Space Place: where do you write?

September 2, 2011

Where does a writer write? In my case, anywhere I can’t hear my kids. Don’t get me wrong, they’re awesome. But listening to them bicker and banter does not help my writing process.

Because my kids are now in school, I write most often at my desk and edit at the kitchen counter. Neither space is large but because we live at almost 10,000 feet, we have a fabulous view of the mountains. Here’s a list of what I keep nearby:


-homemade gifts from my kids (who has the heart to toss out those tissue


-inspirational books

-a crystal or two

-my dad’s old keepsake box with his cheap Timex watch inside

-a mug of something warm

-a stash of sugarless hard candy (this replaced my gooey black licorice habit after

a mouthful of cavities)

However, like most writers, I often need a change of scenery. A local coffee-house hits the spot and sometimes, when I’m feeling particularly lushish, I work in bars and write great character sketches. On a warm summer day, I’ll find myself drawn to a local lake and write under a tree. At other times, I’ll edit in the car while waiting for the kids’ ski training to end.

The point is, a writer has the luxury of writing anywhere, so don’t worry about the perfect place. Granted, a ski lodge might not be the most conducive spot to write esoteric prose, but it can be great if you need dialogue between cold, whiney kids.

Just write. Carry a pen and paper with you at all times. Inspiration can be found in the oddest places.

My suggestion is to create a sacred space, surrounding you with lovely inspirational knickknacks, but allow yourself the freedom to travel elsewhere. It can be dangerous to believe that good writing is done only at a polished desk. Once, I had a teacher (and very prolific, famous writer) tell me that in order to keep herself writing, she had to duct tape herself to a chair. In my opinion, that’s when you know the desk has become too important. Do you really want to peel tape off your skin at the end of the day?

I’ll say it again, just write. Anywhere.

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