Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Order in the Chaos

Ugh, we’re still in the midst of this house renovation project. I write mostly from my home office, so these past five months (and counting!) have been noisy, scattered and, well, transformational in more ways than the obvious. Alongside this project, our school district was recently on strike for five weeks—yes, five weeks. And my son, who broke his arm in an ice hockey game a few weeks ago, is now the permanent owner of a 4-inch steel plate and 5 screws.

All enough to drive a work-at-home writer into a frenzy? Maybe, but hidden beneath the layers of drywall dust, doctor appointments and neighbor kids hanging out here has been a valuable learning tool: how to find order in the chaos, and quietude amidst power drills squonking in the next room. For a few days, the construction crew literally worked around me as I typed away at the computer. When they were ready to replace the flooring in that corner of my office, they whisked away my desk while I took lunch; when I returned, the flooring was installed and they’d moved my desk back to it’s usual spot.

If writing is what you love, there really is no good excuse to not just get on with it. There’s no reason ample enough to not take whatever life circumstance you find yourself in and craft written finery from it. I’m happy (and relieved) to say that all of the temporary inconveniences around here haven’t stunted me creatively—they’ve simply given me more fodder for the word mill.

Picasso once said, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” That is exactly why—after I Swifter the floors for the millionth time and bake pumpkin tortes for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving dinner—I will return to my office, only to write about it. Oh wait…I just did. Now, it’s your turn. Regardless of what chaos is brewing around you, sit down (or stand up) and write. Do it now. Go ahead, do it.