| Don’t Write Alone
Where We Write Where Rae Nudson Writes
I’m afraid I have always been like this: always doing slightly more than I can handle, stealing moments to get it all done.
I wrote the second half of my book during the pandemic, while working a full time job and undergoing fertility treatments. I had never been a morning person until then, when I woke up around 6 a.m. to either write, on days I had no doctor’s appointments, or to go to the doctor, on days I did. I wrote in the mornings at the kitchen counter, with a cup of coffee, before my husband and the pets woke up. I have an office space in my home, and at 8 a.m., I would close my personal computer and open my work computer on my desk, where I spent the next eight hours working remotely at my day job. By the time those hours were up, I didn’t want to be stuck in that room for one more second.
photograph courtesy of the author
So I often moved outside to our back deck if the weather was nice. It was a relief to be in fresh air and to return to the work that I really wanted to be doing. The change of scenery marked the end of my official work day, when I could start, again, on the writing that made up my daydreams. If the weather was bad, I often worked from the couch, or my bed, or the kitchen table, or wherever I found myself that evening.
Photograph courtesy of the author
I didn’t start freelance writing until several years after I graduated college. I went to journalism school to become an editor, not a writer. I didn’t realize I wanted to write until all of a sudden I did—an obsession that took hold of my life slowly and wouldn’t let go. So my writing career has always been alongside my day job. I’ve never been precious about where I write because I have never had time to write anywhere except where I already am, whether on my phone on the train (when I went places on trains), or lunch (when I took lunch breaks), or on the couch (where I’ve likely spent too much time the past year and a half).
I’ve printed out drafts and revised them in waiting rooms, or in my chair at the salon with my understanding hair stylist (“Do what you need to do!”). I’d email myself chapters I was working on in case inspiration struck while in line at the grocery store. My notes app on my phone has a thousand half-started drafts and workshopped sentences.
When I was a kid in school and our teacher gave us a few free minutes at the end of class, I was the one rushing to get my homework done instead of chatting with friends. I’m afraid I have always been like this: always doing slightly more than I can handle, stealing moments to get it all done.
photograph courtesy of the author
I sometimes feel like I wrote my book fifteen minutes at a time, in two-hundred-word increments. But it got done: I turned in my final draft two weeks after I found out I was pregnant. I wrote this essay during nap times, out on the deck, while my daughter slept inside. I’m working on a new project and am once again finding pockets of time to write, whenever and wherever I can. These days that’s been on the floor of the nursery, on the couch after the baby went to bed, and outside at cafes while she sleeps in a stroller. But my favorite spot is still the back deck, feeling the sun and breeze as I invest in the work and life I want to lead a few minutes at a time.