The "Distractions" post made me look around at my little writing space, the odd little corner of the world that's become my writing home. It's a physical place, but it's oddly connected to a bodiless interior space as well, the world I enter when writing.
What's your writing space? What's good and bad about it? How does it affect that interior space, if at all? And what would be your ideal writing space (if anything were possible)?
I'm in the back of my shop, sort of cut off from the world. My sales counter (dark wood) is on my right. My desk is an old one, something I've stripped, stained and refinished myself (dark wood - note the emerging theme). It varies between cluttered and clean, somewhat randomly based on my mood. My laptop sits on the desk, though the keyboard is broken and so I have to use a plug-in keyboard. A little laser printer, a phone (and my cashbox - shhhh!). Above the laptop are a couple shelves (yes, dark wood...), mostly filled with books. Reference books for a writer (a Word Menu, a Synonym Finder, my lovely and huge Penguin Dictionary, and two Slang Dictionaries), as well as a number of others: Snoopy's Guide to the Writing Life, The Withdrawal Method (a book of short stories written by a gradeschool friend - motivation?), a few books on writing and editing, and a bunch of books on my To Be Read list (History, Memoirs and Fiction, both Literary and Fantasy). A couple shelves (of, you guessed it, dark wood) on my left for filing, and for my ipod and speaker. And, of course, I have the bookshop spreading out beyond my sales counter, bookcases (made of... need I say it?) stuffed with books. Mostly fiction in the main room (Literary, Classics, Mysteries and Popular Fiction, with a bit of True Crime thrown in). Above the bookcases are framed pictures, all of them photographs I've taken myself on various travels.
So this is my space, this is where I write. Customers interrupt me. I can't really see outside, except through a fragment of window far to the front that shows three metal poles and a small panel of the grey building across the street. Yet I've become used to writing here. It feels somewhat enclosed, a little more private than a place in a shop might be, and that's good. I like the illusion of seclusion if I can't have the actual thing. And I have books. Books are good, as books are what I'm trying to do. It's a nice frame for writing. I can usually focus here, though I dream, sometimes, of a place solely for writing. A place that has no other purpose in the world than to exist for me to write in.
I think that ideal place would be at home, or an offshoot of home. Home, but not too caught up in the web of the family's activity. Just enough separation so that I can think. It would be quiet, unless I occasionally wanted to play music. It would have a view of the fields and trees. Nature, something still. Something without people and cars. My eyes would be able to focus in the distance as I dreamed of things to write, and dreamed of things for nonexistent people to say. A pool table would be nice... something I could get up and play by myself when I wanted a moment to think. The geometrical movement of the cue ball reflecting the angles of my thoughts, the slanting roll of the words in my head.
Though a view overlooking a Norwegian fjord or the mountainous coast of Ireland wouldn't be too bad either...
So what's your space, or would-be space, and what does it mean to you?