Thursday, 8 November 2007

Trading Spaces

There's an article about writers' spaces in the August issue of Writer's Digest that got me thinking. The spaces shown are those of established, highly successful writers. What I'd really like to see are the spaces of struggling, beginning writers.

It's not that I wouldn't trade with some of the writers featured - it must be wonderfulto have a comfortable space dedicated to your writing, every convenience at hand. That's not my present reality.

My computer sits at one end of my mother's dining table. The TV is a few feet away in one direction, the kitchen a few feet away in the other. Although I've sometimes persevered and produced good work with the TV blaring and my mother constantly interrupting my flow, I prefer to write late at night when there are no distractions.

I wrote the first draft of that first novel in bed. I was not camping out at my mother's house then, but I was teaching high school, coming home to cook and supervise my son's homework etc. etc., then retiring to my room to scribble when the household was asleep. I still write in bed sometimes when I feel the need for pen and paper rather than keyboard and bytes...

The dream is always there, though: my own writing space with a big desk and comfy, ergonomic chair; cabinets for all my papers, manuscripts, and correspondence; shelves for all the books now languishing in cardboard boxes; a couple lush plants; some photos scattered around; a painting or two.

When I'm feeling frustrated about the lack of perfection in my space, I remind myself that Stephen King used to bang away on his wife's old typewriter in the laundry-closet of their rented trailer, a child's desk balanced on his knees. We all gotta start somewhere!

So where do you write? If you send me a photo of your space (lianespicer at gmail dot com) I'll feature it on the blog. The weirder the better! Any takers? :)


Lane said...

I have a dream too. It involves a large desk, a view, a whiff of the sea, a cafe around the corner.
Unfortunately I write in bed (longhand) or type on any available flat surface. This is usually the kitchen table where the world goes about its business around me:-(
I'd send you a pic but the kitchen table is not that interesting:-)
Love the reminder of where S. King used to write:-)

KeVin K. said...

How very strange. I just posted on this very topic in my Live Journal. (No, not your writing space, my writing space.) It was a response to a question I was asked months ago. I see from the dates that you wrote three days before I did -- I'm not getting by here as often as I should. I think someone photographed me typing away at the coffee shop once. I'll see if I can track that shot down.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

I look forward to writing on my desk in my apartment in Rome. I would love to have a terrace but with the darn dollar being so low, I'll be lucky to afford a closet.

wordtryst said...

Lane, I like the 'whiff of the sea' suggestion. Think I'll add it to my dream space.

Kevin, I'm not getting across to yours as often as I should either. I'll go read that post right now! And please look for that photo; I'd love to post it!

Nyc/caribbean, you're going! You're going! I'm so happy for you - I know you've had enough of LA.