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Location, Location, Location

July 22, 2008

In the last month or so, I have been part of a heated, ongoing discussion on a message board completely unrelated to writing. The discussion is about the creative process, and started innocently enough with a young woman asking for advice on how to set up a creative space. It has since blossomed into a multi-faceted conversation that flutters between passionate discussion and childish argument.

Most of the denizens of the message board are creative in some way, but their media range from fiction and poetry, to musicians and painters, so the opinions of what belongs, and doesn’t belong in a creative space varied greatly. But the discussion soon moved away from the specifics (paints, dictionaries, or a piano) and into the general atmosphere that promotes creativity. It’s been an interesting conversation for two reasons.

First, it has forced me to take a look at my own creative space with an eye toward improving it’s usefulness. For instance I’ve rearranged some of the knickknacks on my desk to make to more difficult for my cats to demand attention. I’ve removed some of the clutter, not because it was in my way, but because it allowed for an extra notebook so I could write down chores or their ilk, that try to pull me away from the page.

The second thing the far-ranging discussion has shown me, is that we can all get far too wrapped up in the minutiae of creating that we forget to actually create. We delve into month long discussions about why to create. We tinker endlessly with our websites, in the belief that a pretty blog will make us write better, or more often. And more than anything else we get so wrapped up in styling ourselves like artists that we forget the most important thing is simply to create.

So make your writing space comfortable, and find that perfect spot between silence and chaos that works best for you, but don’t spend weekend after weekend searching for the perfect writing desk.

Unless of course antiquing is how you relax…

  1. July 22, 2008 7:22 am

    The whole fourth paragraph had me nodding in agreement. How true, how true.

    For me, I have to step away from my PC and actually move to a different room to get any writing done. I work on my laptop in the dining room (with the candlestick – sorry couldn’t resist) and turn my Wi-Fi off. I swear, there is just SOMETHING about working on my laptop that makes me write. I suppose I’m removing the temptation to just take a quick peek at my email, or a quick look at my stats (the searches people put in to find my blog – it’s an endless source of entertainment for me 🙂 ) , etc. etc. And when that doesn’t work, I grab my Neo and write outside, or at the library – sometimes a change in venue is best for me. I guess for me, it’s all about eliminating temptations rather than the actual location.

    I sometimes think people debate the writing location delimma just to get out of writing. As you said, “… find that perfect spot between silence and chaos that works best for you …”


  2. July 23, 2008 12:20 am

    I have been using the Monica Wood little book called The Pocket Muse: ideas & inspirations for writing. In the book she has some very good advice on the work space..mainly that we actually claim one of our very own. But I loved her final piece of advice, “The space should be marked as yours by the decor: a favorite vase, a framed photo, a special charm or knick-knack. Put up a sign, a flag, a fence; pee on it if you have to. It’s yours. ”

    That being said I would agree with you. Once the obsession with the”appearance” of our blog is gone and we have found a spot to create, we are only left with our words. We need to let them stand alone and see how they feel. Then when we post them on our blog or send them out to be published, they reflect what we really wanted to say.


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