Do you have a physical space and routine that helps you create?
Yes. I have a writing room that I made up. First I made a diorama of it. really. In a shoe box. Before I was able to “have” such a room. I’d look at it and pretend I was there. Later, I made it exactly how I’d imagined it. Before I write I have to meditate or kind of put myself in a trance-type thing. It’s another kind of “leaving” this world and entering the world of language and image. Oh yeah, and I’m a drinker. I don’t mean I get shit-faced, but I do drink when I write. Just enough to wet the wit and whistle.
How has your creating schedule (time of day, whether you need to be naked, talismans, etc.) changed over the course of your career?
I think women in particular have a hard time creating the schedule and space and permission of a writer’s life. We are conditioned to be caretakers, for one thing, or at least to care about things other than the self and art. So when we manage to do it, it’s a big fucking deal. When I first started writing I could write in a kind of mobile and nomadic way. Coffee shops, bars, trucks, etc…Later in life it became VITAL to have a dedicated space that was “mine” and of my own making – the old Virginia Woolf rule. At this point my writing room / space is so sacred to me you’d lose your arms if you tried to take it away from me. I’d bite them off. I truly believe women need this kind of self-made and privatized writing space. If you don’t have it, make it. Like now. Don’t wait one more second. I don’t know what men need, maybe they need it too. I know artistic men who seem to need it too, like the Mingo, but for women, part of what is essential is to claim it and stand up in it and never let anyone violate it. It’s a second body. The studio or room or space you create in.
Also: would you rather have the ability to be invisible, or the ability to fly?
Fly. Hands down.
AB: I already knew that about you. Weird. But don’t we all sort of sense which way a person goes in the fly/invisible dichotomy?
And, do you have an amulet/talisman?
Rocks. And all this stuff:
AB: I don’t want to write much in response to this. It is a response that needs to be by itself. Except: I want a pink room. And I like rocks. I have a picture of some of them, but I recently realized I don’t want to post pictures of them/expose them to the world. Thanks for writing these thoughts about space.