October 4, 2015

K is for Keep Out!


Photography by Mary Allison Tierney

Writing started off as something done in secret or in the few stray moments I could catch during the day. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to write about and tried different things to give it structure. I pulled out textbooks from graduate school and even my master’s theses since that was the last thing that I’d written that was longer than a to-do list or a note that said “Do not wake the baby!”

My writing slowly progressed to something that formed complete sentences and paragraphs, but I still wasn’t happy with the way they sounded. I switched writing gears and tried fiction for fun. As least it would be practice and it was hard to do research while I was traveling over the holidays.

Just like reading always had in the past, the story caught me. It wasn’t even a full story, just the idea of one. I would write late at night, I would skip socially required dinners with family members and hide in the closet to write. When I returned from the holidays it was time to get serious. I was ready to take on the title of writer but a closet was not a place for creativity.

I had to take on the man-cave.

The home office previously designated as my husband’s space was the perfect location to get things done. Just like when we were first dating, and small items from my life crept into his apartment, now my writing crept into his cave. My laptop took center stage. My plot outline covers the six foot wide wall. The cup that my children decorated in school holds pens of varying colors and probably a few legos. I have taken over the office like this story has taken over my life. It is mine now, I want to see how it ends. Now my to-do list is about word count and character. My babies are in school and my jotted notes to my family read: “Keep out! Mama is writing.”

Meghen Kurtzign’s essay Backseat Writer appears in Mamas Write.


  1. Sue LeBreton says:

    Meghen: I love how you describe your writing creeping into your husband’s space the way things did when you were dating. I can see your wall with the plot outline. I fear fiction because I do not feel “creative enough” but I expect there is something very freeing about it. I am excited to read your essay in the anthology.

  2. You’re very organized. I had delusions I could do that… but it didn’t last long. Kudos to you!
    (new follower)
    Lexa Cain’s Blog

  3. Love this, Keep claiming your space!

  4. Teri Stevens says:

    Yeah Meghen! I’m so glad you are making the time and claiming your space. I can’t wait to read it when you are ready to share!

  5. Claire Hennessy says:

    I LOVE that you are taking over the Man Cave! So fab that you have prioritized writing and looking forward to reading it!

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