Friday, December 30, 2016

Best of The Archives: Perfect Place To Write

Sandra here with a steaming pot of chocolate velvet coffee and some lovely hot chocolate with whipped cream. Come chat and let’s talk about the best place to write.

Bigstock photo

Years ago, when I took a sabbatical from teaching and wrote some novels, I arranged my life to what I thought was the perfect set up for writing. My office was pristine, quiet and I had all day to myself. I had cleared all responsibilities, hubby was at work all day and I had no interruptions.

Guess what?  It was horrible. All of a sudden I had nothing to write about. I wasted an incredible amount of time. With no structure and responsibilities, time can just dwindle away. You know the old adage: "If you want something to get done, ask a busy person." Well in my case that is true.

Right now, hubby and I are taking advantage of our good health and our freedom and are living in our RV.  The kicker is, we are staying in an RV Resort for 55 plus and it is only 17 miles from our house.  Is that hysterical?  We get the strangest looks when all the other residents from Canada, The Pacific Northwest, the Northern Midwest, etc. ask us where we are from.   (btw we call them snowbirds)

A Tower Point snowbird dressed for Halloween party

Well our response is “We don’t go home because there are chores.” There is yard work at home and none in the RV resort. (Okay, I might have to sweep off the patio once in awhile) It takes four to six hours to clean the house. And something about the motorhome being a vehicle, hubby helps clean it. Once a week, we invite someone over and then he pitches in and we have a clean motorhome in less than half an hour.

Goldfish pond in the entrance way to Tower Point RV Resort

And the other response is, “This place is like Disneyland for adults.”  And it is.  There are hundreds of activities here. We could participate in one every hour 24/7 and still not do everything.  But Tower Point RV Resort is really a fun place to be. Check it out. Click on the webpage and see the list. Now doesn’t that sound like a hoot?

So you might ask, “How on earth do you get any writing done?” Surely if you live there, you aren’t going to have time to write.

Well, actually, living here stimulates my writing.

For one thing, I save hours a day by not having to drive to places. I bicycle to the pickleball courts, which saves me forty five minutes every day. (Forty five minutes to write)

Pickleball courts, Bocce ball and horse shoes in the back.

I bicycle to the pool and spa every day, which is only a block away. From my house it is a two-mile bicycle ride one way to the YMCA. So that saves me an hour.

I have my choice of three or four Bible studies and I can pick a time I don’t like to write, like the evening. And I don’t have to drive there either.

With all this free time, residents get involved in a lot of philanthropic activities. There are drives for all kinds of charities. One of my favorites is Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan Purse. You fill shoeboxes with gifts for children and Samaritan Purse sends them all over the world. I have been doing this for years. One of the residents here collects the boxes so that saves me the time that I used to take to find a drop off center and the long trip there to deliver the shoe boxes.

I go to crafts workshops and make my Christmas presents instead of having to go out and spend hours shopping. (I really dislike shopping btw). Right now I’m taking stain glass workshops and am making some lovely stained glass window hangings for Christmas.  (Sure hope my family doesn’t read this blog. LOL)

I still can't believe I made this - smile

And there are always happy hours, social activities, programs, plays, and just visiting with the people around here.

They have live bands and dancing by the pool every evening

So guess what?  I have more time to write.  And I have tons to write about because all of these people from so many different places have really interesting life stories and do they ever love to talk about them. Every time there is an event, we meet more people.

Living in an RV resort is not only great for writing but it also is great for reading. The time savers I use for writing, are great times to read. One of our Seeker friends, Marianne Barkman and her mother are snowbirds from Canada and they fly south to stay in a Senior Resort similar to the one we are in. In fact, hubby and I stayed at her resort, Pueblo El Mirage  for a short visit last spring.

Here is what Marianne told me:  I would have to say that many of the things Sandra has pointed out about the RV community being a great place to write also holds true for me as a reader. Although I don't get inspired in quite the same way as a writer does, in a close community of active seniors, mostly, I get lots of book recommendations from my friends and since where I am, we have an extensive library, as well as access to more, I have found many new authors. Having less responsibilities in the way of housework and yard work helps. There's nothing I enjoy more than sitting in the sun with a good book and a cup of coffee, chatting with friends as they walk by.

Marianne reading in her lovely park model home.

So what is the perfect set-up for you to write?  What is the perfect set-up for you to read?

In reality, we all have to make it work where we are at, don’t we?  Hubby wants to be in an RV resort, so I look for the good side and I found it.

An Arizona sunsset at Tower Point RV Resort

When I was working, I used to write in the morning before work and then take the bus to work and edit what I wrote while riding the bus. That saved time and it made the commute into the city much more interesting.

Hubby is a night owl and likes to stay up late at night. Because of that, he loves to nap in the afternoon. This is the perfect time for me to write. It is quiet. I have been stimulated with good exercise and fellowship. And I get right to it. (no pun intended - smile)

Before you go, Sandra wants to jump up on her soapbox for a minute. Christmas is over and many of you received gift cards. As writers, we need to read, read, read. So hop on over to your favorite book buying site and order some books. We are writers. We need to support our industry. Go to your local author groups and get signed books to give as gifts. If you see an author's book in the store that you know, buy it for a friend. Support the authors in your community and buy their books as gifts. A book is a priceless gift. It not only is a lovely present to unwrap, but it opens up a whole new world for your family members and friends. Happy shopping.

Sandra Leesmith writes sweet romances to warm the heart. Sandra loves to play pickleball, hike, read, bicycle and write. She is based in Arizona, but she and her husband travel throughout the United States in their motorhome and enjoy the outdoors. You can find Sandra's books here on Amazon. Three of Sandra's most popular books are also audio books at Audible. You can read more of Sandra's posts here.