by Linda O. Johnston
Yes, this is The Writers in Residence blog. And what am I posting about here today? Writers in residence.
That’s pretty much all of us writers, I assume. Some writers can write anywhere, and I know of many who prefer taking their laptops to a Starbucks or a Panera or similar place and spending many days there, ignoring the crowds and discussions around them and getting a lot of their writing done.
Prefer it? Maybe so, but even though a lot of towns in this country appear to be “opening up” more than they’ve been recently during the Covad-19 virus pandemic, the most logical locations still require social distancing and, mostly, masks. Sitting at a table nursing cups of coffee as you write may be a beloved memory, and a beloved aspiration for the future, but I doubt that many people are engaging in it now.
Maybe some writers who also have outside jobs are able to write at their offices, at lunchtime or other off hours. At one time, years ago, I arrived at my in-house law office an hour earlier than our scheduled starting time and used that hour as my writing time. My coworkers knew that’s what I was up to, so for them, I wasn’t there during that hour.
But now–well, most offices currently also allow, or even insist on, their employees working from home.
So most often these days, I assume we’re writers in residence. We all have homes–houses, apartments, condos or whatever–although maybe there are some homeless people out there who write, too. In any case, we reside somewhere. And write.
Those of us who are members of The Writers in Residence all have homes, not necessarily near one another. And as far as I know, we also all have home offices, or at least places within our homes where we write. If I’m wrong with respect to anyone, please tell me!
Me? Yes, I’ve been a writer in residence for a long time, no longer working as a lawyer. I have a messy office where I write, sitting in front of my computer nearly all day–except when one of my dogs comes in and stares at me and I need to figure out what she wants, which usually isn’t hard to do. But yes, I write a lot in my residence. I did so even before. And now, while we’re mostly confined to our homes, it feels even more appropriate.
Oh, and by the way, I was very impressed by our last Writers in Residence blog, written by Rosemary Lord–focusing on independent bookstores near us in Southern California. It’s a great idea to buy books from them, probably online and either have them shipped or pick them up outside the store. And it’s not only the independents doing that now. I’ve picked up several books from outside my nearby Bookstar, which is part of Barnes & Noble. I want that store, and the entire company, to survive, and the indies, too!
So how about you? Are you a writer in residence? A reader in residence? Both?
This article was posted for Linda O. Johnston by Jackie Houchin (Photojaq)