A Place to Write

Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up, Marcel Proust stayed in bed, Toni Morrison booked herself into a hotel room and a guy called Dalton Trumbo wrote in the bath. Dame Edith Sitwell, however, comes top of the pops for her writing place as she would climb into an open coffin before she started to write. Can you imagine?

Place is important when it comes to writing and for me, it depends what stage I’m at. If I’m writing new stuff, so fresh, unspoken words as in the first dirty draft then I like to be alone, without any kind of distractions. This was difficult in our small casa. Sometimes I’d do it first thing, in bed before my consciousness woke. I still do that sometimes now, particularly when somethings been niggling away at me during the early hours. Now we have the camper van, I choose to lock myself away, without access to the internet and I only take my phone so that I can time my sessions. So Bobbus (the name of our motorhome) has become my Writing Lab, and I love it.

For editing, I prefer to sit at the desk, or the dining room table. I don’t mind distractions too much but if Simba, one of our five cats, decides to lie across the keyboard in full belief that he’s ‘helping’ then I might extract myself. I prefer this space for editing because I can spread myself out a bit more than in the van, where I just need pen and paper or the laptop.

For writing blogs, I often sit in the lounge (or outside in the Summer) with the laptop, television on (for example whilst I’m writing this the Six Nations Rugby is on, Ireland vs Scotland and there is a lot of noise coming from my husband opposite!).

For my birthday, Simon bought me this contraption which means I can stand up and use my laptop, a little like a standing desk. I’m gradually getting used to it, finding the right angle and height and use it mainly to write and answer emails. Short jobs.

So as you can see, I have a very movable writing space, depending on the need. I couldn’t however, quite bring myself to write in a coffin and I don’t have a bath. What about you?

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” – Virginia Woolf

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