“If you could have any type of space in the world for writing, what would it look like?” my husband recently asked me. I was immediately giddy. My husband is an architect. My mind raced to extreme speculation: maybe he was planning to design a special space for ME!
But, before I could spend more than a minute in that heady realm of hope, my boring ol’ Virgo logic annihilated my excitement. My husband might be an award-winning architect BUT he’s also a dude who took a Sawzall to our kitchen two years ago and has not yet repaired the damage.
Of course, he wouldn’t be planning my dream studio! He was merely asking because one of his clients wants a “writing room”. The client is not an author, or even an aspiring author. The client is in that broad category of people who are aspiring aspiring authors, believing there’s a book inside them but not quite ready to begin the physical toil of actually writing. But, I could understand the client’s strategy: certainly having the perfectly designed writer’s studio would be the first step to actually writing, right?
It’s kind of like when I want to make my garden better so I go out and buy a bunch of plants. But then I never plant them so my garden still looks like crap. Having the right equipment and space doesn’t really matter if you don’t put in the work to make it shine!
I ended up having virtually no good ideas for my husband to apply to this client’s dream studio because I discovered that the perfect space for me isn’t a location, it’s a space in my mind. And, because I’m so damn busy, it’s a space I need to be able to reach at any given moment—between soccer practice and dinner time, between my doctor’s appointment and the school bell.
I can write just about any place. It’s embarrassing to REVISE out in the world because I read every sentence aloud about eighty times before deciding it’s okay, but in terms of writing, it doesn’t matter to me if I’m at the kitchen table, on the couch, in bed, or at my desk. The whole world disappears except the laptop in front of me.
So, maybe someone with money can build a lovely studio with a view overlooking the Puget Sound. They can dream about their manuscript while watching Orcas pass by, seagulls swooping in the sky above them. But me, I’m happy to set my laptop down on top of a stack of my son’s homework and fall back into my story. And, if my kids stop yelling for a moment while I work on a scene, all the better!
What about you? Do you need a special space in order to write?