About three weeks after my first child was born and we brought him home to an icy cold, windswept spit of land overlooking Rockport Harbor (there was a house there, too), my wife said, "Leave!" This was not a precursor (to the best of my knowlege). She was referring to my work ethic. We were young, inexperienced, and freelance. A most unproductive concoction. I opened the Gloucester Times classifieds. A week later I rented my first out-of-home office in a hundred-year-old schoolhouse. It was bliss. I have not worked from home, since.
About three weeks ago, my latest New York office space went the way of so much real estate in the city. The rent to the company I was subletting from quintupled, they balked, and in the space of days, I was out on the street.
With Ben & Matty starting back to high school, working from home was simply not an option. I was far too used to my writing routines. Make kids lunch. Attempt to get them out the door on time. New York Times at a local coffee shop. Brisk walk to the subway. Q train into town. New Yorker, iTunes, or simply enjoy the never-ending show that 4 million subway riders a day provide. I couldn't bear the thought of working from home. Also, there was the problem of lack of external stimulation, ease of napping, and eating everything in the fridge. Within days, I wasn't even bothering with the bread.
I scoured the Web for solutions, but New York is hot again and rents have skyrocketed. Just as panic was setting in (de rigeur for the wordsmithing class), I stumbled upon a space that at first glance was too good to be true. A rent within reach for those of us who have not achieved Grisham or Flynn status. A spacious, cozy, wide open floor with great light and city views. Couches and easy chairs for naps. Free pretzels in the lunch room. And it is a sanctuary of creativity, open only to writers. I applied. I got in. I wept, and set up shop.
The Room, as it were, is so appealing and enigmatic that I dare not give away trade secrets. I will only share this much. The view is to die for.
You can't beat the neighborhood.
If you're gonna create for a living, why not be around a little culture!
You've got all the basic food groups...
Good tunes for the ride to & fro...
Loads of inspiration...
You can even enjoy a little spiritual uplift when the muse is on break.
The writing life is chockful of surprises. I am happy to report, this blank page has turned out to be mercifully short and fraught with potential. Stay tuned...
The night is young!