Wednesday, June 2

Hotel Writer

Posted by Shelly Holder

I have come to the conclusion that I am in essence a hotel writer. I like to be utterly alone when I write. More than physically being solitary, but shut away in my own little bubble. Technically, if I had good enough focus and determination, I could conjure up this intensity bubble anywhere, and be able to write wherever I have my computer. For a while, I thought I was that kind of person-- able to shut others out no matter what and write.

I'm not.

I have been staying at Ye Olde Farme Homestead with Grandfather the Patriarch, the Maternal Figure, and The Rest of the Family/Clan/Mafia and I have not written a thing.

Not that I can't-- I have the ideas. Not that I'm unable to-- I have the Mac-nomer lappy, internet (clearly), and the sentences floating behind my eyeballs. But I have the bedroom and the kitchen table. Both of which are public enough spaces that if I sit to write, someone will look over. Someone will look over, and ask a question. Someone will ask a question,

(*pause for prime ironic example #1-- being asked to set the table*)

and a question will require explanation. Explanation leads to a second question, and the cringe-inducing need to explain not only the second question, but explain away the somewhat badly concealed disbelief in their eyes. "You're writing about what?"

Honestly, (and this is a trend in all my writing) I'd rather just present them with a completed manuscript rather than explaining the complicated creative convulsions in my head.

So public areas with strangers-- good. Public areas with people I know-- bad. It's more than the interruptions, it the almost circus freak in a side-show stares than get me every time.

So I am a hotel writer. Something about being able to blockade myself from all distractions --physical, emotional, mental, familial--works with the way I work. I probably would have made a very good monk if I switched a couple of generations and genders.

In the end, I am attempting to create my own hotel room. Here, in the middle of the kitchen, with people looking over my shoulder, the smell of lunch in the air, and very space for the circumference of me-bubble. Limited to . . . well, me. (And perhaps the chair I sit in) The new earphones I got on Recent Excursion #2 with MlleDiabolique to the Duke Lifelines poetry conference have this amazing suction-like ability to shut out noise (it sounds like I'm underwater). I'm looking for good writer-y music. Any suggestions? I currently have quirky/folksy covered with Lenka-esque band Au Revoir Simone. Got any other mood music?

Write Now:
What I'm listening to: "Dark Halls" by Au Revoir Simone
What I want most: an office, all for teh writing


purplume said...

I too am a hotel writer. For me, it's the solitude in a nice clean place without most of my usual distractions.
If I ever have to stay in a hotel, I check in as early as I can and get some writing done before I have to do whatever is the reason I am staying in a hotel.

As for music, I like to write to silence myself and don't have any recommendations. Happy writing.