May 15, 2018


Where We Write

Ernest Hemingway wrote in a study surrounded by big game trophies mounted on light sea-green walls.  Samuel Clemens penned many of the stories we know today in a billiard room.  Robert Frost composed his poetry in two or three-room farmhouses that overlooked stone walls, apple orchards and sugar maples.  Oh, to have a fabulous writing place.  
    
I’ve yet to try writing in a café or coffeehouse, as suggested by Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones.  According to Goldberg the atmosphere of a café can improve concentration.  She states that writing in cafés keeps the sensory part of you busy and happy and enables the quieter part of you that creates and concentrates free to do so.  Though writing in a café has its benefits, she advocates using a writing room filled with your writing tools.  “Creating a writing space is another indication of your increased commitment,” says Goldberg.
  
My first writing place was the kitchen.  I wrote on a legal pad at the kitchen table, where it was warm and sunny.  But, it didn’t take long to see the advantages of using a computer and finding a quieter place.  I moved to the guest room which has an antique desk close to a sunny window.   

It would be enchanting to have a writing place like Virginia Woolf’s lodge at Monk’s house—a small cottage nestled next to a garden.  I’d personalize the interior with bookcases lined pictures of my family and all of my favorite reference books and novels.  Open windows would allow fragrant lilac and magnolia to perfume the room.  Curtain-less windows and French doors would let sunshine flood in.      

Oh, a fancy writing place with a beautiful view would be wonderful.  But, I’m happy writing where I write and feel blessed to have my own space and time to write.  Sometimes though, I gaze out the window and daydream.  I wonder what it would have been like to have been Chekhov composing his plays in his a country retreat by the Black Sea, where he could glance up from his page and look out over the rocky bay.  Outside my writing place is a dogwood, now in bloom with cream-colored blossoms. In the morning, sunlight glistens off the leaves and petals.  It's beautiful, stately and serene.    

Breath-taking views and lavish work spaces are not part of my writing life.  My little guest room suits my needs.  I'm happy and comfortable in my little den.  Because for me, writing is all that matters.