I want to write about clearing space



I would like to write more here. But it has to come naturally. I’ve been writing in other places; in my notebook, mostly while teaching but sometimes at other quiet moments during the day; on screen, too. There aren’t so many quiet moments. Most of the moments are more like the ones pictured above.

I want to write about heartache and discontent and anxiety and bruising effort. I want to write about not giving up. I want to write about my dishevelled house, and how it reflects my dishevelled life; neither feels under my control. I’m wandering through the chaos, trying to keep track of the bare minimum, whatever that might be. Meeting deadlines? Providing the occasional meal? Showing up on time? Showing up at all — while spreading in all directions are needs unmet, leaves and sticks dragged in and chewed to shreds by Rose the puppy, dirty dishes on every surface, dirty laundry on every floor, dog beds, dog toys, shoes to trip over, and as far as the eye can see, stacks of books and papers and bills and the parts of a homemade car being crafted for a physics project, glue gun, twisted wires, discarded wheels.

I want to write about the quiet moments, so that I remember that they exist. That I can conjure them into being. I want to write about clearing space. What is space? What is this desire to fill it? Is it inertia that fills space? (It’s so hard to keep space uncluttered. I don’t know how to do it.) What would it feel like to walk through this house and not see anything that needs doing? What would I do with more space, more quiet? Would my dreams expand? The breath in my lungs? Would I feel more settled or less settled?

xo, Carrie

Where joy is
Biographical blurb: write your own


  1. Hi Carrie, We recently put our house up for sale. In order to “de-clutter” as recommended by our agent, we rented a COW… container on wheels. It was maybe half full when they took it away to be stored. I loved the look of our house! And after a while I couldn’t even remember what was in the COW. Now that we have moved, we have all that stuff back. lol

  2. Hi Carrie. You. Are.Not.Alone. My house is the same. Our puppy’s name is Pages. She’s a 75-pound Golden Retriever. Her brother, Oscar, is 80-pounds, and will soon be four. Together they shed 50-pounds of hair every day. Clean surfaces? Ah – nope. I feel what you’re feeling. How does a writer disconnect from her ‘home’? When home is so filled in all the ways we love and loathe? I don’t know either.
    But…I don’t think we’d feel more settled…I think we’d still feel like it’s hard to breathe at times. I think there are always opportunities to feel different. Not right. Not wrong. Not better or worse. Just different. Sometimes that’s how I find peace. Allowing myself to feel all the feelings. And writing in the in-betweens or in the fulls…whatever I can do.
    Thing is – you always make the time to write to us! And that’s special. So thanks.

  3. Your writing reflects my feelings. I am also looking for quite moments and uncluttered spaces. Thanks for giving a voice to us readers.

    • I too am living this, exactly this, right now.

  4. It is nice to know, sometimes, that other people too have outer chaos that reflects inner chaos. I think this would resonate with many people right now during this dreary November. Thank you for sharing :-).

  5. I have to say, I’ve had clear space and I struggle just as much to write–maybe more so. I think those boundaries of time, mountains of laundry, and caring for others keep us structured. I think that if I had entire days to write without a distraction, without a floor to clean, without an appointment to drop things for–the lack of structure would make me unable to create. I know that I wish for retirement–for a time when I don’t have to be woken up by my alarm clock, when I don’t have to put on makeup, when I don’t have to be at the office 5 days a week–but when I’m on holidays, everything good for me goes out the window. I stop going to the gym, I eat and drink too much, I stay up too late and I sleep too long, I don’t write as long as I’d like, and I spend hours scrolling through Facebook and watching Netflix. By the end of a week, I’m longing for the structure of my regular routine and workweek. Just so I can get back to creating.

    I’ve been exactly where you are and the only thing that works for me is to schedule an hour (or 30 minutes) a day and write. Put the ‘Do not disturb’ sign on my door, put the blinders to hide the mess around me, turn on the timer, and just write.


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