I?ve started the new year off with a new space by joining the SF Writers Grotto. It?s a collective of all kinds of freelance writers?journalists, novelists, poets, screenwriters?who rent office space together in order to counterbalance the solitary nature of writing, build community, and offer each other moral support. They also throw some kick-ass readings and parties, which?if you?re familiar with the group?you may have attended at their former Civic Center digs in a converted Cat and Dog Hospital.
The Grotto lost that space late last year and has just moved to a second floor suite at Bryant and 2nd, just outside South Park. The new environs are not as quaint, but they?re awfully accommodating, with individual offices for 32 writers, a full kitchen, and a palatial conference room where the Grotto plans to hold events and classes. I?ve taken a smallish room with a window, and painted the walls a fretfully chosen blue-green that reminds me of a baby blanket in some moods, and a convalescent hospital in others. I?ve got a bookcase full of my old journals and favorite books, a bulletin board soon to be covered in dance posters, and a couch for cat naps.
I?m hoping it will be a productive place for me to not only knock out my dance freelancing, but plunge ahead with my fiction. I?ve been here three days now, during which I?ve completed one assignment for the Chronicle and nearly finished a second draft of a short story. I like the sound of distant voices in the halls, the friendly visits from other procrastinating writers, the solitude of closing my door and getting down to business. I like knowing that no matter what happens, I have a place to write. Virginia Woolf would surely approve.
To visit the Grotto?s website (in need of updating), click here.