Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Portrait of an Artist?

Jennifer Weiner, author of Good in Bed, In Her Shoes, and the upcoming Best Friends Forever (and, as we recently discovered on twitter and her blog, generally hilarious person who we may have been separated from at birth and who should clearly be our new BFF), wrote a funny and inspirational blog post about her writing space. Apparently Entertainment Weekly is doing a piece on writers and their writing spaces, and she blogs about how (and I'm paraphrasing and condensing and hopefully not butchering here) she writes on a laptop in her closet, rather than in her fancy office, and how writing is about the margins and the stolen moments, not the ostentatious “arty-ness” of the endeavor. (“Arty-ness” is my word, by the by. Ms. Weiner would have used a much more fitting word. And, you know, probably one in existence. Maybe that's why she's the published one...).

Anyway, it occurred to me, writing not only occupies the margins . . . it shoves other parts of my life right off the page. Consider my legs, if you don’t mind. They are scaly. Reptilian, even. If some Hollywood genius decides to remake the television show V (which, OMG, I just found out is actually happening!), I’m all over it. You might ask, why? (Or, like my kids, you might just say “ew.”) I don’t have time for lotion. Every so often I’ll slather up, but usually, I rush from bed to shower to closet to kitchen to car with no time for extras. If I didn’t spend hours each day writing or researching or outlining, in addition to working and raising a family, I just might have time for a little lanolin love. (Or, let’s be honest, I might just start watching reality TV; I hear Daisy of Love is enthralling). Writing colors my other habits, too. Like the fact that I often can only fit in a workout at lunch, which means I end up practicing yoga in the corner of my office in my underwear on an afghan embroidered with cats. Classy.

Jennifer Weiner is a writer with a capital W. She has published novels and Entertainment Weekly talks to her about her writing habits. Me? I have leg hair so far beyond stubble it's frightening . . . and this is how I know I'm a writer. I don’t write as a hobby or write only according to a strict schedule or write when the house is quiet and the work is done. I write. I write even though I can’t find time for a real work-out and my kids had boxed mac-n-cheese three nights in a row and publishers aren’t knocking down my door. Writing is under my scaly skin. It is part of my soul.

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