Write On Wednesday-Writing All Over the Place

“I write all over the place. I mean, I take my book along in a suitcase and write in very temporary places, in Mexico, Guatemala, India, up in my mother’s house in Cold Spring, and in this funny apartment in Brooklyn. It is the opposite of fancy, a tiny room in an apartment full of grumpy roomates. I usually start in my bed with coffee and end up at my desk with rum, looking the opposite of gorgeous in every way.”
~Kiran Desai~
Last week, on one of several trips to the local Barnes and Noble, I picked up a datebook (on clearance for $2!!!) called “The Writer’s Desk.” It’s filled with photographs taken by Jill Krementz, of contemporary authors and their writing “spaces” – for certainly not all of them use a conventional desks!
Memoirist and poet Mary Karr uses a stand up desk “to keep my aching back in order when my yoga schedule is undermined by literature.” Monique Truong writes at her kitchen table, because she “loves to cook, and its a space where I know I’ve produced something good in the past.” And David Henry Hwang likes to write in longhand while lying in a reclining position on his stomach, propped up on his elbows. As does the great Truman Capote, who describes himself as a “completely horizontal author,” who “can’t think unless I’m lying down, either in bed or stretched out on the couch.”
Similar to Kiran Desai, I’ve lately been “writing all over the place.” In my home in Florida, I have a lovely sunny den, where I like to sit and watch the sun come up.

That room also has a big desk, where I can sit in more conventional style to catch up on blogs, and do some writing of my own.

But, I’m back in Michigan now, and my little room here was once my son’s bedroom, so it doubles as the guest room, the extra TV room, the place where I put things when I don’t have time to put them away, and – my “study.”

Another cozy chair awaits me, and I usually end up there with my coffee and morning pages notebook. Oddly enough, I can watch the sun rise through the window here as well. Here too, is my desk, where I sit in the same spot my son used to sit, staying up late into the night writing his own stories.

Sometimes, I dream about the “perfect desk,” a huge, antique oak desk, with lots of drawers and a hutch over top filled with niches for some of my favorite photos, objets d’art and keepsakes. I’d have lots of room to pile books, propped open on some of their most inspirational pages. Of course, this desk would be in front of a wide open window, preferably with a view of a crystal clear lake, where the ebb and flow of the water could serve as background music to my musings.

In reality, though, I’ve found it doesn’t much matter where I write. Last night, killing time in the airport when our flight was delayed, I ended up writing my haiku for this week’s One Deep Breath. When I’m lucky enough to be “in the zone,” that place where words and ideas are flowing faster than I can transfer them to the page, I’m completely unaware of my surroundings, which could easily be “the opposite of fancy” as Desai describes her apartment.

So, how about you? Where are some of the places you’ve been writing lately?


3 thoughts on “Write On Wednesday-Writing All Over the Place

  1. I’ve heard about this book, The Writer’s Desk, but haven’t picked it up yet. I’d just about kill for a writing and art studio. Instead, I share an office and computer with my boyfriend, use the guest room for art, have a comfy chair in the sunny living room for writing longhand.

    BTW, I love these Wednesday writings you’re doing. You always inspire me and teach me to value my writing.

  2. I tried all day yesterday to comment but blogger was acting up…argh!

    I loved your lovely creative area’s and the look at how others write 😉

    Mine is at my computer desk but I hope to have a laptop one day so I can find my creative cosy place.


  3. Becca I tried several times yesterday/last night to comment, but Blogger was having none of it! I can write anywhere, which is why I carry a little notebook practically everywhere I go. Whenever inspiration strikes, I jot down thoughts, key phrases, etc. I often write poetry while on the metro, or standing in line at the supermarket, etc. (in my head). Your Wednesday writings are great!

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