|Jane Austen's desk. (Photo credit:|
Then we come to where a writer writes. I'm amazed sometimes by all the spoils and riches some aspiring writers need to get themselves going. Some need to be out in nature with a yellow pad in order to get some inspiration, while others can go for long sessions at the local coffee shop. Some writers have big, elaborate home offices with pretty tapestries hanging on the wall and large bay windows overlooking some picturesque landscape, where everything is situated just right to conduct proper writerly affairs. And still others need only a small corner of the bedroom to ply their trade. Worst, however, is the writer that seems to crave more the knowledge that other people can see him writing big important writerly things in public rather than the actual task of creating something worthwhile. This is the pretentious writer type, whom I loathe with a passion.
Then there's where I fit in. And here I take a page from Stephen King, who must write with absolutely no distractions. His preferred writing spot when he was an up and comer was either the attic space when he was younger, or in the basement seated next to the heater when he was older. This is so me. I'm not very particular in the decor of where I write, but it must share some basic characteristics. For one, I need to face the wall. Preferably a bare wall with little to no hanging art. Second, no windows. I get easily distracted and the last thing I need is to be able to see the whole wide world outside when trying to focus on my own created worlds. And lastly, my space needs a door. Because, see, whenever I sit down to write creatively, I mentally shut the world out around me. And a door is that one physical link to the actual world that can correlate with the symbolic action of shutting all the nonsense out. Keeping it behind the barrier, as it were.
|My desk, no fuss no muss. Okay, a whole lot of muss!|
My space is cozy, bland, and best of all--easily cut off from the rest of the house around me. Once that door closes, everyone knows to leave me the hell alone until I emerge, hours later, bleary-eyed and drained of color. This is how I roll. Over the years I've been unable to write well any other way. On a laptop on the Amtrak to Philly? Nope! Won't work, too many bumps and station stops. In a cubicle at the local library? Nope, still too many noises and people walking by. I've never tried a coffee shop before, simply because I don't drink coffee and can't tell you the last time I've ever walked into one. But I'm pretty sure that wouldn't work for me, either. I mean, I can write low-energy stuff in such situations: work related docs, e-mail . . . this blog. But to write creatively I crave silence and solitude.
To me it all makes sense. I don't know about you. So tell me, what is your process? Better yet, where do you write?