Writing Spaces

Virginia Woolf stipulates that for a woman to be successful as a writer, she needs two things: a reliable income and a room of her own. While the writing world has improved immeasurably for women since Woolf wrote her famous essay, her points remain true. And not just for women but for all writers. A writer’s space is important. It doesn’t need to be very big, but it should be comfortable and relatively free of distraction.

Where I’ve been writing lately:

This is the back patio/open courtyard at my parents’ house. Now that it’s September and the weather has cooled off, I sit outside with my laptop and work — nearly every day. I don’t find the ambient noise distracting and it has the added benefit of having less than stellar WiFi, so I’m less likely to play online instead of write.

(To put this in perspective, my last “writing room” was the bedroom/study in my grad school studio apartment. My iMac lived on a secondhand IKEA desk and one time a palmetto bug the length of my thumb ran across my keyboard. Suffice it to say, this is an upgrade.)

Of course, writing isn’t just about the space. For example, I prefer to listen to music while writing, though I find it has to be either quiet background noise or completely appropriate for what I’m working on (a challenge, for sure). Some write better at night, others in the morning. You might wear fuzzy socks or your favorite fingerless gloves. Stephanie dons a Viking hat. But it all comes down to ritual, which is key to the creation of successful habits. Consistency in space, time, even clothing help us get into the writing mindset quickly.

Where do you write? Do you listen to music? Unplug the phone? Turn off the internet? What distinguishes your writing time and space?


2 thoughts on “Writing Spaces

  1. I appreciate your use of the term “palmetto bug” but as far as I’m concerned it’s just a code word for the poor, uninitiated non-Southerners.

    Although no creative writing happens here, essay time happens on my couch, like most of my life. I have to close twitter and minimize my browser. Music’s fine but the lyrics have to be pretty unobtrusive. Like, I cannot listen to Amanda Palmer and write at the same time. And probably most importantly, I have to know that I’ve got a big, solid chunk of uninterrupted time to work with.

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