Write On Wednesday-Where in the World Do You Come to the Page?

I love my back porch on summer mornings.  A soft breeze whispers through the evergreens, a chorus of birds serenade me with early morning wake up songs, no one else in the house is stirring  (not even Magic or Molly), and I can savor the solitude.  Still in pajamas and slippers, my first cup of coffee close at hand, I tuck my laptop under my arm, pile my books and notebook on a wicker side table, and settle into the chair.  It’s a perfect place to write.

Of course, I write in other places in the house.  I’m fortunate to have a “room of my own,” with a writer’s desk and large overstuffed chair (with extra wide arms perfect for propping up a laptop).  Most of the time, that’s where my writing happens, seated at the desk or curled up in my chair.  There are bookstacks everywhere in that room, and though I keep cleaning them up, more seem to appear in their place.  Whether I’m writing blog posts, or book reviews, or even working on a short story, I seem to need bookstacks around. <smiles>

I’m nosy about writer’s desks, aren’t you?  There seems to be something magical about the places people write.   I readily admit to chills running down my spine when I stood in Virginia Woolf’s study at Rodmell, and Charlotte Bronte’s parlor in the parsonage at Haworth.   Every year, I purchase a copy of The Writer’s Desk calendar – photographer Jill Krementz has made a study of writers and their desks, and has published a lovely coffee table sized book as well as these annual calendars. (See, I’m not the only nosy one!)  And it isn’t just writer’s desks that intrique me – it’s all the “writuals” that are associated with the writing process. 

Stephen King wrote Carrie and Salem’s Lot “in the laundry room of a double wide trailer, pounding away on my wife’s portable Olivetti typewriter and balancing a child’s desk on my thighs.”  He advises writers to “have a space of their own,” a place with a door you are “willing to shut, telling the world and yourself you mean business.”  (On Writing)  Conversely, Natalie Goldberg advises leaving home occasionally, going to a cafe or public place to write.  “It’s good to change the scenery from time to time,” she says, “because at home there is the telephone, the laundry, the refrigerator, the dishes to be washed, a letter carrier to be greeted. If you made the effort to get to a cafe, you can’t leave as easily and go do something else, the way you can in your own home.”  (Writing Down the Bones)

Awareness of place is important, not just because of nosy friends like me, but to set the stage for all the writing that you do.  Before you can convincingly relate a feeling of place to your reader, you must first feel it for youself.  If you’re connected to the place you write in, Julia Cameron tells us, the “accumulation of details, the willingness to be specific and precise, the willingness to ‘place’ a piece of writing accurately in context – all these things make for writing the reader can connect to.”  (The Right to Write

How about you?  Last week we talked about why  we come to the page, now I want to know where  you come to the page.  What’s magical about your writing spot (or spots!)  Free write about the places you put pen to paper.  Post pictures if you can  – that would be even more fun!  (I can’t because the battery in my camera is dead!)

Leave a comment  with the url  linking to your blog post, and we’ll all come and spy on each other. <more smiles>


17 thoughts on “Write On Wednesday-Where in the World Do You Come to the Page?

  1. For serious writing, I like to sit in a big brown recliner that has the wide arms you speak of to prop notes or my laptop.

    But the only writing I’ve been doing lately has been in my journal, and the only real requirement is that I be relatively free from distractions (the white noise of a cafe is fine; the telephone or my husband continually popping in with questions are not; also, tempting chores that peck away at my consciousness are not welcome and sometimes require a change of venue). My favorite journaling places are a bench/blanket in a park, in bed, or curled up on the sofa.

  2. Like Linda before me, I am enjoying the breeze and the view from your back porch. What a gorgeous, lyrical piece! I’m up, too. Can’t figure out how to add links in my comments here, so I’ve linked to the post from my name.

  3. Becca, I’m with you on the back porch thing. There is something so wonderful about having a porch…and a breeze, and birds chirping in the dogwood and weeping willow trees just outside. In the summer, like now, that’s where I’m working most of the time. My last three books have been written mostly in the summer, and mostly on the porch. HOWEVER. We have new tenants this summer, and it turns out that they love salsa music, salsa RAP music, and they have a yippy little dog–so often I’ve had to go elsewhere, back to my favorite winter spot, the Starbucks nearby…where I listen to the jazz, drink a venti hot tea and type away in the company of my fellow humans, all of whom are typing, too. For some reason, I can totally turn off my mind there and just let my characters react. I don’t know why it is; my friends all say it makes no sense, my family can’t believe it. But truthfully, working around other people who are also working–it’s like a magic pill for me. I feel a part of a huge writing conglomerate…AND (this now may actually be the key) I don’t want to get up too often and wander around because of the hassle of securing the laptop, making sure someone will watch it for me or else (in paranoia) taking it with me, so I tend to actually stay with butt on chair getting work done. So–it’s either the solitude of the back porch (which is still dangerously close to the refrigerator, where the dinner I should be cooking is lurking…) or the joyful companionship of Starbucks. Weird, I know. But tomorrow morning, when I’m on my porch writing away, I’ll think of you on YOUR porch doing the same thing. Here’s a toast to you!

  4. I like writing in quiet. I like having a bulletin board over my desk, filled with pictures and other items of note.

    I loved your piece, and wish I had a back porch. I’ve done well on back porches, on summer mornings, coffee by my side and notebook in hand (now it would be a laptop).

  5. Thanks for your very kind comment at my blog, Becca. I replied over there, but had to come see what you’re up to over here as well. Time does get away, doesn’t it?

    I always love reading what you’ve written. Your thoughts flow together effortlessly–so smooth and elegant!

    I love porches and breezes too. There’s nothing quite like them, is there?

    Before I got my laptop, I wrote from a pink chair scooted up to my computer armoire. It has nooks and crannies filled with pens, books, notebooks, and all sorts of goodies. Now I’m typing on my laptop, from the comfort of a recliner. 😉

    I like the idea of having a door to shut out the world. Like an above comment I noticed, I too need peace and quiet to really write productively. But I think switching things up and putting ourselves in a different environment brings new inspiration as well.

    Beautiful post, Becca, just like always!


  6. Lovely blog, Becca, and quite an interesting post. Someday I will have a room of my own to write (and a porch!), but for now I’ve commandeered the dining room and made it into a little office. It works, but the proximity to the kitchen and temptation to tackle chores often drives me to the cafe.
    Cheers! 🙂

  7. In my other house, I was fortunate enough to have a room of my own. I loved it. There was a window that looked out on the backyard. I had a wildflower garden along the fence and woods at the back. I don’t think of it too often, but it was a luxury for me. At this house, I have a desk in the corner of our bedroom, but it works – for now. Your porch sounds wonderful.

  8. Pingback: Where in the World Do I Come to the Page?

  9. Oh, I wish I could write somewhere like that! Not that I’d exchange my wonderful for son for that or anything. To every thing there is a season!

    Here’s my response.

    I should add, though, that just because I’m not sitting in front of my computer doesn’t mean I’m not “coming to the page.” I write things in my head all the time. I just don’t always have time to come write them down…..

  10. Pingback: Where in the World Do I Come to the Page? » Rebecca's Webpage

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