• Kathleen Cassen Mickelson

Have You Written in any Odd Places Lately?

Where do you write? Office? Dining room table? Couch? Coffeehouse?

How about when you’re pinched for time?

Today’s blog comes to you from the waiting room at the Maplewood Toyota dealership in Minnesota. I’m working while I wait for an oil change and tire rotation. Today was the only day during which I had a chunk of time to get car maintenance done before my father-in-law visits on the weekend. And it’s blog Wednesday, so here we are.

The first few times I dared to scribble (or type) in public, I felt terribly self-conscious, as if I had no business masquerading as a writer. Not anymore. Who’s bored enough to watch me write, anyway? No one cares that I’m sitting here with a pen and notebook (standard first draft material – editing comes when I type this into my computer), especially when they have the option of looking at the television in the corner or the fish tank behind me. I don’t know what the dealership has done to this space, but the sounds are all muffled and blended together into a background hum that is perfect to work by.

Lately, I’ve written in some odd places. A few weeks ago, I sat at a picnic table in a Roseville park because the idea I had while out running errands wouldn’t wait. I’ve scribbled notes while I’ve waited for my daughter to appear following an after-school activity. I’ve written on the front steps, at the edge of the bed late at night, in the one spot in the basement that didn’t get covered in drywall dust last month, and, yes, a coffeehouse.

All this points to the fact that, for me, writing is not only habit, but it’s a way of being in the world. I remember when my daughter was a baby and I was in grad school. I thought I had to have silence and solitude to write anything decent. That is still an ideal for which I sometimes aim, but the steady practice of writing has allowed me to work through less-than-ideal conditions on a regular basis. For this, I am grateful.

My car should be ready soon. Then I’ll be back at my computer so I can edit these very words.

TODAY’S FIND KINDNESS LINK:

This past weekend, I attended Shuga Records’ Hoolie Fest in Northeast Minneapolis, which benefited St. Stephen’s Human Services, Minneapolis. St. Stephen’s has a mission to end homelessness. It’s a fine organization to throw your support behind. Learn more about St. Stephen’s here.

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