New Writing Space Blues

  I’m sitting in my new writing space listening to a storm coming through. The tin roof amplifies the sound and I can hear nothing else. The noise doesn’t hinder my words, in fact, it helps to block out all other thoughts.

The rain is loud and hard, I made it just in time. For the moment, I am trapped inside my writing room. If I were to leave now I would be soaked to the skin before I made the house. I am warm and dry and I am thankful.

I have discovered, as I’ve begun using this new space, a few things about my new building:

I am never alone. I may be in this space by myself, but there are others around. My building lies in a small town with few people, but there are enough that the presence of humans is always felt. I can see the lights from my neighbors when I am sitting inside after the sun goes down. I can hear trucks and cars go past the crossroad that marks our town. I can hear the cows from the farm across the street and the hum from the equipment that runs continually. In this space, I am by myself but never alone.

I’ve decided there is a creep factor when I am in my building at night. Even with all the sounds in this small town when the sun goes down, things are quiet. I’ve seen the fog roll over the fields and small animals scurry to hide in the pines that stand between the house and my writing space. I sit in this small room with kerosene lamps my only light and feel fully exposed. I’m finding this difficult to block out yet I keep trying.

It is a nice place to wait out the rain. I’ve taken a little-used chair out of my house to place in my writing space and it’s a great reading spot. I’ve tucked it between a couple of windows and once I put my feet up, I can relax comfortably until the rain is over.

Though my building is unfinished, I am able to use it. I knew when we began building that it wouldn’t be completely finished all in one shot. The outside is done, for the most part. I believe there is a bit of trim yet to be done and various decoration to be added.

The inside is the unfinished part. As of now, it is simply a room with bare stud walls and coverless floor. The strange part is I am happy with this. When we are able to finish the walls, I will be happy with that too, but for now I am taking advantage of this rough space.

In the next few months, my life will become a little crazy. Can you say National Novel Writing Month? I have begun the process of planning the novel I will write during November. That coupled with my normal life makes things a little more stressful than I prefer. It is fun and I wouldn’t change much. It’s all about finding balance.

Balance is always key.

Challenge: I’m struggling with a name for my new writing space. Any suggestions?

Where Do You Write?

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) wrote about having a writer’s space in A Room of One’s Own. In this book, she spoke of women writing fiction and the need to have both a place and the finances to write. When she write this book, women had specific roles and writing wasn’t one of them. Times have changed.

What hasn’t changed is the need for writers to have a dedicated space for writing. This space is physical and emotional space. How many of us have this space? How many of us make this space for our writing? It is difficult to find and to make this sacred. 

I have worked for the past year to carve out space for my writing, and I believe it shows. I still get up early most mornings to write though that is evolving. I have a desk at which to write while being surrounded by my large collection of books. I am grateful for this.

But I long for more.

I long for a space separate from the normal workings of my life. A place where interruptions require effort and social media doesn’t intrude. I would like a place where I can read without the sounds of television or phone.

I’m not the only one.

This is E.B. White’s writing space.

Virginia Woolf’s desk
Nigella Lawson, food writer
And, Neil Gaiman’s tiny writing desk
Finally, my own, very messy writing space.

IMG_0223I find it fascinating to see other writer’s spaces.  I can’t help but compare my own though that is probably not a good idea. This is my space and it works for me, most of the time.

Each of these spaces is dedicated for writing and attending to the muse. I’ve read of others who have small spaces separate from their homes to write in. Think Thoreau’s cabin. 

I am incredibly lucky to have a supportive partner in this endeavor and we have been speaking about a separate writing area.  We have even gone so far as to purchase the materials to build a writing hut use in this manner. We’ve enjoyed this planning process, deciding on which design and what furnishings to use, which ones do we already have and do we need to buy anything. The plan is to begin building in the next month with the completion of this cabin space evolving over time as things like these often do. I will keep you updated on our progress as soon as we begin.

Carving out time and space for writing has been a struggle for me and, I’m sure, many others. I believe it is worth it.

Where do you write?