Saturday, October 23, 2010

"Time for Us Week" - Let's Pretend

What I'm writing with today: Lovely gel pens from Paper Source

This weekend it's still "Time for Us" week. No sorting, decluttering, or projects. Just the minimal amount of work you can do to keep your kids clean, rested and fed, your pets happy, and your house from falling apart until Monday when we start our hard work up again.

Today I'd like to invite you to join a game of "Let's Pretend" with me. I don't like to call it "Let's pretend we're somebody we're not," because I intend to pretend I'm a writer. I am a writer; I write every day and I do get paid to write now and then. But I'm not a professional writer, and it's not my job.

I want to pretend, just for today, that I'm a writer for a living. I'll turn off my phones, sequester myself in my cozy light-filled breakfast nook, wrap up in a blanket, make tea, and get to work writing. I plan to write a short story (or at least start one) on my laptop, and work longhand in a much-neglected paper journal.

I know this is a romanticized version, a fantasy of a day spent as a writer. The real writers I know personally, who actually make a living writing, are lucky to get three hours a day done writing at the most. They're working all day long, but most of it is answering emails, doing research, paying bills, talking to editors and researchers on the phone, dealing with hassles, etc. Not much of that involves butt-glued-to-chair writing. They deal with the same hassles the rest of us work-at-home people do: interruptions, phonecalls, pet fights, ringing doorbells, household appliance emergencies, cat vomit, and the easy temptation of a well-stocked refrigerator and liquor cabinet!

My breakfast nook, where I hope to spend the day writing. Oh, and petting the cat, of course.

And during my "Let's Pretend I'm a Writer" exercise today, I won't have any deadlines, I won't be stressing about selling today's writing for money, and I can quit when I get bored, and go do something else. Instead, I can focus on enjoying my pretense. Perhaps I'm writing holed up in a snowed-in cabin in winter; or I'm an expat living in a chilly studio in Paris. I might take my journal with me to a nearby cafe, wishing I was in Paris but enjoying my local Redmond Washington cafe hangout too.

I realize that my fun "Let's Pretend" day is much easier for me to do than for those of you readers who still have young children at home or husbands/boyfriends who might want some attention this weekend! With my foster kids moved out for college, I have the luxury of time and privacy to do silly things, like setting up a photo studio in the guest room, doing my makeup and hair crazily, and having a friend come over to share wine and take (clothed, by the way!) pictures of ourselves just for fun. (I might do that for my "Let's Pretend" day tomorrow!) Maybe you can only drop the kids off at Grandma's for two hours to get time to pretend something fun for yourself, so maximize your time as well as you can.

LOVELY DECOR: Artists' Studios

Today I did a quick bit of enjoyable web surfing to find these sneak peeks into artists' studios. Not an artist myself, I still have a very messy home office set up with pens, paper, tape, ribbons and wrapping paper at the ready, but I'd be horrified to think of showing a picture of my space to someone.

I really liked looking at the different ways various people have their work spaces set up. See if you have fun looking through these too!

I bet I'm not the only one wishing I had an outdoor studio cottage like Lisa Neimeth's

Mary Engelbreit's Studio

A Peek Into My Studio (Perideau Designs)

A Peek Into My Studio (Karen Fields Gallery)

A Peek Into the Hazelnut Cottage Studio

Christmas 2010 Studio (Robyn Warne Designs)

Cathe Holden's Studio (32 Degrees N)

Fall Virtual Studio Tours (Cloth Paper Scissors)

TODAY'S PROJECT: Let's Pretend

Here's some suggestions on fun ways you might spend your day:

  • A Chocolatier: Spend the day working with your existing chocolate molds and candy molds. Try not to buy anything just for a day of pretend, other than baking chocolate if you don't have any on hand.

  • A baker: Putter around in your kitchen creating fabulous pastries, cakes, cupcakes, pies, or other goodies. Spend tomorrow dropping them off, nicely boxed, at friends' houses. Check out this link about Paris and the film Chocolat for inspiration.

  • An artist: Put on a smock and use up some of your existing canvases, pens, papers, acrylics, paints and other art supplies. Create something fabulous and display it proudly in your home.

  • A writer: Turn off your phones and TV, put on music if it helps you, and glue your rear to a chair. Spend the day writing, whether it be finishing up that short story you started 3 years ago, beginning a new story or novel, jotting down a poem, journaling, or writing letters.

  • A Scrapbooker: Finish your scrapbooking projects until you catch up to this week. If you've started pages on last Christmas, Fourth of July or this summer's vacation, finish them.

  • A photographer or model: Set up a home studio and take family or friends' portraits, put on fanciful makeup and do self-portraits, or go exploring outside taking autumn photos of things you find beautiful.

  • A musician: Bring out your guitar, sit at your piano, or haul out an old synthesizer. Enjoy playing your music, and maybe even write a new song. Or if your talents run to singing, spend the day singing songs you enjoy, practicing as though you have a concert hall full of adoring fans to perform for tomorrow.

  • A seamstress: Get out your old sewing machine, scraps of fabric and trimmings, and create something fun. Even if it's just a dress for your daughter's Barbie, let your creativity out. If you don't like what you make, you can throw it away and just consider the time well spent in enjoyment and practice.

  • A celebrity: Dress up in something fashionable but not fancy. Throw on a hat and pair of dark sunglasses, do your nails, then take yourself out to coffee, a cocktail, shopping, or other things you enjoy. Don't try to fool people or impersonate any existing celebrities, just quietly enjoy your day and see if you catch any stares or people pondering who you are.

  • A kid: Play with your kids' dolls, train set, Legos, or anything else fun that reminds you of your childhood. Don't worry about what your family might think if they catch you! Instead, invite them to join in.

  • A Tarot reader: Dress up in a sparkly gypsy type costume or outfit, just with things you have around the house. Make a big pot of tea and invite friends over to share readings.

LOVELY BLOGS: From Moon to Moon

This is a home decor blog that focuses on relaxed, colorful, bohemian interiors that are lived in and enjoyed. She finds lovely pictures to share, and incorporates photos of her own living space as well. Currently posting about hibernating, cushions, apothecary cabinets, and Le Creuset cookware. Lots of decor inspiration here!


Lovely Fall Pumpkin Brunch (Hostess With the Mostess)

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