Archive for March, 2010

Meet the new roommate

March 11, 2010

I wish I could say the transformation from journalist to author is further along than it is, but honestly . . . it’s taking me a while to switch from worker bee who buzzes around weekly deadlines to self-directed, disciplined writer who turns out solid, scholarly manuscript in 9 months.

In other words, gack.

I’m doing research, studying the 950 surveys we’ve collected so far (1,200 is the goal), taking notes as I go and marking potential interview subjects along the way — but it’s so different from actually writing and completing a story. Yesterday, after studying some excellent samples of non-fiction book proposals an agent sent me, I dove back into my own proposal, and did some serious tinkering. That felt really good, actually writing, so today, I’m going to continue. I need the feeling of mastery that controlling the words gives me, no matter how necessary it is to lay all the groundwork in the research arena of this book-writing process.

Meanwhile, as hinted previously, my roommate has indeed sold the house, which means my workspace will soon double as my living space. This has entailed the gradual filling up of my empty-except-for-a-desk condo to a place that only awaits my bed and chest of drawers. Final move-in is a little more than a week away.

But before I move in, I’m making the trek to Cleveland with my roomie, who’s moving there to live in the same town as her dad — for the first time since high school graduation. She isn’t crazy about driving, but I’m a fan of road trips, so she asked for my company on this last rendezvous as roommates, before we split off and begin new chapters. After 7+ years, I can honestly say she’s the easiest person I’ve ever lived with. By far, actually.

And now I’ll be living with myself. Alone. For the first time in my life. My ex used to travel alot, but I imagine that living with two dogs and expecting your husband home for frequent visits doesn’t feel the same as rattling around a place all by your lonesome, absent the heartbeat of even a pet or the expectation of a visitor.

Nonetheless, I am eager for this. It’s time to see how I function solo. In fact, it may be past due. I’m ready to see what surfaces when there’s no one else’s opinion to ask, no one else to accommodate. I know challenges are inevitable, but this seems like the perfect chance to explore a side of myself I’ve never had the chance to meet.

Let’s just hope we get along!