring at the arrangement of plates in my new oversized kitchen drawers (I love those), staring at the arrangement of crystals in my bedroom, staring at the large dining table (calculating the size of its smaller replacement), staring at the island bench where my new barstools are going to go when they arrive. But mostly, I'm staring at the view. Last night I sat out on the balcony until 10pm, just staring into the foggy autumn Melbourne night. I went to bed with a chill, but it was worth it. Even cloudy days present a show that makes me understand why a painter must paint. It's a painter's view. But I am not a painter. When I get back to my work in progress (hopefully) I'll wrench words from the sky and onto my screen the way a painter renders the colours of light onto a canvas.

But not yet. Although I've been pushing myself to get all of the moving tasks done so that I can write, yesterday a new thought struck me: this might just be my forever home—I love it here—so shouldn't I slowly savour the settling in process, immersed in the effervescence of a fresh new world? Well, of course. So this blog post might be the only writing I get done this week, and that's ok. I know I'll get back to it because I always do. My writer self might be tardy, sporadic and moody AF, but she usually gets the job done in the end. I've no doubt she'll finish my current book, as well as latch onto the next project in line. For now, my domestic self is dominating, with a bit of a shake from my dancer self, who has already started teaching classes again. 

My new study is a place within a place. Where the rest of my home is decorated in blue tones with a calming atmosphere, the study is a riot of red stationery and rug, with a rainbow of books and dance costumes. It also boasts the best view in my apartment, where I can privately watch the gushing street below, and oggle the canopy of trees rising into hills along the horizon. This home offers me the best of both worlds, the retreat of the country I crave but cannot manage, and the stimulating pace of the metropolis that draws me into its thronging rhythm like the pull of a dance floor. Sunsets are breathtaking, frequently stopping me from what I'm doing to gape at the dance of colours that change from moment to moment. All of this takes me out of myself, and away from the words of my memoir, but that's ok, I've moved house enough times to know that the novelty will pass, and I'll slow down enough to work deeply when I need to.

Until then, this blog post is starting to wake up my writer self. I started it on the couch this morning, while I watched music videos—a Saturday morning ritual that has survived since my teen years. So although I was a bit distracted by a couple of good tunes, I got a draft down—the hardest part. I was determined to resume blogging again, the beginning of casting a new connection to my work in a new world. The hardest part is always the draft, the blank page. So I get it down the way one would rip off a bandaid—fast, without thought, trying not to stop. 

Now I'm sitting in my new study finishing off the post, and I like it. It feels uplifting and inspiring in this new space. The bright decor is providing 'a little bump' that makes my consciousness feel courageous, motivated and determined. It really is the best seat in the house, so I'm sure I'm going to want to spend a lot of time here; whether I'm actively working at my computer, reading, or staring at the moody sky. 

Writer sits at her computer, dressed in black, taking a selfie from the reflection in a mirrored wardrobe door. Bookshelves are visible in the background, as well as a black and white cat sitting at the writer's fluffy booted feet.

Today, I've laid in a pathway to my study to write. Next time it will be easier, and to ensure I get back to my desk soon, I've set a goal: to read a piece to our next writers' group. So that means I have to show up to my computer at some stage over the next two weeks and polish a piece of memoir to the stage where I can share it. I haven't shared a piece for a couple of months. I'm the facilitator of the group, so I think it's about time I showed up with something to share. To be honest, last time I read a piece to the group I was plagued with self-doubt afterwards. For no reason in particular, other than writers are excellent at tearing down their own work. At times, such as editing, this is a good thing. But left to run feral it can shut a writer's mouth and computer forever, so we mustn't let the critic take centre-stage. The writer is centre-stage, and will keep writing no matter what the critic has to say; for the writer exists to write, just as the critic exists to cut out the bits that will (hopefully) make the remaining writing sparkle. 

Although my writer self is again wide-eyed and hopeful, my domestic self is still arranging objects, as well as cleaning the layer of grime and mould that the previous owner left for me. So my domestic self will probably continue to dominate for a couple of months, and that's ok. The middle of winter sounds like a good time to commit to a writing schedule again. When outside isn't so distracting, and the novelty of my new home has waned. The writing will happen, it always does. 

Thanks for reading. Now it's time for me to go outside and join the activity going on in the street. It's not hard to get out, and nice to come home. I'm feeling lucky:)

Leanne Margaret © 2022 


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