Friday, November 27, 2015

Day 2234 - The Life of a Struggling Writer

This week I was transported into a windowless world ...

Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974 – 1975) feature Carl Kolchak (Darren McGavin)

I spent the bulk of this week back in Sydney doing the whole Mumager thing.  Rather than spending copious amounts of money on quality accommodation we decided to rough it.  The model daughter is getting paid but so much of her money goes on travelling to her jobs that she ends up with very little coin at the other end.  

So with her holding onto the purse strings we stayed in a place that was somewhere between a student resident and a backpackers hostel.  It was very much the dingy back street vibe.

Don't get me wrong, it was comfortable and safe.  The people running it were lovely. We slept well, particularly since I had the foresight to take our own sheets, blankets and towels "just in case" the place was looking a little too "recycled". 

Those yellow sheets on the top are mine just so our faces weren't exposed to the "shared" blankets.

There were no cupboards but we did have hooks on which to hang our clothes (provided we brought our own hangers of course). 

The wardrobe.

We had our own bathroom which is always a good thing, and a bar fridge. Plus the world's smallest desk which I shared with a clunky old TV. 

The most interesting "feature" of our room was actually not a feature at all.  

We had no window. 

While my girl was off doing runway show after runway show I figured I might write another novel. More of a novelette really.  It's a spin-off from the Cheer Chick Charlie series. 

I've written books in lots of great places.  They are usually spots that inspire me like the coast, the farm, the country town.  I even wrote a kids book (currently lying in a box unpublished) on the Big Island of Hawaii many years ago,  All the places I've written have had windows.  Much of my thinking time is done looking out those windows.

This new location made me feel like a struggling writer. 

So in my dingy room I settled into the life of a struggling writer in a windowless world. 

You see the old movies where the struggling writer sits at a beat up desk in front of a beat up typewriter.  There's often a cigarette burning next to him and a naked light bulb dangling from the ceiling,  It's dimly lit.  The writer stares at a blank sheet of paper struggling to find the words. 

That was me this week.  In my windowless world my laptop sat on a beat up desk. There was cigarette smoke wafting through the air vents and a low wattage spotlight sat overhead.  In my windowless world I sat staring at a blank screen struggling to find the words.

I've gone blank!

Two days I spent like that in front of a blank screen, until I packed it all in and went shopping.  

Finally on the third day something happened.  I got kinda used to my windowless world and embraced the whole struggling writer thing.  

I became someone else. 

I took a deep breath and with the spirit of so many struggling writers before me I wrote the first line. Then the second. Then the third.  From there a new book was born.

With four chapters under my belt I've returned from my windowless world to a lounge room filled with French doors overlooking streets of houses out towards the Brindabella mountains. 

This spot is not the place where my novels are born.  This is my real world and even with an abundance of windows the real world is not always that inspiring.

Interestingly enough my dodgy windowless back street hotel was.

Have you ever been in a windowless world?

Where do you get your inspiration?

Ever conjured up the spirit of writers past?


  1. Oh, interesting! A new book!
    I like windows. It would definitely feel closed and uncomfortable for me in a windowless room for too long. Though two places I've lived had windowless bathrooms- not a good idea!

  2. I love that last's life really. Expect the unexpected....

  3. I'm not sure how I'd go in a windowless world. I love my air and space says claustrophobic me! Fantastic that it worked for you though and you got so much written of your new book! Woot! :-)

    1. I got used to the windowless world for a while. I guess my computer was my window in the end. But then on the last day I just went "nuh ... get me out of here".

  4. Love the old TV! Wow, it still works?! I am quite happy to stay in this type of accommodation at times. Worst hotel I ever stayed at was one opposite Disneyland in Anaheim - filthiest carpet ever!

    1. Yeah it actually worked. It needed a digital set top box thing though and we had to change the channels through that. Everyone on TV was super skinny as instead of being stretched into a rectangle they were all pushed up to fit into a box. Great weight loss!

  5. The new book sounds great and how fabulous that you eventually got inspired by your environment.

    That room looks very functional... which I guess is a good thing and all you really need! I'd love to be someone who sits in cafes and writes but haven't ever really tried it!

    1. Yeah, it was functional enough. For the price. It's not often you'll get a room for two people for $89 a night slap bang in the middle of the city. Walking distance to everywhere we needed to go.

  6. That would have been a bit disconcerting but yay for having found some inspiration!

    1. I'm glad the inspo finally hit. I was feeling a bit "doomed" for a couple of days. The shopping was good though.

  7. I once worked in a windowless office. Not my thing!

    1. There would have been lots of TGIF and FriYAY i'd imagine!

  8. Hi Leanne

    Really enjoyed reading about the creative process behind your writing.

    SSG xxx

  9. Wow...that's inspiring in so many ways :)

    I couldn't do windowless --- I love my windows and love the sunshine!


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