Writerly Habits 1: Carving Out a Little Space

Last week, Cid Tyer wrote a post about the space she carved out for herself so that she would have some place comfortable and not-distracting to work in: “Creating a Writer’s Space”.  She asked her readers what kinds of places they liked to write in, and rather than answer in comment, I thought I would write my own little blog response.

In 1929, Virginia Woolf wrote an extended essay entitled A Room of One’s Own, which has become vastly important feminist work.  In it, she argues that a woman must have money (at her time, $500/yr) and a room of her own in order to write fiction.  I won’t get into the ins and outs of her argument.  The point is that I believe a writer does not a little space of their own in order to write.  And while this was especially important for women writers in the 1920’s, it now holds equally true for writers both male and female.

For myself, I can on occasion write in several different places without too much difficulty.  For instance, I used to write in the middle class quite often, when I supposed to be paying attention or taking notes or some such thing.  I also sometimes write at the kitchen table, mainly because the family dog can’t climb stairs and I like to keep him company sometimes.  We also just bought a new table and umbrella for the back patio, and I spent upwards of 6-8 hours in the backyard writing this past weekend.

All that being said, the real place, My real place for writing is what I call my library-office.  Yes, I have my own library-office.  For reasons I won’t get into, my bedroom, or rather the room that my bed is in, isn’t really MY room, so I don’t spend much time in it when I’m not sleeping (besides which, I can’t write in my bed like I could in high school, I just fall asleep).  Instead, I have a small room upstairs that I have claimed as a place for all my books.  And I have a LOT of books.  (I really should count them all some time; that would be fun.)  So, I have this room, lined with books, with two desks, and a white board and a corkboard, and lots of posters.  In fact, here, here are a few pictures:

(Sorry the pictures are a little blurry.  My mother borrowed my camera so I’m using the camera on my macbook. Yeah…)

This is the one room in the house that is entirely my own.  It’s like a snap-shot of my very odd little mind.  It’s where I think best.  Where I can isolate myself from the television, and my brother, and housework, and distractions, and just WRITE.  I bought the purple desk and the chair (which isn’t actually all that comfortable) from Walmart, and the other desk is left over from the bedroom set I has a child, most of which was destroyed during Hurricane Ike.  But the room is MINE, and I love it.  And that is, essentially, what Virginia Woolf had in mind.

So, I’ll ask the same question Cid asked.  What about you?  Where do you write?  Do you have a special place carved out for the purpose?  Can you write anywhere?  Do you simply not have any choice in where you write?  Anything in between?