It’s All About The View

I read somewhere that a view gives a person perspective.

That explains a lot, because my daily dose of barren trees, mud mounds, and the neighbors’ squatting dog inspires little more than stilted paragraphs of self-doubt.

Seems I better find a different means of perspective, because save a stint of reincarnation or time travel, an everyday glimpse of spectacular coastal France is not in my future.

Nice, France from my cubby-sized stateroom. C'est très jolie!

The logical solution is to transform my immediate writing environment. Will that new-age Kung Fu or Fungus Shui or whatever the enlightened are doing these days spark my creativity?

Thinking back on the eleven years in my home, I wonder how I ended up parked in front of a cramped table in a cold basement, with only one window to brighten my outlook, its dimensions the size of Yoda’s fingernail. But Yoda unlike, its inspiration, serves me not.

Funny, because upon moving into the home, skin still elastic, bosom still ample (it’s called poetic license, and I’m invoking its use), I seem to recall claiming a high-ceilinged, fire-place enhanced room for my den. I also recall decorating the room to my liking, a muted collection of blacks, browns and taupes à la an African theme. This was to be my sanctuary, something the kind Mr. Rubin agreed I deserved. After all, I had recently bore his two children, not much but a trigger-happy bladder left in their place. Plus, I’ve lived in some crappy joints in the past (there’s a future blog post in many of them; that and roving schools of silverfish). This was my payback.

And it was. I scratched out my novel in that room at the beginning of the millennium. But sometime over the past decade, as my writing time dwindled and my other responsibilities quadrupled, a paper-strewn, beer-scented man cave replaced my peaceful African providence.

Hey! Now wait just a damn minute!

Daniel Craig's got nothing on my man. (Photo credit

Fine. I retreated to the basement—no desk in our bedroom and too noisy in the kitchen. And really, why risk getting a fat hiney in the process? What about my kids’ bedrooms? Well, if you need to ask, then you don’t have children. In fact, I believe the class bunny, forced upon us one holiday weekend, still hops in one of those hell holes. Or decomposes. Poor Floppy Ears. (Relax, PETA, I’m kidding.)

Unfortunately, it didn’t take long before a family computer took root in my dank piece of basement heaven. The beer smells and clutter and male bodily noises soon followed. And yet there I remain. Cramped, cold, and uninspired.

View and perspective, my ass.

On your behalf, I will make the remainder of this nail-biter brief.

Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art.

I am a woman. My family heard me roar. My husband’s desk in the never-intended man cave now resides in the guest room. As do the beer bottles. And the pile of papers. And the soon-to-be carpet stains.

And the best part? He doesn’t care. He’s one of those rare, wonderful, enviable birds who are happy just to be. Sort through work issues upstairs? No problem. Scratch and burp in the guest room? Be happy to. Hey, this is the home of an introvert. We don’t have many guests.

So now, with the room aired out, African artifacts realigned, blinds for five big windows (count them—five!) functioning and ready to rise, will this new environment give me the needed perspective?

We’ll see. My desk arrives shortly.

What about you? Does your environment affect how you write (or draw, or work, or stuff classroom bunnies, or whatever it is you do)?

Note: This post was inspired by Riatarded, a witty blogger who is encouraging other bloggers to participate in “The Uninspired Chronicles”, which involves writing a post about how you “overcome the creative funk”. If you’d like to post on a similar theme, check out the link.

110 Responses to “It’s All About The View”

  1. Arizona girl

    Yeah that you have your beautiful space back! I can’t really say where I find inspiration – sometimes it’s at home on the dining room table, sometimes I absolutely have to get away and be among the people. What always works to soothe and refresh my soul is a weekend camping trip in the desert (I’m not sure how camping in Germany is…).

    Be inspired!

    • crubin

      I’m impressed you find a weekend camping trip soothing and refreshing. I suspect I would find it bug-filled and toilet-unfriendly. But then again, how will I find inspiration if I don’t open my mind to new possibilities? Hmmm, still seeing a lovely beach and not a camping tent…

      Thanks for stopping by. Hope you get a chance to camp in Deutschland!

  2. Carol Wuenschell

    Hilarious post! Sounds not entirely unlike my house.

    I mostly write in the evening after everyone else is in bed, and since I do it on a laptop, I could do it almost anywhere. (I’ve recently moved out of the incredibly cluttered study to the cumfy TV-watching chair in the living room.) View is not important. What is, is quiet. More important, I do my thinking about what I’m going to write any time I get a chance. When I go for my walk is good, but even when I’m driving (not always such a good idea.) I carry a couple of folded pieces of lined paper in my purse so I can write in waiting rooms. (I hate it when they have TV’s on in waiting rooms.) Honestly, as far as perspecitive is concerned, I think the vistas are internal. (But then, I write fantasy.)

