Elisa Doucette has a pretty sweet vantage point on the world. Since February she has been holed up in the attic of the historic Captain Nickels Inn, working on several writing projects while enjoying breathtaking views from the fourth-story widow's walk.

In a March 30 interview with The Republican Journal, Doucette said lately it is "extremely blowy" off the cupola, but on quiet days she brings out a chair and takes it all in.

Originally from Bethel and later the Gorham area, Doucette is an online writer and freelance editor who has worked from locations such as Seminyak in Bali, Prague in the Czech Republic, and Oaxaca in Mexico, to name a few. Last New Year's Eve, she stayed "randomly" at the inn and met mother-and-daughter innkeepers Dawn and Cassidy Gintz, who told her about their interest in starting a writer-in-residence program.

They also talked about their need to establish social media and content marketing plans, something Doucette knows all about. An agreement was struck, and Doucette became the inaugural writer-in-residence for the inn.

"I spend about 25% of the time working with Dawn and Cass on marketing and helping out with the content," she said. The remainder of the time she is working on a nonfiction book proposal dealing with how writers and editors can work together harmoniously. There seems to be an "unnecessary animosity" between the two, she said.

She is also pitching several articles to publications. “I try to keep busy,” Doucette said. She said she has enjoyed walking in Searsport, stopping at Coastal Cafe for coffee and food shopping at Tozier’s Market.

She told the Gintzes, "just throw me in any guest room," thinking she could set up shop just about anywhere. Her employers thought differently and put her in the top floor Captain's Suite.

The space comprises three dormers in the 146-year-old inn, Doucette said, with a bedroom, living room, full kitchen, deck and private entrance. The suite also has access to the widow's walk and cupola facing Penobscot Bay.

According to the inn’s website, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was built in 1874 by Capt. A. V. Nickels as a home for his wife, Elizabeth, and their eight children.

Doucette has been traveling internationally for the past decade and "writing while I'm traveling." While writing an article for Forbes in 2010 on working remotely and freelancing, and how she thought it might become a trend, she struck up an online friendship with bloggers and podcasters Dan Andrews and Ian Schoen of Tropical MBA. Andrews and Schoen were impressed with Doucette, offered her a position and asked her if she would be interested in working in Bali.

At the time, the deal was they would pay for Doucette's room and board and not much more — "and that's how it all started," she said, referring to her writing and traveling lifestyle.

She also spends a portion of her time traveling in Scotland. “I wanted to explore Scotland and had the opportunity,” she said. After a thorough search of Airbnb rentals in the area, she decided on Aberdeen because it looked interesting and fun. She said the apartment where she stayed was located over a pub and was owned by a woman who was a triathlon champion.

“I found a place I want to settle into,” she said. Aberdeen reminded her of what Portland was like two decades ago, she said. “It was growing, from being a port city to expanding in different areas," including the creative arts. “I’m excited to go back in autumn,” Doucette said.

The Gintzes said in a press release that it has been their vision since they purchased the inn in May 2019, to have a creative residency program. "I always hoped to one day see artists painting on easels in the solarium and writers typing away in the tavern,” Dawn Gintz said.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has closed many stores and businesses lately, the inn is still open. Doucette said she has noticed a slowdown of activity at the inn the last couple of weeks.

In a March 30 Facebook post, the Gintzes said, “We will continue to stay open as a safe haven for the road weary traveler. … We hope to be your port in the storm as we all weather this together.”

As for the future, Doucette said she doesn't like to plan her residences too far in advance and the only thing on her horizon in the next few months is helping out her younger sister who is having a baby in July. Her residency was set to culminate with a three-night writers' retreat at the end of April, but with recent concerns about travel and social distancing, the event has been postponed, potentially to a late autumn date.

For more information on Elisa Doucette or the Captain Nickels Inn, visit elisadoucette.com or captainnickelsinn.com.