Ever since I read Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own,” I have dreamed about having some kind of dedicated writing space.
In some daydreams it’s fancy with floor-to-ceiling shelves.
In others, it’s just a space that is away from everything else.
Some days I just think in practical terms – that it needs to be in the midst of the hustle and bustle of everyday life so that I can at least get a few words in here and there.
This morning I saw two separate posts about writing spaces that made me think about this some more.
The first was that Amtrak is going to offer writing residencies – free long round-trip rides for writers. I know that I love train travel. The clickety-clack of the rails and the anonymity among the passengers. Everyone seems to have something to do – naps to take, books to read, work to do – and it makes it a pretty wonderful environment for encouraging one to get words on a page.
The second was this post by Joli Jensen entitled “My Quest for the Perfect Writing Space” – and thank you to Mark Letcher for sharing it on FB this morning! I felt like I was reading my life…not that we created the same spaces or even wished for them to have the same things, but because I keep waiting for this perfect work environment to encourage me to write.
I know it’s bull spit to wait for something external to encourage one to write. The fact of writing is that it needs to be a habit, a dedication to putting in some seat time and running your fingers along the keys in a purposeful manner or to scrawl across pages in your notebook.
The biggest external factor that you need to control is distractions.
(You don’t get much written with the eight-year-old jumping up and down trying to get your attention. No matter how hard you try.)
The biggest distraction for me isn’t actually the humans – or the pets – in my house. It’s ME. I find everything that I can do other than what I need to do.
So I parked myself as far away from home and it’s piles of distractions as possible: I had my guys drop me off at a cafe far from home (the perfect kind of place – with bottomless coffee mugs and free wifi). Let’s see how much I can get done…