The Explicit Writing Place

The Explicit Writing Place
Image provided by Allen

There’s something so special and so right about the one place I long to feel profusely serene with my writing. To my dismay, I have yet to discover that nook that has all that I need to be one with my writing. It shouldn’t be that difficult to find that physical place within my realm of life, but somehow there’s always something that isn’t quite right. Is this one of those excuses brought on by self-doubt or plain old laziness?

Maybe, or even probable, yet I can’t believe it explains my predicament entirely.

Each writer, whether well-seasoned, aspiring, a journalist, a novelist, or a poet, has a place where the words flow like a waterfall and plunk onto the pages in rapid succession. The writer loses track of time and locality. The world around him or her is forgotten. True, it cannot, by any means, be just the place where that person sits or stands. Still, in my estimation, it has more to do with the productivity than what most writers, or even psychologists want to admit.

The desk I sit at to compose is shoved into the far corner of the smallest bedroom (8’X10’) that does not have a door for it. It’s the first room going down the hall. The doorway is even a little closer to the living room than the bathroom door. The sounds from the living room and the kitchen tumble in at a fleeting speed, generating interferences that, of course, interrupt my inner monologue. Earplugs have been suggested to me. In the past, I’ve been bothered by the possibility of missing a phone call or someone knocking on the door if I wore these rubbery things. However, the other day I was craving utter silent because I could feel the words within me, yet I was having to pull them out as if I was a dentist pulling out decayed teeth–all because of calls from campaign offices, organizations asking for pledges, and pharmacy companies wanting me to try a new drug. Yes, I hung up on all, but the damage was already done. If I had ear plugs inserted that day, I would have gotten more that 178 words written.

That perfect place isn’t just about the locale where a person writes. It should have the correct equipment and other amenities that will help him or her focus on the work. Some are most necessary like a lamp that gives out the right amount of light at the location where it’s most needed. Few lamps do this, but they’re not completely impossible to find. At least, that’s what I’ve been told. There are those items that are related to writing but may or may not be used. They need to be at effortless reach. Anything that distracts needs to be put out of sight and mind.

My desk is small, too small for what would be efficient. The cable box for internet sits on my desk. In front of that is the one phone that connects to the cable company. (The extensions just need the regular electric outlet.) The other cable box (I have no idea what it’s for really.) sits behind my PC screen along with my two audio speakers that should be sitting on either side of the screen. The other side of my desk had a goose-neck lamp, a small basket containing a small bottle of pain-relief pills, several pens, and some hand lotion. In front of those things is a square box of tissues, a small tiny bag of yogurt pretzels, and a short pile of letters and such. My one delight is that my keyboard slides under the desktop. I don’t have room for a regular spiral notebook on my desk. The goose-neck lamp I mentions? It isn’t doing what I need it to do. If my writing (okay, typing) was to be at its best all the time, I’d need a soft light shining on the keyboard, but not at me and not at the screen. I need a larger desk or I need to find a place for all this stuff I don’t need at my finger tips (like the two cable boxes and the phone).

Seeing that life is what it is, I don’t have that explicit place to write. Probably the only writers who may have all they need are single with extra money and live with few interruptions. I don’t fit into any of those categories.


What do you find frustrating about your writing place?

“The writer who loses his self-doubt, who gives way as he grows old to a sudden euphoria, to prolixity, should stop writing immediately: the time has come for him to lay aside his pen.” Sidonie Gabrielle


19 thoughts on “The Explicit Writing Place

  1. My best writing place is in my shower and that’s the frustration of it – I get wonderful ideas when dripping wet, but I fear that dragging the computer in there might prove a more electrifying experience than I really want. ‘Then I imagine Shakespeare. I have no idea where he wrote but I’m certain it didn’t include great privacy, a large desktop, or the sound of water splattering all over the shower glass. Yet somehow, his work remains remarkable and mine is – not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I imagine that Shakespeare’s desk wasn’t any bigger than mine. I suspect he had one anyway, though there’s a possibility he didn’t use it and, instead, seized his quill and paper and headed for the local tavern to do his writing. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds like a rather cozy writing space you have there. But it also sounds a little crowded. For me, my writing space is my desk in my room and it doesn’t have much on it. A small stack of CDs in one corner, a cup of pens and an Einstein figure in another corner, and my laptop. My phone is beside my laptop when I write. I’m not one of those people who deal very well with clutter. To block out noise, I like to put my headphones in and listen to music…but quite often I get distracted with the music.


  3. A work space where we can feel like we can let our creativity flow is pretty important. Maybe an unsuspected way to arrange how your desk sits in the room?


