I recently discovered an article about how writers can feasibly quit the nine-to-five jobs they hate and write full-time while at the same time getting rid of most of the stress we associate with adulthood. Before I go any further, a disclaimer: this option is not for everyone. While I’m going crazy over this discovery of mine, it can be a radical change, and some people will never feel comfortable with it, so keep that in mind as I share with you what I’ve been learning so voraciously about over the past few days.
It’s a different way of living that can be summed up in two words: tiny houses. Usually built on a trailer bed to be acceptable by law, these houses are mobile, a bit like RVs but built to last as long as traditional houses with all the personalization of a full-time residence, which they are to many of the people who own them.
These houses, while not a new concept, have experienced a resurgence in recent years. That’s because of the growing disproportion of housing space to the number of residents, leading to a number of high living costs. While American families become smaller, the houses grow bigger. Why? Because we’re chasing the American Dream; wealth enough that we can buy lots of stuff to fill huge houses. Contrary to popular belief, material wealth doesn’t make us happier. When we take a good hard look at what does make us happy, we find family, friends, and a magical little thing called purpose–and that’s what the tiny house movement is all about.
See, when you live in a space that ranges from 350-800 square feet, everything you own must be useful, and every inch of the house must have either functional living space or storage. Everything about the house and in the house must be intentional. No accumulating countless pieces of crap you never use, no leaving clothes on the floor or items strewn randomly through the living room, no wasting space.
What all this comes down to is a small space filled with only the things you need. In turn, this space ought to be fully personalized so the occupant loves being there, and all the costs decrease dramatically, from construction to living. For starters, there’s less materials to buy, smaller appliances, less construction time (which also makes DIY feasible for more people, with a little guidance), and only the features you need and want will go into the house. Heating and cooling becomes much more efficient, there is no frivolous spending of which to speak–there’s simply no room for unwanted/useless items–and mortgage is non-existent because loans are unnecessary.
So where does that leave writers?
With an affordable space to call their own in which they are able to block out distractions and just write without other constraints on their time, because really, living is inexpensive, especially if you’re willing to get creative. Need fruits and vegetables to add in to your meals? Plant a garden. Don’t want to waste precious water from your tank on sewage? Use a composting toilet. Need power? Solar panels with a battery storage system can keep you off the grid when combined with energy-saving habits.
Downsizing is probably the hardest part of the process for us materialistic Americans, but it’s so freeing. I know from personal experience because I’ve already begun! I plan on having my own tiny house in a few years, and so I am sorting out everything I know I don’t use and won’t need. I can’t believe how much crap I’ve gathered and left to collect dust in the corners of my closet alone!
Like I said before, this isn’t for everyone, but I encourage you to seriously consider this because it’s a viable option for those of us who simply can’t working just to keep a house and want more time to focus on the things that matter. That’s what makes living in a tiny house so much less stressful–you find yourself on sound financial footing with more time to do what you love and be with the people you love in a house that’s entirely intentional.
Sounds like a good life to me.
So what do you think? Are tiny houses an appealing option for people who want to write full-time? Are you beginning to consider the possibilities of such a home for yourself? What are the features you’d most want in the writer’s mobile bungalow of your dreams?
(You can view the article I found here for more information about tiny houses.)
Thanks for reading! I hope you found this post helpful.