    • crubin

      I have trouble writing at night. If I write too close to going to bed, I can’t get to sleep. I need to wind down by seven or so. Of course, when I was working close to full-time, I had no choice but to write in the evening.

      Thanks for your insight. I agree–what it really comes down to is quiet. But I still won’t mind having a little sunshine while I write.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. susan sheldon nolen

    I always thought an amazing view would help write, it helps with meditation and wasting away the hours watching people! ;-), but I’ve found I can write anywhere, even in Starbucks, or on a bus, I just zone out. I think the view is great for afterwards and wondering..where did the hours go? Enjoy your view!

    • crubin

      Thank you. I am eagerly awaiting my desk, because, for some reason, my brain tells me I can’t move back into my space before it arrives. And that pretty much sums up how my brain works…

  4. butimbeautiful

    Yeah it does. I probably need to be locked in to a prison for twenty years so I can write without having to come out for chocolate cake and vacuuming and things.

    • crubin

      Hmmm, I suspect anything you produce during that 20-year incarceration might prove dark and disturbing. But don’t worry, I’ll read it!

  5. Liz Hellebuyck

    The place is so important.

    My desk is in a sun room that looks out onto a park across the street. LOVE IT! I know some people prefer no windows for fewer distractions. Not me! Though sometimes I have to move to the living room floor for variety when I’m writing.

    Great post!

    • crubin

      A sun room–how perfect! Especially since you get to look at a park. Seems like a very inspiring spot.

      Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it!

  6. Perfecting Motherhood

    I read once that you need to refresh your mind at least once every hour by staring out the window, that is the window with the nice view. Fortunately my office window has a beautiful views of the only trees in San Diego. OK, maybe I’m exaggerating but really, they aren’t that many trees in San Diego besides the ones that were planted by humans for added decor.

    I took this picture last fall for a WordPress photo challenge so most of the trees had turned yellow and brown but it’s now back to all green and I love it. I’m truly blessed to take a seat at my desk every day.

    • crubin

      Great picture. I wish I had something like that to look out on. It’s so expansive. Once I get my den back, I’ll have windows on three walls, so that is a definite improvement. Unfortunately, they will look out a neighboring house on each side and a busy street in the front. But at least the sunshine will come pouring in. I can live with that.

  7. Jennifer Worrell

    Hysterical…I spend most of the time writing on the couch while my children are watching Nick Jr. My one-year-old son creates chaos and havoc while I’m trying to write, though. His new trick is wait until I’m completely engrossed in the work then dump his sippy cup of milk over some piece of IMPORTANT ELECTRONICS. Yesterday, I got fed up, strapped both kids in their car seats, and sat in the car writing in the front yard. Tomorrow: Wal-Mart parking lot.

    • crubin

      Wow, I can’t imagine trying to write like that. I should be grateful for what I have! But I remember when my kids were toddlers. I waited to do my writing at night, because it was too difficult when they were awake. Good for you for being so creative in your creativity.

      Thanks so much for stopping by. I appreciate it!

  8. Mr. Rubin

    I need to set the record straight and clarify a few points as set forth in “It’s All About the View.”

    First and foremost, Mr. Rubin is not a raging alcoholic as suggested in the blog post. I do, however, enjoy a microbrew from time to time.

    Secondly, in my continuing quest to drive my blogging wife insane (and I have enlisted the aid of my sons), I currently sit in the deskless African-themed room, sipping a microbrew, typing on her laptop, and glancing at the orange soda stains on the carpet while I ponder if I should “accidentally” leave my empty beer bottle behind, giving the revived room the ambiance it so rightly deserves. As I inadvertently left her laptop on in the room last night, in a place where the sun’s rays shined brightly upon it in the morning, I know I can take back the room at any time, once my mission to drive her insane is accomplished.

    Mr. Rubin

    • crubin

      Well, my love, you are closer to completing that mission than you know. In fact, the readers of this blog may assume it is a fait accompli…

  9. riatarded

    I actually play videos of random people talking while I work. Creepy huh? haha

    This was a fun read!

    Thank you for doing this Carrie! I hope that more people will be inspired to take part! :) x

    • crubin

      Thanks for giving me the idea. I enjoyed writing it. In fact, your post on getting out of a creative funk was partly what spurred me to reclaim my workspace!

      As for playing videos while writing? Clearly, your attention span is better than mine.


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