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The Write Space

I envy writers who can sit down and write in any old place — in hotels and cafes, on buses and trains, in departure lounges. It's an ability I mostly lack. I did recently spend a couple of hours jotting in the cafe at my local park, but then the wailing of small children became too much and drove me and my creativity away.

I've been thinking about the spaces in which we write a lot recently because, for various reasons, I haven't been able to spend much time in my study since moving into my new(ish) home. Some of the reasons are purely practical ones, but there's also been the more psychological reason that the room simply didn't feel right. It felt more like an office than a study; it wasn't the sort of place in which I felt comfortable and inspired, and able to lose myself in stories.

This was a problem.

It niggled and nipped at me.

So I finally tackled it last weekend.

I swapped the deskside filing cabinet for a little bookcase, and covered the ugly desk with a lacy tablecloth bought from a charity shop (in fact, the same lacy table cloth I used part of to make my lightshade). I covered the filing cabinet with a pretty Indian textile, and added a wooden bowl, crystals and feathers. I dotted ornaments and crystals around the bookshelves, and threw down a couple of old rag rugs. I tied an old shawl over one of the curtains to break up its mono-colour and give it some character. Finally, I framed and hung a selection of inspirational pictures above the desk (which faces a wall, not a window).

And you know what? It didn't cost me a penny, and I now love the room so much I can barely keep out of it.

Our writing spaces are precious. It doesn't matter if we're lucky enough to have a whole room, a corner of one, or a cubby under the stairs. A shed or a kitchen table. The place where we do the majority of our writing has to be a special in some way. A single talisman placed on the shelf next to the compost in the shed might be enough to conjure the 'special'; a certain mug that sits at our side at the kitchen table, or even a particular pen that conjures the writing zone. We are invoking magic when we tap into our well of creativity, and we need to create our sacred space in which to do that.

So, a question: do you have a sacred writing space? If so, what is it that makes it special?


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 11th, 2014 02:22 pm (UTC)
How wonderful. I'm so pleased I've inspired you. And I'm sure your lonely spare room will be delighted to be reinvented. It's been waiting patiently for you all this time.

Just don't do too much at once and wear yourself out!

I'm really pleased with the lightshade. My craft projects rarely turn out as well as that did.

PS - I'd love a quiet house by the graveyard too :O)
Dec. 11th, 2014 02:58 pm (UTC)
You know my thoughts, & my space. ;)

If where we write fails to inspire us it can be a hard slog. For years, I had to make do with a spare corner on the kitchen table. Having a study feels like such a blessing.
Dec. 12th, 2014 08:00 am (UTC)
It is. I know how fortunate I am :O)
Dec. 12th, 2014 12:05 am (UTC)
I'd love to see a picture!

Yes, I do have a great writing space. Maybe I'll blog about that (in which case that would be the 2nd post you've inspired within a week. Thanks!).
Dec. 12th, 2014 08:03 am (UTC)
Tell you what: I'll post a picture for 'Friends Only' if you write a post about your writing space, and include a picture in it. Deal?
Dec. 18th, 2014 03:22 pm (UTC)
I get more writing done out of the house. It's probably because my writing room is also my home office where I do my day job work from home hours. I can write pretty much anywhere - café or library. And I've gotten used to blocking out the people around me. When conversations become intrusive, I plug in my headphones and merrily drown them out with music. Your post has given me the idea that perhaps I should do my day job work in a different location in the house. Perhaps like you, I need to make my writing room more special.
Dec. 20th, 2014 11:18 am (UTC)
I envy you being able to write anywhere; being able to shut out other people is a real skill. I've started carrying my notebook with me more, in the hopes that I might be able to train myself to write when I'm out and about.

I can understand you not being able to write in your home office. I can never manage anything creative - I can't even get in the right headspace to think about my current story - when I'm at work. My brain just seems to disconnect from creativity in that environment. I need a mental and physical separation between work-work and creativity-work.

Hope you can find a way to reinvent your writing room.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )