House Renovating for Writers

2013-11-03 19.42.06

We bought a house. We plunked down a fortune and signed an IOU in blood to our local bank. We received keys and a pile of bricks. We are wildly happy.

But today I stand in the hallway overwhelmed. Renovation, even the mildest, most superficial, is not for sissies.

The first couple of days I was so excited. I sat, pleased as purple punch, deciding paint colors. I obsessively poured over magazine pictures which had no bearing on my house but which I had turned to as a template for my future home. I was determined to create something beautiful, awe-inspiring, Zowie-invoking.

But after a week I have hit a wall. The hallway has taken the life out of me. Two coats primer. Two coats white paint. Endless painting of the molding around the ceiling edge and the two roses above the hanging lights. My excitement has turned to a slight depression.

Will this ever get finished.? Paint drips down the walls and splatters all over the floor. Cans of sticky paint and even sticker brushes lie underfoot. I am now realizing why painters get the big bucks: They deserve every penny.

I am also struck by how much renovating is like writing a novel.

You get an idea. You are so excited. You jump in, words flying here and there, until about a week into it you grind to a halt, words dripping down the page, surrounded by sticky platitudes. And you realize why the professional story tellers get the big bucks….

I smile as I reach out and return to painting. The key, of course, is to paint one wall after the other. Write one sentence after the other. Until you reach the end. And then you get to look back and say Ooooh! Or, as with most feats of creativity, see how different your feat is from what you had envisioned. But still you have done it. And you’ve done it the best you can.

Take a bow.

Take a shower.

Start again.




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12 responses to “House Renovating for Writers

  1. I needed this today, Nina. Thanks!

    Off to paint a chapter . . . or something . . .

  2. ninakillham

    Hi, Sarah. Thank YOU. What color are you painting your chapter? x

  3. ninakillham

    Thank you. I checked out your blog. Love the photos. The Blue Dandenong Ranges are beautiful, lucky man.

  4. carol anderson

    Haha! Just about to paint my hallway too! Wallpaper is off so something has to happen now. I know exactly what you mean about the painting, my son and his friends are going to do it for me! Btw, are you sure you were pouring over the colors? Lol what color did you choose?

  5. carol anderson

    Is the white the final or a base color?

  6. ninakillham

    Hi Carol, I painted the hall white. Boring probably but nice and bright. I revel in it! x

  7. Thank you and yes they are.

  8. Please send a photo…want to see this beauty!!

  9. ninakillham

    Hi Sara, will do. As soon as I can find the box the camera is in. x

  10. Faye Stone

    Loving this post, most definitely sums up how I feel about my writing sometimes: about the excitement and then the overwhelming block that follows, stopping me in my tracks.

  11. ninakillham

    Hi Faye. Yes, I think we need some sort of spray called Blockbuster we can cover ourselves with in the morning. Think of the writing we’d get done.

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