knitting the net
Leap and the net will appear.
So, here's a thing: It's about writing, when I write and how I write.
My job at the newspaper included writing, but it was a task done outside of work. At work — in my cube, with all the many people stopping by my desk or sending IMs or email — I don't write. I edit, I correspond, I solve problems, I have stand-ups. But I don't write.
I write at night, mostly. Sometimes I write in coffee shops, where there are lots of people I don't know equally engaged in focused tasks of their own. Often at home, I own the night and that's when I write.
Tonight, Joe — recovering after three days of being ill — was awake. He was working in the office, doing what he does, which is writing. I was not writing. I found I couldn't write when someone else was awake, even though Joe was completely focused on his own task.
The more I thought about it, the more disturbed I became. How would I be able to live here with Joe also working from home and do this new job, which will involve much more writing, if I could only write in the darkness of night, alone? So I blurted out, "I can't write while you're still awake."
To Joe, this sounded like a large problem. To me, this sounded like a large problem. But for each of us, it was disturbing in different ways. Until I told Joe that it wasn't about him, it was about me (doesn't that just sound like a totally lame break-up kind of line?). But the furrows in his brow eased when I said this. He got it. It is the same reason he goes to the library when
he's on his Tuesday deadline. In order to do focused writing, he has to go away.
I will have to figure out what writing is focused and how I will cope with it. Our first priority will be to get the office in order to make it the "work place" where both of us can do our work. Some of our work will be collaborative, and some of it will be work that doesn't require a great deal of attentiveness. But other work will call for a sit-down-and-do-it space where each of us can focus.
It's a curious problem, having all this time and space, but it will clearly call for some organization. I will have to parcel out my time, in ways that I don't actually do at work right now (work now = domorefasterNOW). I may designate entire days to working on crafts, but at least of corner of every day will be dedicated to writing. Some days will be all writing.
In 2006, Joe and I were both writing books. And often it played out this way: When Joe was in the field researching for his book, I would be focused on writing or creating for my book. There were times when we worked at parallel times, in separate spaces, checking in on each other every hour or two to bounce off ideas or read portions aloud. We are each skilled at doing quite a bit of writing in a pretty short period of time, if we designate the time and space. So we can take those lessons and apply them to our soon-to-be daily lives.
And, again, through the magic of communication -- albeit reluctant 3 a.m. communication -- we worked through to an understanding. We haven't solved the problem, but we have defined the problem. And that is the biggest step.