The myths of “writing at the cottage”

Woman writer at work

It’s always been a dream for wanna-be writers. “I could a write a book if I lived in that beautiful cabin in the woods!” It seems perfect from afar: it’s peaceful, you have time to think, time to write, you have the bucolic views that will inspire the little grey cells…

It works for some. For me? Not so much. I have been trying to finish a murder mystery for…well I don’t even want to say for how long. Some people think I’ve had ample opportunity to get it done. Like back in the late-2000s, when I was freelancing from up here at the cottage. Why couldn’t I get it done between contracts? And when I had three months of “down time” last year, why couldn’t I have just wrapped it up?


I have a roiling brain. “Down time” when you’re a freelancer with a roiling brain is not an easy thing. When you are paying the mortgage. And the line of credit. And you have no benefits. Oh sure, it would be great to put all my cares aside and just finish the goddamn thing. It would be great if this were like the olden days for writers when they had a rich patron (lady bountiful or sugar daddy perhaps?) to keep them in whisky or gin. And food.

I get a little panicky when I sit down to write, so I end up scouring the job boards, networking with friends and colleagues. “Keep your ears open and think of me if you hear about any contracts…”

The ironic thing is, I work best under pressure. I never miss deadlines. I really know how to manage my time. So you’d think I could get this done. But the roiling starts. I’m working very hard to be disciplined, doing some meditation and working out every day to try to calm the beast in my brain. Stay tuned.

Now, friends or family who may be reading this, don’t worry. I’m not quite at the point where I’m making my line of credit payments by borrowing from my line of credit. And I’m not eating cat food just yet. I’ll let you know when either of those situations arise.

Again, this is me. There is a very successful writer who has a cottage near mine. He doesn’t suffer from my affliction. Well, not that I know of anyway. Some day I hope to have an interview with him on this site. And if I can figure out how to do podcasts, perhaps I could persuade him to be interviewed on tape (ummm, digital tape…ummm…you know what I mean.)

Someday I will finish my mystery. Really I will. Now if you know someone who is looking for a contractor…