Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Cabin in the Trees Like David McCullough, Where I Can Write

Do you ever want to just pack up your computer and get away to a relaxing spot surrounded by Mother Nature, instead of a dirty house full of people plagued with problems that only Mom seems to be able to solve? Even if it's just for a day or two?
I know I sure do.

This has long been a dream of mine, to have a quaint cabin in the trees like David McCullough, where I can leave the stress of everyday life behind me and open my mind and fingers to the task of writing. Of course I would not go so far as Mr. McCullough and peck out my novels on a manual typewriter. But I can envision the peacefulness of being alone with the pines and aspen outside my cabin windows, and it working wonders for my creativity, my nerves, and my productivity.

I am a member of several writing support/chat groups on FB and Yahoo, etc. So many, it seems, that I'm spending as much time keeping up with social media as working on my novels. I receive frequent invitations from these groups to do writing sprints together. At first I tried to participate in numerous sprints, as I wanted to be supportive of the groups I had joined. But as time passes, I realize that these writing sprint activities are put in place because a good number of writers need either the moral support, or the competitive motivation to write.

This IS NOT what I need to help me write. I need time alone. That's how I work best. So why have I been bashing my head against the wall trying to keep up with all these groups and their invitations to sprint, chat, and whatever? I guess because I'm trying to follow the lead of other writers, hoping if I walk exactly in their footsteps I'll be a successful publish author too. I'm writing this post as a big piece of advice as much for me as for anyone else out there: Do what works best for you. Play to your strengths, not someone else's. Just because something works for one author, doesn't mean it's the solution for you.

For the past year and a half, my husband and I have been working at fixing up cabin we purchased as a bank-owned property in Star Valley, Wyoming. I've spent a lot of hours up there, working hard on cabin construction when perhaps I should have been constructing my novels. But my goal of creating a get-away like David McCullough's, (and a legacy for my children), doesn't seem so frivolous anymore. The time spent procuring my "ideal place to write" will eventually do more for my writing than something like group writers sprints could ever accomplish. Even if my "ideal place to write" were just a private, pretty spot in my house, it would work the same. I'm a solitary person and thus I should play to my strengths.


  1. I'm with you. I need alone time or it just doesn't happen. I've given up on blogfests, contests and all that, and only post once a week. Star Valley is lovely! Hope you get your cabin in the woods!

  2. I like the way you ladies think! Give me a cabin or give me an office, but make it quiet.