The other day my husband and I took notebooks and pens down to a park bench on the riverside, fully intending to do some inspired-by-our-surroundings scribbling together. Not surprisingly, however, our planned session of creativity was usurped by a mutual desire to bask in the sunwarm air, people-watch and chat with various passersby, and carry on an evolving conversation with each other about Very Important Things™.
So much for writing!
Later in the day, though, when I was back in front of my computer, inspiration from our time together took over and the ideas started to flow, too fast and furious for me to completely process! I was able to capture a few choice morsels, however, and have tucked the rest away in my mind for future exploration.
Since that time, and as a sort of followup to my ponderings on How I Do That Thing I Do, I’ve been giving some thought as to where we as writers “do that thing we do.” From a physical standpoint, where do we go when we want to translate our ideas, the inspiration that’s been tickling our thoughts, into something tangible?
Our book club’s selection last month was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (which I loved, by the way!), and a passage regarding one writer’s thoughts about her surroundings stuck with me:
I’ve shoved a writing table by the biggest window in my sitting room. The only flaw in this arrangement is the constant temptation to go outside and walk over to the cliff’s edge. The sea and the clouds don’t stay the same for five minutes running and I’m scared I’ll miss something if I stay inside. When I got up this morning, the sea was full of sun pennies – and now it all seems to be covered in lemon scrim. Writers ought to live far inland or next to the city dump, if they are ever to get any work done. Or perhaps they need to be stronger-minded than I am.
So, where do you go to write out your inspiration? Is it the same place every time? Do you have a particular spot that’s especially inspirational? How important are your surroundings in relation to your satisfaction with the end result of your writing session?
Where does it happen for you?