At one point during my college career, I lived in a tiny jail cell of an apartment. The walls were cinder blocks and the kitchen looked like one of those dank alleyways where muggings often occur. As a whole, the apartment fostered no creativity. So I would write outside. Even in December, with a blanket tucked around my knees like an invalid, I would sit outside with my notebook, two pens, and a cup of coffee that wouldn’t stay warm for long.
But I was writing– somehow better able to grasp the tail of an idea while breathing in frigid air.
After graduation, we moved back to our hometown. I kept up the outside writing until the cold weather chased me inside. I’m still not sure how I was able to endure the feeling of frozen toes for hours on end at one place, only to hide from a less chilly wind here, but I digress.
At the local coffee shop near campus, I could sit for hours and write. Sometimes the distractions were too great, shaking my concentration like an apple tree. But the payoff to writing in a public place (also a distraction) are the snippets of conversation, odd half-sentences that float by the ear with whispering grace.
Lately, plagued by the overriding urge to sleep, I’ve had to analyze the best places for the creative juices to flow. With the subtraction of the jail cell apartment and the addition of a full-time job, choices are limited as to where and when I can write. I’ve discovered that the kitchen table, after the kids are tucked into bed, magically evolves into a luxurious writing space. In my mind, anyway. But it gets the job done, because I’m just comfortable enough to spill ink onto paper and just uncomfortable enough not to fall asleep. Problem solved–for now.
Where is your favorite writing space, both at home and away? What challenges does each space present and how do you overcome them?
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Live. Love. Write.