I find the concept of spaces and places an interesting idea as it relates to writing. I can write in coffee shops, noisy airports, planes, and trains. I’ve spent hours writing on napkins in bars in New Orleans, Boston, San Francisco, and Dallas to the loud beat of the music and the cacophony of the crowds and, on occasion, naked dancers.
At home, it’s different, and I’ve never figured out why. I’ve been writing for twenty-five years, and I’ve always had a “space” within a house that was mine. The space or place didn’t have to be a particular size; I prefer smaller writing areas, again when I’m at home.
We moved to Dallas in 2018. The house is a 1950’s ranch in a beautiful neighborhood that sits on top of old limestone cliffs just south of downtown. It’s a perfect place, except for one thing. In three years, I’ve never felt settled into a writing space. I have literally been in every room and corner of this house, including the in-law suite that takes up the entire second floor. I’m suitable for a while, then the space begins to feel uncreative and uninspiring (I know that an airport is not the most creative space in the world). I can’t explain it.
For the umpteenth time in three years, I have just moved my desk “study” again. This time I’m in the front bedroom of the house. It’s the guest bedroom, complete with a bed and closet, but I doubt we’ll have any overnight guests in the coming years with the pandemic still playing havoc with all our lives. Maybe this space is the one. I’m between two large windows, which supply wonderful natural light. My books and my research library are on shelves next to me. Is this going to be the place? If not, I’m sort of shit out of luck. There’s no place else. Oh, wait. Maybe the garage?
What’s your experience with writing spaces or places? Is it one place, or have you been shifting rooms and settings to find the right spot like me?