A Place to Write
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.
11/14/2016 09:08:09 am
Oh, Sarah, a new office is such a joy! It's in a sense a chance to recreate yourself, to refocus on the purpose of the space and make it yours, what you are now, not what you were when you first set up your previous office and which probably hasn't evolved as much as you have since then.
Nice observation about how we often change faster than our spaces. My previous office was mostly for curriculum and assessment development or articles for Women in Higher Education. This one is geared to history and historical fiction, which require a different sort of focus.
Leave a Reply.
I'm a historian who writes novels and literary nonfiction. My home base is Madison, Wisconsin.