Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saturday Soirée - Writing space

Sometimes I wonder if it makes sense to write about the same topics other writers explore on their websites and blogs and in their newsletters. We have a saying here in Trinidad, "Too much of the same thing is good for nothing." But whenever that thought about "writing about the same topics" surfaces, I am reminded of how important it is to write what is close to my heart, the topics that I, as a writer, enjoy reading, the kind of topics that inspire me and keep me motivated, the kind of topics that can turn the mundane into the extraordinary, the topics that are common to writers.

One such topic is the place where we write : how we identify, secure and use our writing space.

While I pondered on this, I received Beth Mende Conny's latest blog post on the same topic. Because our views are so similar, I decided to share it in our Saturday Soiree post.

Her post gave me the warm fuzzy feeling of connection to a writer, who shares my belief and my practice and understands my seemingly quirky obsession with the space where I engage with my passion.

Again, there is the connection, similarity and community among writers that I've written about before. I can only hope that my writing: articles, columns and blog posts elicit the same feelings from writers and readers who find my work, linger with it and return regularly.

Read Beth's post entitled "Your Sacred Writing Space" and my comment here.

As a bolster here is an excerpt from one of her articles at her website, Write Directions, entitled Balancing Writing and Family.

You must have a room of your own, Part 1
That doesn't mean you have to have an actual room with a door to close, but it does mean you need a space in which to work.

Space, by the way, is not just physical. It's mental as well. You can have a great home office, for example, but if you can't keep others out of it (or keep yourself in), it's doing you little good. The bottom line then? You must create space for yourself by laying claim to it, by setting boundaries that others cannot cross during the times you write. This ain't easy because it means you first must "come out of the closet" as a writer. You must declare to the world (your significant others) that you are more than what they see; that you want more for yourself; that you have the right to write.

A room of your own, Part 2
Once you lay claim to your right to write, you can begin to lay claim to a writing space. If you have a distinct room at your disposal, replete with door (preferably a locking one), you're all set. Know, however, that such a room isn't a requirement. Many great poems and plays are written at kitchen tables, in the corners of basements, and in notebooks lovingly, sometimes furtively, carried from room to room. The bottom line is you work with what you've got and make it work for you.

Note the traffic patterns in your home. What spaces are constantly traveled? Which get only occasional visitors or none "after hours"? Which can fit a desk or filing cabinet, or even a single cardboard box containing your notes, research materials, pens, and pads? (Such boxes, by the way, make great "portable offices," enabling you to take your writing wherever you go, e.g., the library, coffee shop, or even into your car or bathroom). So, choose your space, however modest, and set up shop.

Read the complete piece here.

Do you have a writing space? Is it sacred? How often do you go there to honor your passion?


Joanne said...

Thanks for the link to Beth's blog, she's got a lot of good stuff going on over there. As for posting writerly topics, as a writer I enjoy a well-thought-out writer's blog such as yours. It helps build a sense of community in a sometimes solitary occupation. And yes, I do have a sacred writing space. My computer hutch, holding the computer, journals, reference materials, keepsakes. When the doors of the hutch are open, I am at work, at my office. My family knows and respects this (most of the time!)

Cheryl Wright said...

I'm glad you followed the link to Beth Mende Conney 's site and found treasures to enhance your writing.

I hope you have a restful and inspiring day today.

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