I love going home to Houston but not for the obvious reasons.
Of course going out with friends and spending time with family is great. I miss them terribly. However, something amazing always happens when I go home.
I get work done. This time, I finished one piece and half a scene of another piece I’m working on. It was amazing to be in the zone like that. There’s nothing like it–that feeling of comfort. It’s safe.
For me, Houston is where it all started, in my parent’s house writing little stories on my computer, an Apple IIe, in my room by myself. The desk and the computer were shoved into a corner of my bedroom because it was the only place where it fit. And while all the other girls were playing with Barbie dolls, I was reading and writing. I guess I’ve always been a writer, even before I knew what that was.
So now when I return home, some of that magic comes back. The stories I write are different now, of course, but that sense of wonder and the rhythm of clacking keys are still there. The imagination takes over and the Muse not only stays longer, she’s having coffee and reading the newspaper, overnight bag at her feet.
I get the same feeling when I see the Houston skyline. The first time I remember seeing that glorious skyline in earnest was my first day of college. I had an 8 am class but I had never driven on the freeway before and I wanted to drive before the infamous Houston traffic congested the roads. It’s about a 30 minute drive from my parents house to the University of Houston campus and requires at least two freeways to get there. So I’d be on the road at 5 am, when it was still dark. I’d get on I-10 heading west and a couple of miles in, the lit up skyline would appear, winking at me, welcoming me to what was a new chapter in my life. When I see the Houston skyline, my skyline, I believe all things are possible, all dreams come true, and it could all happen among the tall, shiny buildings. It may be a simplistic way of seeing my hometown but for me Houston, and in particular the skyline, will always be my fairy dust. It has been good to me. It started my writing career and it’s nice to go back for a visit to refill my soul with optimism.
Every writer needs a place. Not just a desk to work from but a place that recharges the batteries. We take a lot of hits and sometimes I feel like I’ve taken more than my fair share. We get rejected. Told that our writing is sub par. We get discouraged. We yearn for more time to write but don’t get it. It’s enough to become depressed or at the very least agitated.
But when a writer goes to their place, rejection doesn’t exist. When they are in the best space in the world, where there is comfort and love and joy and happy memories, there is a freedom to writing. You are liberated. You are fearless. No one can touch you.
Every writer deserves that place and for today’s #MotivationMonday I challenge you to find it and spend some time in it to remember who you are. Why is it so important to find this place? Because this is your sweet spot, where you produce the best stuff. It’s no longer writing, it’s play and discovery. So when it comes on the page that way, it’s golden. It’s automatically good. (still needs revision though).
So find your sweet spot, spend some time in it, and write at least one scene. Remember how good you feel and take that feeling with you until the next time you can get back to the sweet spot and create.