Writerly frustrations are many and varied. Some of them have nothing at all to do with actual writing.
My spare bedroom at home long ago became my home-office. Now it’s also my writing zone. It’s a bit cluttered – more than my minimalist tendencies can tolerate, truth be told. But in addition to being my write/work zone, it still holds its status as spare room. That means it’s where spare stuff finds a home (usually a more permanent home than the spare stuff deserves). General clutter, unwanted furniture, guest put-you-up (mustn’t let them get too comfortable), over-purchased soft furnishings (you can have too many cushions – strange, but true), old stereos, 300+ CDs and the like have all ended up here. But this is where I spend my days, and notwithstanding the excess stuff that crowds me, I like it up here.
I live in the suburbs of London, but it’s a quiet cul-de-sac and my window overlooks shrubbery and trees, rather than the fronts of other houses, which is nice. It’s a south-facing window too, which means that in the summer the room is bathed in light all day long as the sun is high overhead.
As the leaves begin to turn, the sun droops in the sky and at this point, things get a bit annoying. Blummin’ annoying, in fact. For several hours of the day as I work, the sun, instead of drifting overhead, is low enough to hit me right between the eyes. That would be alright if it shone consistently and I could simply draw my blind for shade. But it’s autumn, which means there is weather – scudding clouds and patchy showers as well as blips of sunlight – it’s all very changeable.
Today is like many days I can look forward to over the coming months. I’m being strobed by the sun. Bright and fierce one minute, sunk behind clouds the next, then out again, then in, then out…. you get the picture. When it’s out I need the blind closed or my retinas will explode. When it’s behind a cloud, the room is plunged into Stygian gloom. That gets me leaping up to open the blind. I sit again and go back to my work – and the sun comes out. To cut a long story short (and overload a sentence with not one, but two clichés), I’m up and down like a very irritable yo-yo all day long.
I know what you’ll say. Just switch the light on, Julie! But I like my view and I enjoy seeing what little activity goes on outside. I don’t want to sit in a darkened room under electric light when the sun is trying to make its presence felt outside. Venetian blinds are the least-worst solution, but light finds its way through all those little pin-holes by the stringing and the twizzle mechanism is too far away to reach without getting up. Sunglasses might help, but what would the neighbours make of me when they wave at me as they wander past? You’re not a celebrity yet, old girl!
At the moment I’m sitting in gloom, blinds twizzled against the sun, although the sun has gone in. Instead of leaping up to twizzle the stick again, I’m penning this quickie grump for my blog.
What writerly frustrations do you put up with, that have nothing to do with your actual writing?