In the past few weeks, I’ve received both my state and federal tax refunds, as well as an end-of-year “profit sharing” check from the hospital where I work. With this influx of funds I acquired new and brighter lighting for my workspace, an office chair to replace a sixteen-year-old folding chair, a bookshelf, Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, and two fountain pens. Other than the compact fluorescent bulbs and the bookshelf, which made immediate obvious improvements, I continued waffling a bit regarding whether these purchases had been necessary.
It’s part of the suffering artist shtick to force ourselves to be spare and minimal. As a writer, what more do I really need than something to write on, and something to write with? I have a computer and printer, isn’t that lush enough? And as for fountain pens, I already had four in steady rotational use—and two more that weren’t being used. The metal folding chair was still capably supporting my butt, with nary a wobble or a creak.
Now that there’s been some time to let the dust settle, I’m not feeling so harsh toward myself. In previous posts I’ve mentioned how my writing seems to be opening up, this calendar year. The recent acquisitions seem both natural outgrowth of this expansion of my writing, as well as “carroting” the writing that’s to follow. They’re acknowledging the writing so far, and also coaxing me further still along.
It’s a cliché that writing is about keeping your ass in the chair. Now, I have a chair that makes doing that more tantalizing. I’m eager to be playing with the new fountain pens, and there’s so many good things regarding playing while creationing. And how can it be wrong for a writer to finally get their first “for grown-ups” dictionary? Again, an answering where you are at the moment, while calling you toward the territory ahead.