I want you to dream with me the dream writing space

Who did these rooms belong to? One room has a desk surrounded by bookshelves. Another room has stars and planets shining through the walls. I analyzed each room’s items to guess what type of work its owner did. I later learned that Elie Wiesel’s study contained the desk with the bookshelf and that Prince’s studio had the universe shining through the walls.

After looking at some photographs of spaces that famous people worked in, I thought about how I don’t have my dream writing space yet. I was inspired to envision my dream writing space.

Dream with me while I share writing space ideas. If you already have your ideal writing space, how did you decorate and organize your space? These are some of the things that come to mind when I think of my ideal writing space: 

  • Surrounded by beautiful things because beautiful things always inspire me, plants 🪴 and artsy wall prints. 
  • A coaster for drinks, coffee maker or coffee station nearby, bookshelf and file cabinet nearby, window with a view–one that I could look through for inspiration if needed.
  • A comfortable armchair or small sofa for reading 📖.

What’s one of your must-have items in your writing space? Do you have more than one must-have item?

With mucho carino,

Andrea 

p.s. Click here to see Mitch Epstein’s collection of photos 📷 that I mentioned called “The Rooms They Left Behind”.

Every writer has access to infinite possibilities of word arrangements

This always happens to me when I’m immersed in the writing process. The intent is always the same, to create the best draft. But I never know how many changes it’s going to take for me to say, This is the final version, and to actually mean that.

I’m working on a batch of poems I wrote years ago with the intent to finalize them. I concluded that it was necessary that years pass before I picked up those poems again and write their final versions. I was more confident in the revision/editing process this time around. I noticed I revised and edited quicker and better trusted my intuition when making those revision and editing choices. I was able to see what lines needed to be taken out. I say taken out because I didn’t delete them. I just piled them on another page in case they’re useful in the future.

I was better able to hear and see each poem’s foundation and heart. I felt more confident in bringing forth their individual meaning and beauty. Whereas before, I questioned my revision/editing choices a lot. I felt more comfortable with changing the title of a poem or leaving it untitled if I felt like it didn’t have the right title. I was able to take out many chunks of lines and words that weren’t needed with more confidence. I’d never done this with my poems before. I sometimes wondered if I was wrong for not finding ways to keep some lines when the lines decreased dramatically. Yet, after I removed the lines, I realized that I was still keeping the poem’s message.

Then I applied more writing strategies that have stuck with me over time. If I noticed that some consecutive lines didn’t have an image, I tried to figure out what image I could use to express an experience. For example, what image could I use to describe a sleepless night? I asked myself what’s the right word for what I’m trying to say here? Do I use selfless or virtuous? Do I use old or past? Do I use dull or mundane? I asked myself: how many adjectives are enough, do I use a or the, do I capitalize this letter or not, where can I add sound in this poem, and can I come up with an original way of saying things that have already been written about?

Sometimes I think that I won’t be able to find the right words to say what I want to say. I think that I’m not the writer who can write something extraordinary. Sometimes after waiting a bit and experimenting with the words, I end up surprising myself with what I write. I say this as evidence that every writer has access to infinite possibilities of word arrangements. 

What are your go-to revision and editing strategies? How has your writing process changed over the years? How do you know that you’ve completed the final draft? Leave me a comment. I’d love to talk to you about the writing process! 

With mucho cari​​ño,

Andrea

you also have lots to tell me

One of the bazillion excuses that I came up with for not blogging is that I got switched grade level a quarter into the school year. I went from teaching middle school to high school, 11th-grade English to be more specific. Teaching a new grade level, especially one that I hadn’t taught before, was like reliving my 1st year of teaching because I had to prepare my lesson plans on a week-to-week basis again. This meant that I was working outside the work hours. This got better this semester, thankfully!

The other bazillion excuses that I told myself for not writing for the blog were

  1. I’m not going to have time to blog consistently so why bother. (I had time to watch Netflix so I had time to update the blog.) 
  2. I’m not feeling mentally or emotionally well, so why blog.
  3. I’m tired af which was one of the few legit excuses.

I’m alive as you can see. And I want to get back into the blog-writing habit. I feel like sharing so much given the long absence. I’ve been outgrowing my 2020 self. Last year was a year of dismantling my somewhat naive vision of the world and life.

I’ve been doing some maturing. It took me a while to accept that I’m back in my hometown. It definitely wasn’t easy. It’s not a glamorous home town. I think I’m finally seeing some light at the end of that tunnel. It’s the people here (or anywhere) that make a world of a difference.

I’ve attempted to blog. I wrote a post about trying mushroom hummus toast which was delish. According the the website where I found the recipe, it’s considered breakfast. After trying said recipe, I concluded that mushroom hummus toast is not breakfast. It’s perfect for brunch or a side, but not for breakfast. Do you think mushroom hummus toast falls in the breakfast category? 

What other things have I not told you? I’m an auntie now. My nephew is the most adorable-est in the world. I’m sure every auntie says that about their nieces and nephews. Also, I like to think that I’m his favorite auntie :). 

My plans for this summer? Read the books my 9th graders are going to be reading next year, lesson plan with my 9th grade team teacher, spend time with my family. And bake some empanadas that I saw on the Claire Saffitz YT show. I’ll let you know how they come out.

I’m sure you also have lots to tell me. How have you been? What have I missed? What plans do you have for this summer?

with mucho cariño,

Andrea

p.s. Cariño means affection in Spanish. It also means dear.