I always wanted to be the kind of writer that had a big oak desk to write upon. Perhaps keep it in a dimly lit room that smelled of leather, and had the gentle sound of a ticking clock–a metronome, tick-tock-ticking with each syllable I type out on an ancient typewriter. Sadly, that is not the kind of writer I became, and perhaps it is for the best.
Typewriters are finicky machines that require may care and attention then I care to give them. It would be like having a very clingy cat that smeared ink on you each time it rubbed against your leg. I tried using a typewriter once, and while enjoying the feel of it, the whole experience lacked in the superior offerings of a laptop.
I tried writing on a desk once, too … not a great, large oak one, but a desk. Not my thing either. I found myself sitting there, staring at the laptop and thinking, write, damn it … write something.
Also, it was too quiet. It was almost like my own private mausoleum, and the shadows kept growing up around me. Perhaps that’s why Plod On, Sleepless Giant took me so long to write, it began on a table top computer on a desk in my room. It wasn’t until I got my own laptop that I was able to get the book out of my head.
A place to write is important, just as a place to sleep, a place to bathe, a place to eat … all those things are important. But the truth is that it is a very subjective thing. I’ve done some great writing while standing up, hunched over a counter.
I’ve heard some writers say that they have the most perfect place on earth to write, and that it is there, and only there, that they can write. As if some, slim bolt of lightening comes tumbling off the fingertip of a god and strikes right through them, but only when they sit just so. People that say that are either lying to you, or themselves.
I, myself, simply need the perfect amount of distraction–or better yet, white noise. I need the gentle goings-ons of life to tip toe around me as I tap out my words on laptop. I’m a bit of a people watcher too, which makes a quick break from writing all the better.
I can’t write at home, as the cats–both of them relatively new to our home–seem to be waging war against each other. Occasionally, it appears if they have struck some sort of seize fire, like the Christmas Truce … but then it quickly reveals itself as more of a Tet Offensive. It is then that nothing is sacred, not even the toes of their doting master.
I do have some places that I can go and write; a couple of them are coffee shops. One of the shops is a local place with eclectic wall hangings and interesting people trickling through the door at all hours. The other is a chain coffee shop, that provides more quiet and less distraction.
My favorite place, however, would be the screened in porch. I have a nice, old chair there, sturdy and comfy. I can sit there in the shade and write, as I hear the sounds of birds or children playing, or even the far off song of a lonely lawnmower. It is most definitely a comfortable place to let my mind wander.
Sometimes little Nerwin–the youngest kitty–would be sitting near the sliding glass door, plotting her next military strike against the other cat, Prudence.
All you need to do is find a comfortable place that fits your needs. My needs, apparently, consists of a place that is night deadly quiet, nor completely bat-shit crazy … with a comfortable seat.
Do you have a special place to write, or perhaps to simply think? Tell me … where is your special place?