I am always curious to hear about where other writers write and I often come across writers who need a blank wall in front of them, a place that blocks out every bit of this world so they can concentrate only on their story. No windows, no anything.
Annie Dillard says in The Writing Life, “Appealing workplaces are to be avoided. One wants a room with no view so imagination can meet memory in the dark.”
This would not work for me. I am fortunate to have three most appealing workplaces in which I write. At home in Lowell, I write at the dining room table with the wall of seven windows on my right, looking out onto the back yard, glimpses of the nearby houses beyond the fence, the sky and trees, brilliant sunshine often filling the room.
At our lake house in Newbury, I write at my little round table facing the lake with the ever-changing scene outside the sliders, beyond the deck to the now snow-covered lake and islands, trees and mountains, all surrounded by a sky that transforms moment to moment. I go from the table where I hand-write new material and edit what has been done, to the computer to enter new words and sentences and chapters to be saved and cherished now and reviewed later.
Sometimes after a couple of days of solitude at the lake, I feel the call of the outside world and know it is time to venture out and be among people in addition to my characters. I may go to church and I may visit my books at Morgan Hill Bookstore or MainStreet BookEnds, but I usually end up at Bubba’s in Newbury Harbor to write.
I push away the salt and pepper and make room for my notebook. I have a small table in the bar area where there is a welcoming mix of people, voices and laughter. I settle in, and as I write I listen to pieces of conversation, orders, questions, a recitation of the sides. It is familiar and comfortable and the people who work there and take care of me always make me feel like I could sit there all day if I wanted. After an IPA and lunch, I gather my pages and set off for home, full of the day and excited about my new pages of writing and notes.
I have discovered that where I write is not actually at the lake house or at Bubba’s or at home; where I write is where my story is.
If you would like to leave a comment about where you write, it would be most welcome.