A while ago we were having our bedroom decorated and were thus sleeping in the spare room. Nothing unusual about that, you might say, but after seven days I couldn’t wait to get back into my own bed. And then I realised it wasn’t just the bed but the whole room (now in soothing tones of cream and mushroom). The bathroom was in a different place when I got up in the middle of the night. The window was on the wrong side of the room. So that all got me thinking. Are we always happy with where we write and does it have an effect on what we write?
We live in a traditional three-bedroomed house and some years ago the smallest of these was turned into a home office for me. I was SO excited. Bookcases lined the walls, a new desk assembled – not a posh one but perfectly serviceable. The printer was set up. I could look across the road into a field in times of reverie or when searching for inspiration. What could be better?
Well, the temperature for a start. The room is north-east facing and has two outside walls. Even with the central heating on it never felt warm. With my back to the rest of the house, as it were, I felt cut off. This should have been a good thing as far as writing was concerned. No distractions, nothing to pull me out of my concentration. But it didn’t work. Not from the word go. Like my experience in the spare bedroom, I was out of my comfort zone. I felt a little sheepish when I told my husband that thank you very much but I would be returning to the hub of the home to work as before. Fortunately we hadn’t expended huge amounts on the transformation.
Writers often talk about their office or their garden shed or that place which is exclusively theirs. Some people dream about having their own space. But when it comes down to it we all have to go with whatever works for us. So I don’t have white boards and pin boards and other such useful tools.
What I do have is a place where I feel at ease and can lose myself in the adventures, antics, activities, hopes and fears of my characters, all from the comfort of my armchair. My laptop sits on a cushioned tray. I have a table to right and left on which I stack the things I might need to refer to. And I’m warm – inside and out.
Do you have a dedicated office or writing space? Is it something you yearn for? Think twice before you take the plunge. Sometimes the things you most wish for are those you already have. Returning to my own bed was wonderful. And now, as I write this piece, I am happily back in my comfort zone. How about you?
See you next time