I Have an “Office”

Please forgive me for gloating for a moment, but I’m so excited I can’t stand it.  I’m sitting in my new “office” and I’m about to cry (in a good way).

As a busy mom (why even add the word busy? Everyone’s busy these days), I’m trying to carve out uninterrupted, productive writing time.  I spent last Sunday holed up in the silent reading room at the Evanston Public Library, praying my laptop and notes and files would still be there after returning from a restroom break.  Those three and a half hours were so productive, but they were in the library, filled with college kids talking, middle school kids flirting, mom’s shushing their little ones (I could hear them through the “sound proof” glass), someone else’s discarded reference books stacked on the table I used (a table which was eyed enviously by several people — a four-person table I’d selfishly comandeered), and the “watch the clock” anxiety I felt, knowing the library closed at 6, no matter if I was done with a chapter or not.

Trying to write at home is frequently unproductive for me.  I’m so often distracted by countless distractions:

dog…phone…laundry…making beds…food…email…doorbell…contractors fixing the porch railings…kids’ closets needing clothes weeded out…photographs in boxes needing to be organized…digital photos on computer needing to be organized…dishes in the sink…grocery list on fridge…dirty clothes in dry cleaning bag needing to be taken in…front hall closet needing to be better organized so we don’t have the frenzy every morning of “where’s my other shoe?  I put it in here last night and now it’s GONE!”…you get the picture.

Last week, my friend Karen Callam asked if I’d heard of a place called The Writers Workspace in Chicago.

“Nope,” I said.

“Amy Davis runs it.  You know her.  She’s a former Cherry Preschool mom like you.  You’d definitely know her.”

The name sounded familiar but I couldn’t place the face.  And I can usually place a face.  How did we never cross paths?  She’s a writer and mom in Evanston, living a few blocks from me…and she opened a cooperative studio for people who crave quiet, productive space to settle in and get to work.  Brilliant!

I checked it out, completed the paperwork, asked two of my writing instructors if they’d serve as references, hoped for the best, got a tour, and, as of this morning, received my keycard and — sniffle — am now a member of this artists’ cooperative called The Writers Workspace.

The space is incredible.  The feeling is very clean and Zen and open.  There are writers all around, quietly working, very respectful of one another.  There’s a kitchen with coffee and a fridge to keep your stuff when you’re hungry…and most of all:  there’s peace, clean desktops and no distractions.  Beautiful, inspiring art graces the walls, wi-fi is strong, the colors are soothing, and all I can hear is the click of my keyboard.  I’m thrilled.

And now, I’m going to stop blogging about it and get back to work.  In my new office.


9 responses to “I Have an “Office”

  1. What a different feeling it is to have a dedicated time and space for your writing. It elevates it to the level it deserves. I don’t know about you, but I can do almost no decent writing in half-hour increments.

    The Writers Workspace looks like a great option. For now, my space is Starbucks – and I have the earplugs and gold card to prove it.

  2. Oh, Margo! You’re so right. AND, your blog is now linked — I forgot you’re Margo C and not Margo D (who’s already on!). We are linked in literary eternity now.

    Believe me, I admire that you can write effectively in Starbuck’s. Maybe b/c I’ve been a teacher in Evanston for a number of years, I get (kindly) stopped and chatted up in coffee shops. I love it, but my writing takes a backseat.

  3. Congrats! What a great workspace!

  4. I’m so happy for you. Terrific. Write away, right away!

  5. Sorry, Christine, I’m actually Margo G (Gremmler). Sorry for the confusion!

    Ha! Yeah, I’m not a celebrity. I can still haunt the Starbucks in anonymity. For now.

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