Room to Write

Desk of China

Spartan, utilitarian, but effective...Image via Wikipedia

When I was concentrating on being a “serious writer” (a.k.a. when I had time off from school due to financial difficulties) one of my greatest achievements was creating a space in which I could write.

It was my misfortune that my family moved at a time in which my life was in great transition, from public school to private boarding school, from jeans and t-shirts to khakis and sweaters. As a result, when I came home in the summer between my junior and senior year of college, we had been in our house four years, yet I’d lived there myself less than year. My room, then, was little more than a storage room for all of my books and WIPs. It was my task, as a newly minted “serious writer” to create a space for myself in which I could create.

Once I’d cleared a network of paths, I began my work, shelving books and organizing papers. The grade school desk we’d gotten from a school sale was taken out and a computer desk and chair were set up. I set up my computer and organized my drawers, stocking them with fresh pens and pencils, college ruled and wide ruled paper, and journals. I kept a pen and journal next to my bed.

I angled the desk so that it caught the morning’s rays from the sun, yet I could look out onto the street and watch the kids play kickball. The more natural light and human interaction I was subject to, the better. This was more important than the comfort of the chair of the chair or the quality of my paper.

Since those magical few weeks, I’ve yet to have a comfortable room to write. I don’t have a computer desk or a computer chair. I don’t have an area set up that gets plenty of natural light and affords me a view of life outside the window. My pens and paper and WIPs aren’t at the ready in one neat space. I usually end up writing cross-legged on the floor in front of the television. I can feel the difference in my writing.

So my gift to myself this holiday season will be to give myself a room to write again.

Where do you write? Is this just your space to write, or do you perform other tasks here? Where are you most comfortable getting creative? Does your writing area affect your work?


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