Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Place to Write

I've been thinking a lot of writing nooks lately. Most of my time on Pinterest has been spent searching for pictures of writing spaces that people have posted. It's been a lot of fun. 

The fun is that I get to dream as I look at all the different places that folks have created. I ask myself if I want it to be light and airy or dark and cozy. Sometimes I think I want it to be tiny and secluded, but other times I feel like that would have the potential to become claustrophobic. I know for sure I want it to be full of books and places to put pictures and posters and sticky notes covered with ideas and inspiring quotations. And I also know it has to have a really comfy chair. That's where what I know ends. I don't even know whether I want a desk in the traditional sense, which would be appropriate for grading papers, but isn't necessarily a requirement for writing. I mean, I'm writing this in a recliner with a lapdesk to hold my computer. And it's quite comfy.

bookshelf, shelves, books, albums, records, lps, speakers, equipment, toys, memorabilia, wood, desk, chair, figurinesIt's a bit overwhelming. So many things to consider. But then I realized what it is that every single picture I looked at had in common. And I mean literally every one. Each picture contained no people. Not one. The only person even associated with the place was the person taking the picture, and I assume in each case that this is the nook's resident. That's the element I love most about each and it's the element I most lack. As I write this, my ears are filled with the TV in the living room, some indeterminate sound coming from my father's computer somewhere else in the house, and the rather loud conversations that take place between my parents, who are both hard of hearing. Periodically, my mother comes in and talks to me or to my dog, Baili. So I'll be amazed if this post makes sense, let alone have any actual quality to it. 

So the key is not place so much as condition. Yes, there are things I want, but there's but one thing I actually need. It matters not a bit if my place to write contains dark woods or lots of windows or a recliner or tons of shelves lined with books I love. What matters is am I alone? Do I have time to hear myself think? Can I quietly contemplate? Is it possible to read out loud a passage I've just written without someone running in to ask what I'm saying? If not, the place could look like the picture every author has in his or her head of the ultimate writing retreat and would still be useless. 

So I guess all I'm asking for is a little peace and quiet.