Does It Really Matter

How important do you think it is to have your own writing space? A place you can go to at the same time every day so you can write.

I have a corner in my bedroom where I have a tiny narrow desk (actually a computer desk passed on to me by one of my kids) and a small narrow bookcase where I keep my writing pads and notebooks, since my desk doesn’t have any drawer. But every morning when I wake up at around five I find myself slumped on my bed with my netbook to write. Even though this position becomes very uncomfortable for me after a while, I keep sitting there for quite some time before I move to my desk. It’s become a habit that I can’t or rather won’t let go. The poet and novelist Blaise Cendras once said:

“I have no method of work. I’ve tried one, it worked, but that’s no reason to fix on it for the rest of my life.
The workroom of Rémy de Gourmont was on a court. Guillaume Apollinaire, who had a vast apartment with large rooms and with a belvedere and terrace on the roof, wrote by preference in his kitchen, at a little card table where he was very uncomfortable, having had to shrink this little table even smaller in order to succeed in sliding it under a bull’s-eye window in the mansard, which was also on a court. Edouard Peisson, who has a nice little house in the hills near Aix-en-Provence, does not work in one of the front rooms where he could enjoy a beautiful view of the valley and the play of light in the distance, but has had a little library corner constructed in back, the window of which gives an embankment bordered with lilacs. And myself in the country, in my house at Trembley-sur-Mauldre, I’ve never worked on the upper floor which looks out on the orchards but in the lower room which looks in one direction on an impasse behind the stable and in another on a wall which encloses my garden.”

But does it really matter to have a comfortable place for writing? In the words of Robert Frost:

“I never write except with a writing board. I’ve never had a table in my life. And I use all sorts of things. Write on the sole of my shoe.
Even when I was younger I never had a desk. I’ve never had a writing room.”


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10 Responses to Does It Really Matter

  1. I think the place where you feel most comfortable writing is important. The place where I’ve spent the majority of my time writing had fantasy posters and ornaments adorning it, but since that particular computer has died and not been replaced, the room has become a catch-all for my crafting things. I feel a little lost and haven’t been able to get back into a regular writing routine with my new laptop. When doing research, I will set it out on the dining table, but then the inevitable company will come over and I am forced to put everything away until my muse calls to me again. It hasn’t been an efficient system at all. 😦

    • chichikir says:

      Back in Dubai, I had a corner in my bedroom with a proper desk and a computer. While I have a desk in my bedroom the computer is some place else in the house. Besides the fact that it’s quite old (the system). Sigh

  2. I’ve always wanted a window looking out onto views – such as The Lake District in Cumbria, England or perhaps on a beautiful Greek island with sea views. This morning I was writing on a piece of paper balanced on my knee, in the corridor of a hospital, looking out of a Fire Exit door at a hospital wing full of patients! I guess it’s the ‘space’ rather than the view that counts. But I can still wish. . . .

    • chichikir says:

      Ouch! Are you okay? I have written in hospital corridors, beds, cafeterias… 😦
      As for your dream I would like that too. Even though I would love one day to have a real desk, a writing desk the ones you see on TV at auctions. That would be really nice 🙂

  3. I have written crouched on a narrow bench with noisy gymnastics around me, on cold metal seats whilst my son plays soccer and on my dining table in the far end of our living room with the TV blaring. No matter where I can ‘lose’ myself and write. What other skill/hobby/passion allows you to practice it anywhere & everywhere?

  4. markharwoodwriter says:

    More important than a physical space for writing is an emotional space. A confident writer can stand on her head in Hell and work–she’ll find a way!–but someone beaten down by “impractical” this and “frivolous” that will abandon even a leather chair at a mahogany desk with a breeze blowing in from the surrounding woods.

    • chichikir says:

      So true. But we are only human and sometimes we seek what we don’t have. I have taught in school and have programmed myself to write in loud and noisy staff rooms, in soccer fields, in various corridors and waiting rooms. But a real mahogany desk, a real writing desk would be nice for a change 🙂 Happy writing.

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