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