In the words of Virginia Woolf: A WOMAN MUST HAVE MONEY AND A ROOM OF HER OWN IF SHE IS TO WRITE FICTION. While her essay was a commentary on the predicament of women of her time (and many would argue now as well), I think the words ring true for ALL writers of ALL genders.
We can talk money in another blog post (another couple of posts, I think), but for now I thought I would wax lyrical on the benefits of having a place of your own to write—somewhere nice and comfy where your muse can kick back and do its THANG.
My ALL TIME favourite place in the world is the bathtub. I can spend HOURS in the tub—reading, writing or editing. If the new Netflix series THE CROWN is to be believed (and it is, because I Googled it), I’m in good company. Winston Churchill used to work in the bathtub—and in bed (my SECOND favorite place, followed closely by the lounge and then the car. What about a desk? I hear you ask. Bah! Who needs good posture?).
It got me thinking about where other authors like to write, so I decided to do some research into a few well-known authors:
D.H. LAWRENCE used to write outside, sitting against a tree. He said it was like having living company (I have to say, the words GET A CAT, spring to mind).
MARCEL PROUST wrote in bed at night. He even lined his walls with cork to insulate against noise so that he could sleep all day and write all night (I’m also a light sleeper, but I just use earplugs).
MAYA ANGELOU writes in a hotel room (as did J.K. Rowling while finishing the last couple of Harry Potter novels). Angelou requests that EVERYTHING be removed from the walls to avoid distractions and brings along her own yellow pads, a dictionary, a thesaurus and a Bible.
There are also a number of authors known for writing while standing up, including ERNEST HEMINGWAY, VLADIMIR NABOKOV, PHILIP ROTH and LEWIS CARROLL (standing desks are all the rage now that sitting is the new smoking).
So WHY is it SO important that you have a place of your own to write? Personally, I find it gets me into the creative mindset. I can go from socialising or working to writing in a nanosecond if I jump into the bath (I think it has something to do with being cocooned with warm water—SUPER relaxing).
The trick to finding YOUR place is to think about your needs as a writer. Do you prefer silence when you write? Then stay away from communal rooms in your house or rock concerts… Do you like sipping on an endless supply of coffee? Then set yourself up at the kitchen bench or at a cafe. Can you only write on a laptop or desktop computer? The bath might not be an option then, unless you get a waterproof laptop (apparently they DO exist!).
Would love to hear where YOU write. Leave me a comment!