Do you have a special place where you like to write? What makes it work for you?
Kathleen M. Muldoon wrote a chapter in her book Sowing Seeds: Writing for the Christian Children’s Market about the importance of setting up a place to write. Here are the first few paragraphs from Chapter 3, “In the Beginning”:
The book I most re-read while growing up is Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. This semi-autobiographical novel chronicled the lives of the four March sisters growing up during mid-19th century America. Despite the fact that I read this book from my favorite reading spot, the fire escape of our inner city tenement building, I still fancied myself as Jo, the second oldest of the sisters and an aspiring writer. Her need for private space in their cozy Concord, Massachusetts, home resonated with me. Whenever inspiration struck, Jo headed for the only place she could have some private writing time—a cubby she’d carved out for herself in the dusty attic.
Writing is a solitary, personal activity that requires a special place. Before you begin writing, determine where you will write. Before you crunch numbers to see if you can afford to rent an office somewhere, let me describe my “office” space.
I do not own a home nor do I rent an apartment. For the past 16 years, I have rented a single room in a friend’s two-bedroom, one-bath house. That room (one of the two bed-rooms) is about 10’ x 10’, and it suits me just fine. My friend allows me the run of the house for cooking, bathing, and entertainment. But my rented space is where I live and work. My writing nook is the 4’ x 4’ northwest corner of my room. I’ve set up a computer hutch in that corner, next to a window on the right that looks out onto our street and neighborhood. On the left of the hutch is my dresser, on top of which sits my printer and a three drawer Rubbermaid “thingy” that holds printing paper and envelopes. Going clockwise around the room from my computer hutch, on the other side of the window are two bookcases which form an “L” in the northeast corner, my twin-sized bed, a nightstand, a two-drawer file cabinet, my clothes closet, a chest of drawers, the door to my room, and a small roll-top desk which abuts the dresser. Oh, and on the carpet beneath the window is a cat bed meant to sleep one large, literary feline named Walter. Of course, Walter much prefers stretching out on the bottom of my bed, from which he can jump into my lap while I’m writing.
I tell you all this because I want you to know that no matter what your circumstances, you should be able to find a cubby, however small, that will be used for only one thing—writing. One of my colleagues, a prolific author and mother of four, has her space atop a card table in the laundry room. Any place will do it if affords you some privacy, comfort, and quiet.
I learned about Kathleen Muldoon’s book, Sowing Seeds at one of the Highlights Foundation Workshops where we discussed the importance of establishing a writing space. One of the other authors attending the workshop shared that her writing space was in an unused closet in her home. I marveled that her home was so large that she had an unused closet that was big enough for a writing nook, and found it amusing that even her husband didn’t know she was writing in there. What a cool get-away place!
Where do you write?What writing tools do you keep at your fingertips? What kind of surroundings best inspire you to write? Please share in the comments below.
Copyright: undrey / 123RF Stock Photo (featured image)