Pulling Rooms Together

“Pulling Rooms Together” might sound like a weird title for a blog. The phrase comes from a poem title I got by circling phrases in a magazine for inspiration. I was struck by what an apt description it was for the way we write.

Writing is a lot like creating a home. The foundation comes first, something strong and solid that the rest can be built on. But instead of piling blank, empty rooms on your foundation, when you’re writing, you’re pulling rooms together from all over: that summer at the lake when you were fifteen, and the way you felt at your fifth birthday party, and that thing your Great-Aunt Marjory always used to say, and the tingly feeling of catching snowflakes on your tongue. You pull them all together, and maybe you give them all their own room, each with a lace-curtained window and a vase of flowers, or maybe you cram them all into one, just to see what happens.

Once you’ve got your rooms right, it’s time to go in and connect them, and to fill them out and make them beautiful, because this is, after all, a place you might be living for a while. This is your house. That’s why letting your work go can be so hard. Your readers might not know that the pieces you’ve pulled together are your own memories, dreams, and desires, but you sure as hell do, and you might suddenly find that you regret inviting them into your house. But as writers, we build our homes not to shut ourselves away in them, but to throw the doors and windows open wide and shout “Come in!” hoping that our guests will find one trinket, one old wooden chair, one blue and white bedroom, that they could swear we’d pulled straight from their own home.

This is what I aim to do with my writing. I hope you’ll come along for the ride!


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