When life hands you lemons, make a witty blog and a brand-new blogger space. That’s what the inimitable Mikalee Byerman did. Check out her blog, Me 2.0, and her Blogger Space below.
So — I write in the shower.
But I’m guessing neither Pauline nor you really wants a picture of me in that writing space.
And when I say I “write” in the shower, clearly I’m not putting pen to paper while shampooing and shaving my legs. Instead, my best ideas come to me during this time of cleansing and purifying. It may be somewhat psychosomatic (emphasis on psycho, I know), but the falling water and complete calm seems to inspire creative juices to flow. Writer’s Block goes down the drain, and I emerge with ideas.
Obviously though, I need to go somewhere to document these ideas. And for as many years as I can remember — for the entire time I’ve been a writer by profession and passion — it has been my home office. It is the fourth bedroom in the home I purchased with my now-ex; we had bought the home new, making every detail — from colors to carpet to countertops — something we chose together.
So when I discovered my marriage was over (through a brick, no less: yes, I’m the girl whose marriage ended with a literal brick…click here for more on that awesome story), I eventually accepted my reality and asked my ex to leave. Then I looked around at my home, the physical manifestation of my union with the man who destroyed my then-life.
And all I wanted was to throw it away and start over. From scratch.
In fact, upon divorce, all I wanted was to throw everything away and start everything over. From scratch. Hence the name of my blog, Me 2.0, which alludes to my next iteration, my next best self post-divorce.
It’s my do-over.
Now, the obvious way to shirk the symbol of an old life and embrace the new is with a physical move, but for me, this just wasn’t possible. Because here’s the sad reality: I live in Reno, Nevada, proudly known as the foreclosure capital of the nation (you only thought “The Biggest Little City in the World” was our slogan…). I knew it was the wrong time to sell, despite my mulligan. I’d have to find a different approach.
So instead of the big gesture, I began with many, many small ones.
My 1.0 version was immature, flowery, and naive. My decor matched that — until I began to purge. Out with the stupid flowers and stupid happy prints of landscapes and stupid homes I’d never visited; out with the stupid figurines and symbols of my past. I was done with blank walls and stupid pastel accents.
(That’s a lot of “stupid,” I know. But I was way over my 1.0 version, as you can plainly see).
My 2.0 was appropriately characterized by two colors: red and black. Welcome to my blood-and-death phase.
I’ve been entrenched in this 2.0 version for about three years now, with the beginning of my blog about a year ago symbolizing a new chapter, both literally and figuratively. Each post brought with it further healing and beautiful clarity and new adventures. One time, TIME Magazine’s web site linked to my blog. Another, Diet Coke made me part of a viral campaign. I was growing connections to wonderful readers, confidence in my writing and tackling my book, one post at a time.
And then, only a few weeks ago, I made a big decision — probably the biggest since I had asked my ex to leave our home. I decided to make the move from full-time employee of a company, to full-time employer of my freelance writing skills. I decided to quit my day job and pursue my dream of writing from home — writing for the many clients I’ve cultivated over the last few years, and writing the book I know is living inside me (and in part on my blog).
With this decision came the last hold-out from my 1.0 life. I wanted to move out of my home office, where I had been sitting at the desk my ex had bought years ago. I craved new perspective and a physical symbol of my new adventure, which I found in my loft.
And the only way I could begin this transition was with a blank slate. A clean canvas.
The loft is open and airy — which I’ve come to appreciate, as an unwelcome remnant of my 1.0 life is claustrophobia. My new space fits me perfectly, with windows overlooking the Sierra Nevada mountain range, trees and Reno’s sweeping blue skies. I’ve surrounded myself with a glass desk, calming candles and pictures of my family.
And one big departure: the color teal. Though accent paint hasn’t quite made the walls yet, it’s on its way.
Oh crap. Clearly, I’m entering my 3.0 stage, complete with a 3.0 palette:
But there is one obvious red-and-black holdout from my 2.0 version:
So: Any ideas on what I can do with my silly blog name now? Anyone else subscribe to my “out with my old, in with the new” philosophy after a devastating life change? And I’m dying to know: Does anyone else find inspiration through showering or other mundane activities?
Or am I just kinda psycho like that? 😉
Blogger Space is a continuing series devoted to showcasing the places bloggers choose to write. Want to show off your digs? Send a photo of your space, a blurb about why you write where you do, and link to your blog to [email protected]
What comes to me in the shower is sometimes so overwhelming, I have to jump out for a minute and write it all down. I’m not even kidding; the warm water rushing over me, the clutter-free space, the quiet, the cleansing, the routine, the freshly shaven legs, the thoughts just bubble up and I can’t stop them. My best ideas come to me in the shower. I’m on a quest for a waterproof tape recorder that could hang in there, enabling me to dictate my thoughts – take a letter Maria.
As for your leap to 3.0, congratulations. I love the new space, the pallette, the simplicity. How exciting to take such a leap to writing. I’m bubbling with joy for you because I get it. I dream of my book in my hand, and the hands of many others as well. I can smell the printed pages, feel the paper as I turn the page – It’s coming. I know. Keep on plugging. I’ll buy yours if you buy mine!
I think I may just pour another cuppa and settle in to read your back-story now….
Love Mikalee’s blogger space! And ditto on the “Aha” moments in the shower. If anyone discovers a waterproof tape recorder, let me know.
Mikalee, love your blog. Did you ever get that mini fridge filled with Diet Coke?
Mikalee Byerman says
Oh wow…There’s a million dollar idea: The water-proof tape recorder! I love love LOVE it. Not only will I buy your book if you buy mine, but I’ll partner with you on this innovation.
And thank you from the bottom of my writing heart for the support, encouragement and sharing my excitement. I’m thrilled at the chance — something tells me this is exactly the right thing to do at the exact right time to do it. Fingers crossed!
I wish you success as well — your dream of book in hand should be realized. It sounds like both of us just need LOTS of showers to get us there…we’ll be the cleanest authors out there!
Mikalee Byerman says
I’m telling ya: This waterproof tape recorder is an idea whose time has come. Or perhaps a voice to text translator that can filter out shower sounds???
Thank you so much for reading, blogging friend! My initial post about the Diet Coke “gift” is here: http://mikaleebyerman.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/dear-universe-can-you-hear-me-now/
The follow-up will be posted this week. Stay tuned!
What a wonderful introduction to Mikalee, her space, and the challenges of starting over post-divorce. (I would’ve gone to Paris with my kids – but it wasn’t possible; it would’ve been great for them in the long run – cousins & grandparents only a few hours away by train, but no way I would’ve been “allowed” to do so. Ah well.)
I also write in the shower! Or rather, grab for paper nearby and scribble as the shampoo runs into my eyes, and hope what’s left is legible when I get out!
Mikalee Byerman says
Aw shucks, BigLittleWolf: thank you! And by the way, I would have totally done Paris, too — no family there for me, but getting the hell outta dodge would have been the perfect prescription…and yes, I wouldn’t have been “allowed” either! So I can definitely relate.
Best of luck with the shower writing. The odd thing is, I was just listening to a teleseminar by Jon Morrow, and he mentioned writing inspiration from the shower. I guess many of us are in that same (soapy) boat!
Thank you for reading…
Christina Simon says
Fabulous post! All the best with your new freelance career.
Mikalee Byerman says
Thank you so much, Christina! Much appreciated…
So, what the HELL is it about the shower that does it? Is it the negative ions? (Or was it positive ions – I can’t remember…) I, too, find that my creativity, particularly related to verbal skills, is heightened in the shower. The ideas flow. The solutions become so clear.
Loving your writing.