In short … I don’t have one.
In reality, my writing room is wherever I am. On the couch covered with kids, at the dining room table, in front of the fireplace, in the waiting room at the doctor’s office …
I write where and when I can which means that I can’t be too selective, at least not right now. I do have an office but it’s not a room that I would hole away in and write for hours. It’s big and clean but it’s not ideal for nurturing creative ideas and expressing thought. I do the best that I can where I can, when I am able.
I do wish that I had a writing nest. I envision it to be a sunroom with a desk, a few comfortable chairs, books, and a lot of plants where each word and thought has no choice but to flow. I’ve been looking for it in my next house and will have it there.
Fortunately, I’ve never needed the ideal environment to read or write. Even when I was younger, pre-technology, with pen and paper in hand, anywhere, always worked for me. When I would read, I could do it wherever I was as long as I had a book in my hand. My parents used to say that the house could fall down around me while I was reading and I would never know it, which was true.
While I don’t need complete silence, I can’t read or write to music because I get too caught up in the words. While music often inspires stories, I get too lost in it, to create while I’m listening.
If you’ve ever seen the movie For Love of the Game, when Kevin Costner prepares to pitch he says to himself “Clear the mechanism” and suddenly the noise of the crowd, the pressure, and the sounds of the stadium all disappear into blessed nothingness so that he’s able to focus.
This is a very similar process for me when I begin writing. Sportscenter, dogs barking, children fighting, all of the residual sounds of life just fall away. Once I start writing, no matter where I am, the rest of the world disappears and I am lost until something brings me back. Once I begin, hours become minutes and minutes become seconds, and I find that I am made whole once again.
Even as I write this, a child is beckoning one of the dogs, the news is on, and my husband is being goofy and singing and playing the song “Only Time Will Tell” on his phone. Controlled chaos, which is my preferred environment. If I waited for peace and quiet to write in, I would never write again.
I’m not complaining about this at all! I love that I carry my writing room with me wherever I go. One day, I do hope to write in a room with books and a lot of sunlight, surrounded by nature.
But for now, I’m good.