Two blogs that I love to frequent – Murderati and scribo ergo sum – recently had posts about writing spaces: Murderati over a period of weeks as its multiple authors take turns describing and sharing pictures (you’ll just have to visit the site and scroll back through recent weeks for all the lovely inspiring nooks and crannies) and Jen Brubacher here sharing her own unique view of her own little niche in London.
It got me thinking and dreaming a little about where I write. I always wanted to be one of those coffee shop writers who wear cool clothes, smoke endless cigarettes (Whoops, that’s politically incorrect now, isn’t it? — That was my 80s’ daydream. Smoking wasn’t as bad then!), and write reams and reams of brilliant prose inspired by, yet simultaneously oblivious to, the streams of humanity walking past the window, fighting at the table beside them, flirting with or harassing the barista . . .
I wanted to be Hemingwayesque, writing in some Cuban bar that would eventually name a drink after me . . .
I wanted to be ferreted away in some ancient ivy-ridden library–a serious academic with thick, non chic glasses (so non chic that they were chic!). I wanted to have my work space be the turret in an old Victorian styled house overlooking the ocean . . . I wanted to write in . . .
Truth be told, none of those venues suit me. I like absolute quiet or the white noise of my family crashing about the house, doing their thing around me. I can’t be in too interesting a place or all I do is people watch or explore.
I write in an odd little space in the heart of my home — literally the walk through point to get to any part of the house — at a little corner desk designed and handcrafted for me by my husband. The walls have an ever changing assortment of post it notes, quotes, cartoons, postcards, to do lists and random artwork. The shelf contains bottles, sea glass, old spoons, sea shells, rocks, pine cones, fishing net, a tea set, lots of dust and well, other curiosities and pretties that caught my imagination during a walk or explore.
My alter-ego Bobblehead Ev (or Mev, a.k.a. Mini Ev, actually) and her mini Bert sidekick (who, of course, matches my Bert sidekick) keep me company. I stash a lot of pens plus junk in my first “big girl” mug–a yellow smiley orb that’s totally awesome.
It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I love that it doesn’t have windows. When I stare ahead all I see is the world inside my head. But I also love that I’ve layered it with lots of doodads to distract inspire me.
It’s always immaculately tidy or a huge jumbled mess. There’s no middle ground. And hands down, it’s where I think and dream best.
How about you? Where do you write? In a specific spot or nest or on the fly where ever the muse takes you?
p.s. I’m definitely not the only writer/reader interested in writers’ workplaces. Google “writers’ spaces” and have fun!
13 thoughts on “Where I Write . . .”
My goodness Ev… your first few paragraphs made me want to go out to a coffee shop and write, find myself an amazing old library and write… dammit, you made me want to smoke and write, and I’ve never been a smoker! I love the romance you describe.
But the reality is better. Your workspace is wonderful. I feel honoured as one of those who’ve seen it in person. All your doodads, quotes, and notes are wonderful.
And of course I love what you create there. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Heh heh – I still haven’t entirely given up wanting to write in those places either. The romantic vision of The Writer lives on despite all my unwashed hair, pyjamma-bodied frantic-typing before day job writing sessions. 😉
And yeah, the reality is pretty wonderful. Thank you for all your nice words about it and (especially) the words that come to me there. I wish you were popping over for coffee and seeing it again soon.
Great workspace! I love all the curios and memorabilia, plus the dreamy look in Mev’s eyes!
My dream was to write in a tiny cabin perched on the edge of the ocean and I’m kind of there – though my house is a little bigger and there’s nary an ocean in sight. (But we get the sea fog!)
Thanks for popping by, Angela, and for your kind words! And you think Mev looks dreamy? Nice. My family thinks she looks malevolent. Muahahahahhahaha! (And I think her look changes depending on her mood.)
I love your writing dream and you are kind of there! (Plus you go to Ukee–BIG OCEAN THERE.)
My dream has always been to write on a screened-in porch, facing the ocean, with the roar of the tide as my background music. I will get there.
For now, I have a small office in my home that I painted butter yellow (as were my last three offices). I write on a rolltop desk with a computer that is even more antique. When Chris moved in, he took over my nostalgia room, so now my Strawberry Shortcake collection and stuffed animals have made my office their home. The dolls are on a shelf above my desk, and I smile whenever I see them.
Other than a bookcase and an over-the-door shoerack, there’s not room for much else. I do have a window, but I keep the curtains closed for privacy, so it isn’t much of a distraction.
Great post, Ev!
I like your ocean dream* too, Holli but the space you’re working in sounds lovely already! Butter yellow is so cozy and happy–and LOL re: Strawberry Shortcake. She’s great.
*Why do so many writers feel writing by the ocean would be/is the perfect musing space?
Water lovers tend to be creative people, for some reason. I think the ocean inspires a lot of us, much like people can watch a campfire for hours on end.
Funny enough, I don’t have Ms. Shortcake herself–just her friends. As a child, Orange Blossom was my favorite, and she’s still pretty cute. 🙂
I like this particular shade of yellow because it makes any room sunny and bright. I often go to turn the lights off before I realize they already *are* off.
This was a fun topic to write about! Thank you. And thank you for adding me to your blog list!
That link between water and creativity seems true–now I want to research it a bit! And yes, eventually, I’d love to have a writing home or cabin on ocean or big river/lake.
My sister had all the dolls. I loved Huckleberry (was that the boy’s name?) and Lemon Meringue. She loved them all, but like you, especially Orange Blossom.
>>>This was a fun topic to write about!<<>>And thank you for adding me to your blog list!<<<
You're very welcome!
designed and created for you by your husband??!! how wonderful. I don’t think you can get any more personal space than that.
i loved reading about how your ideas changed over time!
as for me, well, right now it’s on a rocking chair with a sleeping baby on my shoulder and a laptop on my lap. warm and cozy….if slow!
I have actually had the opportunity to see, and sit at, your corner work desk. Yes, it’s located at the busiest crossroads of your house, but I settled in instantly. It felt cozy, comfortable, and conducive to work. Not surprising though.
I’m also happy nestled into a corner with the noises of life going on in the background. In my university days I would much rather study in the cafeteria than the library. Maybe I felt better knowing that the rest of the world still existed. Or maybe I could relax knowing that if I accidentally made any noise, I wouldn’t be met with a chorus of sh-h-h-h’s.
I also like writing outdoors. Here is one of my favourite places to write.
By the way, if you really want to spend some serious time writing in a coffee shop, then you might want to check out this contest: Coffee Shop Author
Vello, I love that favourite writing place! Where were you?
I’m incredibly pleased/happy that you like my writing space and hope you return to use it again some time. 🙂
And re: your favourite place to write, I love it!
The coffee shop contest looks fabulous, but sadly, I think it’s over. I e-mailed them to ask if they’re going to do a 2011 version.
I first heard of the Coffee Shop Author contest last year when I saw a poster about it on the bulletin board at the Pelican Rouge Coffee House in White Rock BC. (It seems to be a very arts-supportive coffee house.) I meant to return and ask whether they ever got their own author-in-residence, but I never made it back.
I found the contest dates on the web site a little confusing and I wonder if they meant 2011 instead of 2010 on the deadlines they show. I guess you’ll find out if they have a 2011 version.
That nice writing place is on the long Pacific beach near Ocean City, Washington
A few pictures of the place are here.