So Long, Farewell
Sometimes goodbyes are inevitable. Such was the case last week when I watched a part of my writing life barrel down our dirt driveway, dust plumes exploding behind it, the aftermath settling like brown mist on nearby prickly pear cacti.
Many of you may know that the camper became much more to us over the years – a guest house for visitors, a hiding place for holiday gifts, storage space, and most importantly – for me – a writing getaway. Many a word was penned inside that rectangular box – on my first fiction attempt and my current novel (as well as various freelance projects).
So while this post may not appear to be much about nature and its ties to writing, it is, actually. The camper afforded a wonderful view of the mountains in front of our home. Many times, I’d be greeted by a Say’s Phoebe, hummingbird, oriole, finch, quail or rock wren teetering precariously on the clothesline in front of my camper window. From my writing perch, I’d seen roadrunners, squirrels, lizards, javelinas and bunnies.
The writing-studio-on-wheels* was a place of quiet solitude (our ‘honey house’ is a wide open space – a bit difficult for someone like me, who needs complete silence to write!), and a connection to nature via its paper-thin walls (evening coyote serenades felt almost too close for comfort).
But sometimes in life, one must say goodbye to things she loves – or, in this case, enjoyed and appreciated. It made sense for us to sell the trailer before it was reduced to a pile of dust by the harsh rays of the southwestern sun. It has served us well, and its sale may open new creative doors for us both.
For Writers: Saying goodbye to the writing-studio-on-wheels is not too different from editing. I know from recent personal experience the pain of waving farewell to characters, scenes, and words. It ain’t easy saying goodbye to those old friends. And it ain’t pretty. But in the end, it sometimes is necessary to clear things out to make room for something better. What are your thoughts on editing? Have you ever had to give up something you love/like/appreciate, only to find that something better was on the other side?
* Thanks to debut author Natalia Sylvester, who nicknamed the camper, “writing-studio-on-wheels.” Her book, Where We Once Belonged, publishes in Spring 2004.