How important is it for a writer to a “Special Place” to write? Can you write anywhere- coffee shop, basement, on the sofa? Or must you have a proper office with everything set up just so?
According to Stephen King, in his widely acclaimed Memoir, On Writing, a writer’s room needs only one thing: “A door which you are willing to shut. The closed door is your way of telling the world and yourself you mean business; you have made a serious commitment to write.”
He goes on to explain that your writing space can be in the laundry of a double-wide trailer, (where he wrote Carrie and Salem’s Lot), a basement, a converted closet, or a plush office with expensive furniture and the latest tech gadgets. The important thing is to get away from the outside world, and create a space where the writer can create their own world, through writing. And hopefully, the muse will show up, too.
The above photo is my office; it is neat, organized, and comfortable. It has windows on three sides, and the photo below is the view I have out the window when I sit in my plush leather chair.
I am not bragging; I have a point. I love working there, and my “day job” (running two businesses) happens in that office. But when it comes to writing my novels, where do I go?
Yes, that’s right, the sofa! My twelve-year-old, sagging-terribly- in-my-seat, sofa. I do not know why, but the creative juices flow so much better there. I tried writing at my desk, the dining table, the nook table, the back porch….but I just cannot get going like I do when I am sitting there. And of course it easier for the cats to crawl all over me while I type, so that’s an added bonus. I think.
My situation reminds me of that old Chevy Chase movie, Funny Farm. He was living every writer’s dream- a quiet place in the country, an idyllic farm, where he could write his novel. But it did not help him- he ends up doing everything but that, while his wife becomes successful writing several children’s books (she writes in their bedroom, if I recall correctly, hiding her work from him until she gets published. Yeah.)
So maybe the ideal place to write is wherever you happen to be the most comfortable. Some of us do not have the luxury of “shutting the door” on the outside world, but do it by putting on headphones or listening to music, or even donning earplugs, if we have to write when other people are around. You write when and where you can- life has a pesky tendency of getting in the way of that sometimes.
Where do you like to write? Are you able to write with distractions all around? Have you set your space up with certain things you must have?