Writing Spaces

As a writer, I often have the feeling that many non-writers fantasize about being inspired to write a book one day, and often romanticize both the work and process of writing (or really, editing, as some would put it). This includes the romantic notion of having a well-appointed “writing space.” This may be true of writers who were wealthy before writing, or who could later afford that dream space for their writing. This story makes a good illustration.

Most of us, though, carve out mental space instead. According to this Reader’s Digest list, many famous authors have written in places far from a cozy cottage writing desk or a well-appointed room tucked away in the east wing of the family’s mansion. Both are places I often think of when imagining the ideal writing space. What we do, instead, is adapt the places we already have, the time that is already there, and learn to develop the focus needed to suit our environment.

Like some of the writers listed in the earlier link, I write during my commute on the train, and in bed. The train requires intense focus from distraction; the bed requires intense focus from the wondering mind. Of course, I can write elsewhere, but those are the places I’ve carved out of my life for it.

There is no magic place that can make someone a great writer. What there are is times and places already in life that we can harness for writing. It is time, practice, and development that do the “magic” that many uninitiated people are looking for in their romantic notions of someday writing that book. And those things are a space that must be cultivated in the self.

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