Friday, July 2, 2010

Writing Spaces

One of my favorite bloggers, The Rejectionist, today posted photos of her writing room and suggested that others do the same. Anyone who knows The Rejectionist (a.k.a. Le R) understands that it's always best to do as she says, so I will. But first, a little background:

Once upon a time, we lived in a tiny house with a tiny office where I did all my writing. Then, we moved to a bigger house with, office of any kind.

Which was an excellent thing, because it liberated me from the notion that I needed a quiet, comfortable space in which to write. And so, in the tradition of so many great writers before me (none of whom I can recall at this time), I've become a wanderer...a kind of literary hobo. In that spirit, here are two of my most frequent loitering spots:

The North End (of our dining room table)
10:30 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.

For 22.5 hours of the day, it's an ordinary dining room, albeit a rather small one with with four doors, three windows, and a closet. And then on the dot of 10:30—or earlier, or later, depending on when everybody else goes to bed—I open my laptop and the place goes absolutely bonkers, as the above photo illustrates.

2001 Saab 9-3 Viggen,
Mon-Fri, 12:15 - 12:45 p.m.
There's a certain stigma attached to non-driving activities that occur in vehicles, but I'm well past the point of such shame. On a typical workday, I inhale a sandwich at my desk and then drive off to a quiet, tree-lined street where I can write on my Blackberry for 30 minutes. (I respectfully decline to provide the address lest others try to steal my shady spot.)
Some might be surprised that I'd attempt any substantive writing on a phone, but I've found it to be better than a computer in several important ways: it's always in my pocket, it never crashes, and the web browser is sufficiently horrible that I'm never distracted by Facebook, YouTube, or even a certain someone's blog.


  1. I wrote the same way on my itouch for a while. Never underestimate the power of thumb typing.

    Also trains are a lovely place to write if you don't mind other passengers staring.

  2. I love this:

    "it liberated me from the notion that I needed a quiet, comfortable space in which to write"

    Also, you write on your Blackberry? Awesome! (That it never crashes is also awesome.) You must look like you are texting, to anyone who happens spot your non-driving activities. It's stealth writing!

    I enjoyed your carefully time-stamped photos!

  3. @J.A.: I wholeheartedly agree about writing on trains—I haven't had many opportunities, but I've always enjoyed it.

    @Casey: I've definitely gotten a few strange looks. I try not to park too close to anybody's house so as not to be mistaken for a stalker/private detective.

  4. Cool bonkers pad there. And nice shady spot, too.

    I used to drive to a nearby town, park under a streetlight on a vacant lane, and write there in longhand. The police would cruise by, time and again, and I wouldn't even look up. No telling what they thought I was doing.

    And yeah, great tip on the distraction of the internet. I sat down to do some editing, told myself I’d just check my e-mail, and look where I ended up.

  5. I do half my blogging via my blackberry, and a fair amount of fiction note-taking on it also. however, if want to do any serious writing I have to hide it, cuz theres too many people chatting me otherwise.

    Nice writing studios!

  6. Thanks, Rachel--nice to meet another BB user!

    MC/Steve: The Internet is my writing nemesis. I'm seriously considering returning to my 12-year-old laptop with no network capabilities.

  7. Maybe I am biased toward tree-oriented writing places, but this was one of my favorite entries linked from Le R's comments.

  8. Thanks T-phat! (Can I call you that?) I liked your tree quite a bit too!