Writing as if

My happy place –
I am not sure that I can find the words to express how excited I am about this space.

looking past desk to dresser with books

But first, let me back up. After the whirlwind of moving to Vermont full-time and combining two homes into one, I was feeling just a teensy bit overwhelmed with the volume of “stuff” that was still sitting in boxes. And while I knew I would get to it eventually, I was especially bothered that all of my art supplies were sitting in a closet.

looking over top of art journal to bookcases

They needed a permanent place – a space where I could take them out, get messy, and not need to put them away for dinnertime. I was seriously missing my art journal.

Then, in an episode of the Write Life podcast, Kim described a set of journaling exercises which culminated in writing about a dream “as if” it had already happened. Okay – so I will admit – I thought this was just a little bit… ummmm… dumb.

view of dresser with books and old camera

But then, I asked myself “why not? I was sitting with my journal in hand and planned to write anyway; why not write as though I have a great studio space for all of my art supplies?”

And so – I did. As I wrote, I began to feel so excited about this new studio space (which I actually did NOT have), that I could barely finish writing before jumping up and finding Greg.

art supplies with dresser blurred in background

Me: Sooooo, I was just writing about my new studio space and… we need to move that hot tub outdoors.
Greg: (??? – sigh) Ummm, well, we need to figure out how we can do that. Let’s think about it over the winter.
Me: Nooooo – I need it moved NOW – I can’t get all the way through the winter without this great studio space (I think I may have been whining, but not intentionally)
Greg: (choke) I don’t think we can do that before winter (ugh… that voice of reason – sooooo annoying)

top down view of paintbrushes

So, yeah, the whole hot tub thing was not going to work out. Undeterred, I scouted for a new space that I could re-purpose. Walking from room to room, I found a not-so-perfect-yet-totally-perfect space in our underused home office. The room felt dark despite a large slider, and was overcrowded with lots of large dark furniture including a big dark desk (yes – dark).

top down view of painting swatches

Me: Would you mind if I take over the office?
Greg: Will I have to move the (large dark) desk?
Me: No… I don’t think so… but… we need to take everything out of the cabinets and bookshelves, and I need you to help me go through everything and toss out lots of stuff. Oh yeah, and I kind of want to get rid of that big armoire… And then I need to paint the walls and the ceiling, which means taking everything off the walls and minimizing, and maybe a new rug and…
Greg: Okay

view of me in studio - slippers

And so – my perfectly imperfect space is quickly becoming my new happy place. During an afternoon of happy, messy art journaling, I resurfaced to make myself a cup of tea.

Greg:  So how is it?
Me: (smile) – you may never see me again.

Okay – so, that writing exercise that I thought was so very dumb? I may have been wrong about that. I already knew that I wanted a studio space, but writing as if made me feel it. I have journaled for many years, and yet, I continue to be amazed by how powerful putting thoughts on paper can be.

And that is my saga of my happy place and writing “as if”.
Your turn – do you have a place (no matter where) that you consider your “happy place”? Have you ever written about a dream as if it had already occurred?

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Sarah | 17th Nov 19

    I love your printing press drawer with the letters. That may have given me an idea for my own art space.

    Two happy places – Up north and my porch.

    I think journaling also allows problem solving that we might not put into use otherwise.

  2. Barb | 17th Nov 19

    Words are powerful – I truly believe they can make things happen. They allow a focus that removes obstacles. (Of course, Greg helped a bit, too…) Your space sounds wonderful. Did I know that you shoot with an Olympus? I’ve used an OMD-EM1 micro 4/3 for several years. I’m still learning it!

    • Karen Lakis | 17th Nov 19

      I use a Canon dslr. The Olympus is my first real camera from almost 40 years ago. I no longer use it but have a strong attachment to it

  3. Debbie | 18th Nov 19

    oh this is such a great story, the only thing better, the images to go with it!! there is nothing better than having a space, your own space, to let your creative juices flow!! kudos to greg, for helping to make it happen!!

  4. Beatrice P. Boyd | 20th Nov 19

    Because we live in an apartment now, my happy place is shared with my husband. We decided to use what would have been a second bedroom for our “playroom” and we both have our PCs, photo equipment, some books, and household records. My husband is the one who has his own space because what’s called a sunroom in this mill apt, which is enclosed indoors, is where he has a ham radio setup. He does share some of this space when I have a project to work on and even brings in a folding table for me to work on.

  5. Lissa Mayer | 21st Nov 19

    Everyone needs a happy place, that one place they can disappear into and be themselves. Especially a place where the “stuff” can live out, ready to inspire. I love yours, especially the printer’s tray and the jars of paintbrushes. Creativity is in everything I see in your beautiful photographs.

  6. Jeevan | 22nd Nov 19

    Your images were just another form of art! I just spent most of my time in living room once out of bedroom, writing, reading, watching, listening and anything done by hands take place from this corner of 16×10 feet room. So I think this’s my happy place, from where I access to the balcony to watch sky and happenings on road and a window to experience breeze.

  7. Lynne | 24th Nov 19

    Maybe I need to dream about my art space . . .
    Not fun to have everything out and then have to put away!
    The space I need, is the kitchen . . such perfect light.
    And that won’t work so things are left in drawers and boxes and creating is at a standstill.
    Good news, you have me thinking . . . or is that dreaming.

  8. Carola Bartz | 2nd Dec 19

    Yes yes yes!!! I know exactly what you mean, and I’m so glad that you could fulfill your dream of your own space, your studio. It looks lovely, and I really like your bits of dialogue in your story telling. It makes it very vivid and “real”.
    I do have my own studio space which is a very messy place. I definitely need to clean it up and get rid of some things. We have a craft thrift store here that accepts all kinds of donation as long as it is crafty – paints, scrapbook supplies, yarn, fabric… That’s where I bring the items I no longer need or want, and it is very liberating.
    Otherwise, my happy place is out in nature…

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