Where do you do your creative work? What features of a space best support your creativity? Moving house last week gave me the luxury of arranging my new home office, where a bay window juts out into the garden and another window faces the woods.
Writing takes very little space. Depending on availability and taste, writers ply their trade in basements, attics, garden sheds, coffee shops, and kitchen corners. Some swear by a dedicated space with a door that closes. I like a room that both nurtures my spirit and shelters me from internal and external distractions.
Some find nurture in fine art or shelves overflowing with books. Others prefer a bare wall. I’m struck by how many photos of authors at their desks show a window looking out into nature.
Shelter from distraction depends on what distracts you. A closable door is handy if your housemates feel free to interrupt when they see you gaze into space. Writing in a café would distract me with noise and overheard conversations, but it helps others to get away from the distractions of bills and laundry.
As for my new home office, I initially planned to put my desk in the bay window. How lovely to look up from work into the nurture of outdoor greenery! Then I realized that the view of the garden will set my mind churning with landscaping possibilities. Instead the desk is by the window with the forest view. If a deer leaps through the trees, I can delight in it for a moment and then refocus on the task at hand.
I'm a historian who writes novels and literary nonfiction. My home base is Madison, Wisconsin.