Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A place to write

I have not yet found it. The perfect place to write. I write at work, on planes and trains, a restaurants where I can just sit and drink endless cups of tea. Mostly, I write at home, but there are so many distractions. I can find more little, nit-picky things to do around the house when I know I should be writing; then, of course, there are the phone calls, the dog wanting to come in and out, books calling me from the shelves - and didn't I want to try that new creme brulee recipe?

Still, for practical purposes writing at home makes the most sense. I'm currently creating a writing den out of my daughter's old bedroom, but it's a slow process. Lack of time, money - those kinds of things. I've already been teased about having to create a solitary space in my little two-bedroom/one-bath brick ranch in the heart of Atlanta. I live alone, after all - the whole house is solitary space! It is hard to explain to people why that is not so.

There was an article in the New York Times the other day about a place in New York that rents out cubicles to writers - chair, work space, power strip - giving people like me a place "to go to" to knuckle down and write. It's called Paragraph, and other such writing cubby-spaces are opening up soon on both coasts. See what you think - I don't know if I could write in that environment. I think people who lean toward a daily newspaper-type of surroundings, with keyboards tapping madly, shuffling, coughing, eating chips, whatever - will be comfortable there, but it just might be more distracting to me. On the other hand it might provide incentive, a keeping-up-with-the-Hemingways sort of prod to get something (and lots of something) down on paper (or screen, as the case probably is).

Most days I do write in my own workplace environment during lunch. I pop on my headsets with the white-noise of rain or ocean to drown out the noise around me, and I can be fairly productive in a short amount of time. Imagine if I could just keep going after an hour or two? So maybe a rented writing cubicle could work for me.

At any rate, I'm still looking for the best place to write - a "writing womb," though I suspect it's like finding the perfect place to do anything - impossible. I'll let you know how my own personal writing cubby works, once I get it all tricked out. Until then, I'll keep writing wherever I happen to land on any particular day.

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