There was a small spare room upstairs in our house in Morocco. From the minute I walked into it, I knew what I wanted it to be. I knew what it needed to be. 

“Can this be the office?” I asked my husband Ryan.

“I don’t see why not,” he said. 

We spent an afternoon moving out the heavy twin bedframes the embassy had initially provided. I got squished by a mattress (or two) as we lugged those off to the base level of the house. A few squabbles about angles and stairs later, and I had a desk and wooden chair along the wall by the window. Insert an Ikea Poang chair a month later with a poof from the Medina, and I had it: an office. Or, more importantly, I had a Writing Room. 

I didn’t even know what that meant yet, to have a Writing Room.

But I knew that stories had brought me back to life. I knew I needed more of them. I needed to write more, read more, and have a place in the house to close the door between the life of constant mothering and my burgeoning creativity. 

woman sitting at a table with a laptopMy husband and I had weathered a chapter of back-to-back deployments intertwined with pregnancy and the birth of our first child. I said goodbye to my teaching job. We moved to Morocco with less than thirty days’ notice. Through all of that, I clung to my pen and my journal and the outpouring of words that followed. I wanted to understand this military life we had chosen. I needed to find myself somewhere on the pages because I felt lost everywhere else.

In the Writing Room, I reclaimed pieces of myself. By writing my own stories and reading others, I started to step into a new vision of what military life, creativity, and being a mother and spouse meant to me. 

What I found in the writing room was the permission to:

  • write to find out 
  • heal
  • seek connection with fellow writers
  • share my stories after I had processed them, hoping that the stories could encourage others
  • cultivate a creative practice that I could take with me anywhere

We left Morocco three years ago, and I no longer have a writing room. But I do have a desk, a kitchen table, and a van (so much writing happens in the van while I wait on the kids’ activities!).  I have new journals with blank pages. I have joined writing groups and read excerpts to my husband, my friends, and my family. It’s good to have the door to my writing world open now, accepting visitors.

Sharing the writing journey has made it richer.

I have the head and heart space to accept and celebrate what I found in the writing room: writing will always be a part of me.

Is writing a part of you?

Developing a sustainable writing or creativity routine sounds simple – until military life throws our plans out the door. Military spouses are challenged with waiting periods and constant starting over loops; our creativity is pushed to the wayside. 

To come alongside you in the narrow margins of military life,I have created a guide with Legacy Magazine to discover your own pace & nourish your creativity. Grab your Free Guide Here.

Whether you have a Writing Room or not; if you are a beginner or a flourishing author; no matter how or when or where you writer, I encourage you to nourish that habit and release.

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