  4. At this time, I don’t have a writing place. It’s good that I am writing random short pieces for a blog because my writing place is equally random. I squeeze writing in when I can, and the time and place is unpredictable. I have visions of the perfect place, but it will be a long time before I can establish it. Good luck in finding and improving yours.


  5. This is why I love seeing people’s writing spaces–they’re always so different. Rebecca Bradley does a nice series where she interviews authors. She always includes a picture of their writing space. Love it.


    1. I know I shouldn’t complain like I do. I know writers who are working at the kitchen table along side their children working on their homework. Some are killing off their backs trying to write or type on their beds. Still, I’m naturally a perfectionist so what I want, I really do want.


  6. I have a cubby in my bedroom with a desk slab on two two-drawer filing cabinets. It was too cold the the internet wasn’t good. I bought a laptop I could take anywhere, My 8-ft. dining table is my office now. enough room for all my junk and for the cats to come visit. Not unique, but it’s quiet, with a little cat love thrown in.


    1. Eight feet of space at your finger tips (kind of anyway). If I had that, I’d have several notebooks out that I’d use for the developmental fazes. I, too, have a cat, Marble, who walks across my desk occasionally, blocking the view of the screen. I can’t get angry with him. He just once a smidgen of attention is all. And like most cats, maneuvers around all this crap I have without disturbing a thing.

      Much of what I complain about here is fixable. I just need to know what type of lamp is going to be better and will fit into the space; clean out some of husband’s stuff from a microwave cart I use for the printer, and build a shelf for the cable boxes and phone. And get myself some ear plugs! O_o


      1. Ha ha. The eight feet at the dining room table is covered with junk. I don’t know about you, but the more room I have, the more I use up. I have to force myself to neaten the scatter every so often. 😀
        In my bedroom cubby, I have a gooseneck lamp on my tower (also on the corner of the desk). I wonder if a wall mounted one might work for you?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The goose-neck I use now sits at the side of the screen. I’ve have to face it straight up so the brightens doesn’t hit my eyes. (My CPU is in a cubbyhole that’s part of the desk.) Maybe a higher watt bulb? I also checked online for the kind of lights put on the bottom of cabinets. There’s some that are just thin sheets of plastic the adhere to the underside. Maybe press those on under the desktop so it illuminates the pullout tray for the keyboard? I’d still need a light above but it could even be a 40 watt bulb type if I had the strip lights.


  7. I love my dedicated home office 🙂 A big desk with lots of surface area is a must for me so I can really spread things out when needed. I’ve tried desk with hutches and shelves, but like flat-topped l-shaped ones the best. I’ve found the chair I sit in makes a world of difference. I’m on my second mesh-backed chair and will buy a third just like it when the time comes. The only real kink in my writer’s Nirvana is the lady who moved in next door last year. Her two tiny terrier terrors yap a lot as if they are on helium and it’s starting to wear thin. I would put on headphones, but don’t work well with music or any other type of noise in the background for the most part.


  8. aubrey

    My initial hand-written notes are done in my bedroom – and I have to have some sort of audio stimuli going on: classical music, a true crime documentary, Burn Notice…anything. The only frustrating part is my posture! The way I lean back will always result in a twisted back the next day.

    Finishing up will be on my computer in the living room. But many times I come up with ideas and introductory paragraphs as I’m drifting off to sleep – possibly the best writing place of all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Would one of those pillows with the arms help with your back while you’re penning your preliminary stuff–you know, those pillows made for reading in bed? Wal-Mart has them so it’s a cheap item. I’ll thinking seriously of getting one, myself.

      Yes, I do like writing on the bed except that I end up leaning forward so far that my middle back ends up killing me because of the awful posture.


  9. G. R. McNeese

    My favorite writing place is a upstairs at a Barnes and Noble near the mall. What makes it frustrating is that there are so many young people studying and carrying on conversations. It can be hard to concentrate. And sometimes, if someone sits near me, I feel compelled to move from the spot and get comfortable somewhere else.


    1. I can understand how being among all those books were be inspirational, and a little noise in the far background could be a good thing. I write at home because of lack of transportation. If I could go somewhere else, I’d probably pick the library.


  10. The place where I write is wherever I sit with my laptop: the living room couch, the antique barber chair, in the bedroom, my husband’s recliner when he’s out and about, the table and chair I call my desk in our office, or, my favorite: anywhere in my yard that there is shade and the temperature is 70 or above. Of course, this is not perfect, because too often others find me, and, because I’m not at a desk, they assume I’m not writing and settle in for a chat.


    1. I don’t have a laptop, at least not yet. However, sitting in a lawn chair under the cover of the car port would be nice. I’d probably be in the back bedroom a lot too because it just feels right.


  11. Pingback: #amwriting: Contentment of Writing – A Scripted Maze

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