28 Jan The writer’s cabin is a myth.
Every writer secretly believes in the writer’s cabin.
In our heads we see a small isolated cabin in a quiet patch of woods. There’s a porch with a swing out front. We sit on that when we need a break from all the amazing words we’ve written inside. There’s not much behind that cabin door, just a humble table like Hemingway probably used, a chair our grandfather made by hand and some sort of way to gather our words.
For some, it’s a stack of fresh, white paper and a favorite pen. Others see a typewriter that makes real clickity clack sounds with each brilliant word you capture.
The days pile up as the pages do too and we emerge from this literary sabbatical with a book and a beard. (Unless you’re a lady, the beard is not nearly as cool in your story.)
I thought that would be my life when I became a full time writer.
I assumed I was about to be ushered into a secret club of cabin writers.
I’m here to tell you, as the author of five books, including a new one called Do Over that you should order in bulk, the writer’s cabin is a myth.
It’s a fantasy that if you’re not careful will actually prevent you from hustling on your dream.
What happens is that you dream so much and so hard about that writer’s cabin that you start to believe it holds the key to your best work. You get up in the morning in your very non cabin house, the one with bills and responsibilities and stolen snatches of minutes instead of long writing stretches and you feel like you can’t possibly write there.
Someday, with the cabin, you will create a book, but your life is simply too ordinary to create an extraordinary work.
That is a lie.
Screw the writer’s cabin.
Write wherever you are.
Write in your car during your lunch break at work.
Write while you wait for your kids to finish gymnastics.
Write in any moment you can steal back from an already busy life.
I wrote my first book in a Burger King. It could not have been less cabin like.
Every dream has a “writer’s cabin,” some set of circumstances we think will magically unlock our ability to do something.
Don’t fall for it. It’s a myth.
The best place to do your work is wherever you are right now.