Even though I didn’t aspire to be a writer as a kid, my home environment told a different story. My bedroom had an adjoining side-room that became my study. I could walk in there and close the door: a welcome respite from all diversions and drama.

 

Inside was a clunky wooden bureau with my teenybopper record player on top. My desk faced the window that looked out on our woodsy driveway. On either side of the desk were bookshelves built by Dad … kind of like surround sound but in books.

 

I had all of the necessary ingredients: privacy, plenty of books to read, pens, paper, and later a typewriter to print words. I could choose either silence or accompanying music. It was a room where I could write.

  

Nowadays, my best writing is done in a grown-up version of that study. My office keeps me isolated enough from distractions without sacrificing a pleasant view.

 

Daily writing is as necessary as brushing my teeth. Some days it’s just e-mail. Other days it is what I call wisdom writing: a gratitude list, dreamwork, or a meandering search for perspective.

 

If I’m lucky, the first draft of a poem, blog, or memoir emerges.  If I’m even luckier, those first drafts turn into something I can share with a larger audience.

I have mentored many professionals in both my writing and helping careers. I launched the Mentoring Program for the San Francisco-Peninsula Branch of the California Writers Club in 2004 and received the Louise Boggess Award that year, in honor of the branch’s founder.

ABOUT MARTHA:      writer      visual artist