Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Making Space for Writing

How and where do you guys write?  At the kitchen table?  In a coffee shop?  On the couch?

I only ask because I'm curious about whether a devoted space for writing is really necessary.  Space is at a premium in the two-bedroom apartment I share with my husband.  I'm trying to follow the Virginia Woolf method and carve out a space of my own, but it's tricky when combining my shabby chic workspace with his workout equipment, bikes, printer, etc.  It's a decorating disaster fitting all this in one tiny bedroom. In fact, decorating and spatial arrangement of his stuff vs. her stuff is one of the few subjects we still argue about and I struggle with on a daily basis (but that's a whole other post, really).  Basically, I've carved out one wall for my pink, girly things.  The other three walls are all chrome, mountain bikes, and the weight bench.  It's not ideal, but it's a compromise...and I guess that's what marriage is.  Maybe someday I'll mature and feel better about the whole thing, but right now, I'm still immature enough to want a whole room for my writing cave.  Here's what my wall looks like:

The thing is, I do my best work when I'm at this desk, a tiny thing I've had since I was about eight.  It's where I learned to write and I think some of that mojo is still there.  I put it in front of a window so I can spy on the neighbors and watch people do silly things like crash into the automatic gate in front of our complex.  It's probably selfish of me to want more than this, seeing that it basically fulfills my needs.

That's why I'm asking what you guys do.  Do you even have this much space dedicated to writing?  Do you have the holy grail for writers....a whole room dedicated to nothing but writing?  Part of me wonders if Virginia Woolf decided she needed a room of her own because she had the ability to get one.  If she'd been a ridiculously poor street urchin in the east end, would she have scribbled stories on bits of paper she found in the street?  Her talent wouldn't have been buried just because she wasn't of the leisure class, would it?