I recently watched the first three seasons of The Affair. For those who aren’t familiar with the show, it’s about a novelist named Noah who is married with four children. He has an affair with a married woman he encounters while visiting his in-laws for the summer and the show “examines the psychological and emotional fallout” of the affair. There’s also a mystery that keeps everyone together.
I found the show to be incredibly fascinating and could write a more in depth post about what I like and what I didn’t like (because there is one aspect to the show that I really didn’t care for), but today I want to talk about one detail that caught my eye in season two. Like, I was on Instagram while I watched the episode and I put my phone down when I saw this particular detail and watched with rapt attention.
Noah gets up early and walks into the bathroom. The counter is covered in books and notebooks and the mirror is filled with post-its. My first thought was, “He’s using the bathroom as an office.” Nah, who actually does that?
Noah Solloway, does. As soon as the thought crossed my mind, Noah pulled out a board with his computer on top, placed it over the sink and got to work. And that, my friends, is genius.
I’m not talking about the working over the sink part. The slightly paranoid part of me worried about water gushing over the computer if the sink somehow turned on. 😁 It’s the making what you have work for you part.
So often I think, “I need this” or “I need that” to get things done. And I know I’m not the only one–I hear it from others as well. I need an office. But if you don’t have space for an office, what nook can you adapt to be a workspace when you’re working? I need a desk. But if you don’t have a desk and can’t afford one or don’t have room for one, how can you create a makeshift desktop that fits the workspace you have? I need a better computer. But is yours functional? And if not, what other way can you get the job done? If you’re a writer, all you really need is paper and pencil. (I actually know someone who drafts each novel by hand and types it when the novel is finished.) I need more time. Can you get up a little earlier or stay up a little later? Can you prepare tools that will help you work “on the go?”
And yes, I think there are naturally ebbs and flows to your ability to work, especially if your creative passion isn’t your full-time job. My excuse is often time. I wish I had more time. Sometimes, when I realize this is a constant refrain, I look at things like how much TV I’m watching. And then there are periods like the present. Let me tell ya something: I feel like April is kicking. my. ass. It’s been busy and chaotic. At the beginning of the month my goals for April were to write an hour a day for Camp NaNo (at least I’m not at zero?) and to get through my full editorial calendar for this little space (LOLs… all we need to do is look through recent posts to see how well that turned out). At this point my goal for April is survival.
But when our excuses start to surface and it becomes a regular thing, I think it’s time to examine them. In an ideal world we’d have endless time, the best equipment and tools, the most beautiful and inspiring office space. If we don’t, we need to adapt to whatever our “limitations” are.
So, here’s to making things work! For me that means surviving the week (this was supposed to go up on Wednesday, not Friday) and intentionally carving out time to write in May. I think I’m going to put that time on my calendar so that it can’t be claimed by something else. What does making things work mean for you?