So I think I’ll attempt a miniseries of posts addressing the who-what-when-where-why of writing. But I’m going out of order by starting with where.
My assumption is that, like me, those who want to write have imagined their ideal writing spot. This usually involves a large desk, a bay window, and a breathtaking view. Mountains or water are nearby. Maybe both. Insert a cozy cabin in the foreground and the setting is complete.
And now that I’ve appealed to your mind’s eye, I’d like to poke it.
I blame Stephen King for connecting the writer with the remote cabin, based on his books like Misery and Secret Window, Secret Garden. In reality, King says all you need is a desk and a door that closes. Be advised that King’s first book Carrie was written in the laundry room of a doublewide trailer.
For most writers, especially beginners, sweeping landscapes and breathtaking views are very bad ideas.
I’m a firm believer that your writing space should look and feel like work, not a vacation. Ideas wait for no man (or woman). Sometimes (most times?) you have to wrestle the words onto the page. It’s work.
Here’s a theory: Could it be that nearly all top academic institutions in the world are in colder climates because the people there were forced inside to think rather than permitted outside to play?
I have a writing credenza that looks like the gateway to Narnia when the doors are closed. When the doors are open and I’m working, I’m enveloped by the “wardrobe,” surrounded by books and veneer. I’m sitting here now. It is nothing less than the opposite of impressive. But it’s functional.
And lots of writing happens here.
Write a book worth publishing, and then celebrate its publication by enjoying a week in a remote cabin on a remote lake (but far away from Annie Wilkes or Mort Rainey). Then return to your work space and start on your next book.
[BTW: if you find yourself writing while on this celebration vacation, then you’re more than a published author–you’re a writer!]
Now, I’ve read enough books on the craft of writing to know that all writers are not created equal. We act, think, and write differently than one another (thank God). So let me have it. Where do YOU write?