I am sharing my Creative Space today for a few reasons. One reason is that my life has changed significantly since I last shared my creative space over at Jennifer Bertman (Author of The Book Scavenger)'s Blog.
At the time of that interview, I was a New Yorker, in a bad marriage, younger, had short black hair, with a fairly large creative space, and one book published. Now, I am a Floridian, not in a relationship, older, with long brown hair, a much smaller creative space, another book pending publication, one book with proclaimed interest and several more seemingly on the cusp.
Here is a picture of my old office. This is less half of it. There is a whole other floor-to-almost- ceiling bookshelf on the right of the picture and one in the hallway leading to my office. There is was also a top tier of collectibles over the bookshelves and a child's play table in the area which would be at the bottom of the picture. This does not show the other half of the room, which had a facing desk, a hutch, and a computer station for my daughter. My creative space was bigger, but my marriage at that was suffocating my life AND my writing.
What prompted me to share is something that Laurie B. Friedman said at a SoFla SCBWI meeting last Saturday. She said she has a Writer's Basket of things she loves so that she can inspire herself and her writing. I realized that I am like that too. I realized also that although my life has been downsized, I am able to write better and bolder, because the negative things in my life are gone and their lingering affect has finally lessened to the point that I am blooming bigger and better than ever in my smaller garden. I still surround myself with things that inspire me and my writing -- gifts made by my daughter, pictures, books, souvenirs, memorability, photographs, art and crafts, playbills, cute figures and plush soft sculptures of my characters Spike and Sheldon from Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten, but I am very selective about what and who I surround myself with.
I think the main reason I felt so compelled to write this post is that I wanted to share something equally as important as filling your writing space with things that inspire you and your writing. And that is sometimes, you have to make a choice to to take out the things that don't inspire you and your writing (and your life), even if it's something as important as a husband.
In much the same way as we have to "kill our darlings," when we write, and take away the characters, structure, details or plot pieces that don't work or even ultimately work against the story, we sometimes have to do that in our lives. I know I did. And while I didn't (and never would) kill my now ex-husband (or anyone for that matter) although he has given me plenty of reason to (more than you can imagine), I did move far away to take him out of my life and out of my creative space. It has taken me almost five years to bloom after all I have been through, but I am proud to say that I am finally blossoming in a way that I should have been able to a long, long time ago. I am not sad about it. I am thankful to have gotten through it all and to have been able to bloom where I am now planted. I wanted to pay it forward by sharing it with you all, in the hope of finding those of you who need to know you are not alone.
So my message to you is like your stories, what you put into them is just as important as the things you leave out. And I hope that all of you find the creative space you need, whether it be physical or emotional.
Lynne Marie is the author of Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten (Scholastic, 2011) and a forthcoming title (January, 2017). She is an avid picture book reader and collector and an Assistant to Jodell Sadler at KidLit College (www.kidlitcollege.com).
She is the proud mother of Kevin (27) and Kayla (11) and a Travel Agent with PixieVacations.
You can find her on Facebook at Children's Writer Lynne Marie and Pixie Vacations by Lynne Marie. Book a vacation with her and mention this blog and you will get a free signed and personalized copy of her book when you travel.