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Seeking Inspiration From The Dark Corners Of My Closet

February 20, 2020 by in category Writing

I have a beautiful room in my home where I write and sew everyday. The walls are a lovely warm and fuzzy peach color and I revel in the joys of having my very own private domain to work in. My talented husband installed cherry cabinets, a murphy bed and a very large table that folds down. I have bookshelves filled to the max with everything one might need to write or sew and a super computer. A large barn door covers a sometimes organized- although often not – cupboard, shamefully filled with more fabric than I could ever hope to use in a lifetime. Large windows let in tons of sunlight and ocean breezes  and I often find inspiration just staring off into rolling hills of green. It seems like the perfect place to write and it usually is.

But yesterday, I ran into a glitch when I decided that the story I was working on needed a dark twist. I wanted to paint my character in shades of loneliness, sadness, perhaps even despair. My heroine was having mystical dilemmas that caused her heartache and pain and my happy,  sunny domain just didn’t support the creation of those kinds of feelings. I tried to refashion my environment to support my writing needs. I outlined in my head where I wanted my storyline to go, I put on soft, melancholy music, closed the shades and dug down deep into my soul and  waited for dramatic feelings to flow. But none came, I was totally stymied.

That night, I switched my writing spot to my moonlit back yard hoping for inspiration to hit. It was dark and cold and maybe even a little lonely. But the only thing that happened was that I got the sniffles from the fog that rolled in, enveloping me in damp blankets of white. This morning,  determined to create the blues, I returned to my office, chastising  myself for not just jumping in earlier. After all, I know what it feels like to be sad, to feel lost, wanting to tuck myself away and I was confused as to why I was having so much trouble tapping into those emotions. It was then that I realized that I had the perfect place to nurture those feelings – my closet. It’s the one place where I fled to when my mom died and I needed to remember, to feel and ultimately to cry. And cry I did in my silent hiding place.

Located on our second floor, is a very large walk-in closet and although it has a couple of small windows, closing the door and  dropping  the shades, effectively shuts out the world at large. This dark hole  offered the perfect hiding place in which to create my whirlwind of dark emotion.

Grabbing my laptop, I headed upstairs, determined to write. Closing the door, I sat down on the carpeted floor,  flipped open my laptop and began. I envisioned my main character, the turmoil she was feeling, the confusion and angst that plagued her and the sorrow that consumed her  and I wrote. I never heard the phone ringing or the shouts from my husband. I just wrote. And within a couple of hours, I had created the world I had been searching for.

As I headed back downstairs, I met my husband who asked, “Where were you? I couldn’t find you. Didn’t you hear me calling you? Your sister phoned. I told her that you must have gone for a walk.”

I smiled. I’m glad that he hadn’t found me sitting on the floor in my dark closet, he might not have understood. I’m afraid he would have freaked him out. But for that one moment, my closet offered me the ideal place to feel, to imagine and to write. I hope that you find your own perfect writing place.

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