I was reading a biography of my great hero-writer Robert Louis Stevenson and discovered a photograph of him towards the end of his life, lying on his bed in Samoa, propped up on a pile of pillows, a writing book resting on his drawn-up knees. So that’s how you write Treasure Island, I thought. I went up to my bedroom, piled up all the pillows I could find and began to write. Everything was supported and relaxed. It was wonderful for dreaming up a tale, weaving it inside my head, wonderful for scribbling in an exercise book. For many years, I wrote on our bed in the house but there were complaints about ink on the sheets and dirty feet on the bed. – Michael Morpurgo
Where do you write?
Don’t you just love this idea of Michael Morpurgo’s about writing in bed? I’m not sure it would work for me – I’d be nodding off too often!
Does it matter where you put pen to paper? Do you find that some places give you more inspiration than others?
This is a picture of one of the places that I like to go to when I want some peace and quiet, some thinking time. It is my ‘Studio’. I have friends who will insist on calling it a shed, which of course it is not!
It is my pride and joy (I’m easily pleased.) I could spend the rest of this post telling you how I built it myself from scratch, about its cedar wood shingle roof, it’s double glazed window and insulated walls and roof, but I won’t. It is extremely cosy though. I have quite a few of my books in there as well as heating, lighting and internet access.
It has a desk along one end which is home to my laptop, an array of journals, post it notes and lots of pens and pencils. While I love using the computer I also get a great deal of pleasure in scribbling words down on to good old fashioned paper.
I also have a large jar on one of the shelves which I keep topped up with sweets, mainly chocolate eclairs. My waste paper bin is full of sweet wrappers. I tell myself that the sugar intake is a necessary component of my creative thinking process!
I recently read that Roald Dahl kept a good supply of chocolate and sweets in his, now famous, ‘writing shed’, so I’m in good company. I also read that children were not permitted to enter his shed – he told them that ferocious wolves were inside to prevent them from sneaking in. Something I might try with the grandchildren.
There are days when my wife will openly encourage me to ‘go down to my
shed studio, I think this is usually a sign that I’m getting under her feet and she needs some peace and quiet of her own. I never argue.
Despite it being only at the bottom of the garden and close to a fairly busy road, it is my oasis. Once I’m in there I could be anywhere, but most importantly I am unlikely to be interrupted. I can’t hear the door bell and I don’t take my mobile phone with me. So if anyone needs me they have to come looking for me and, I’m glad to say, they rarely do.
So it has not get the best view in the world, it doesn’t overlook the sea or some staggeringly beautiful landscape (not that my wife hasn’t created a lovely garden, I hasten to add) but it is mine. It is somewhere that I enjoy going to and hopefully will be the birth place of much more writing.
My Other Writing Place
My second ‘writing place’ is my local coffee shop – it is called Jenny Wren’s and is wonderful. Despite it getting somewhat busy and noisy this never seems to be a barrier to my writing.
I spend many an hour sat on the sofa either staring out of the window, eavesdropping on some curious and interesting conversations or filling my journal with story ideas, story beginnings and sometimes completed pieces of flash fiction.
Jenny is also kind enough to let me share my writing with her customers. So every now and then I print off some of my short stories on to card, laminate them and leave them on the tables for customers to read. A great way of getting your words in front of an audience.
13 Inspirational Places to Write (That Isn’t a Cafe)
A great blog post that I found on the Wise Ink blog. Of these thirteen places I have tried six. I’m going to give the ‘shower’ a miss but might try the others.
What about you? Where do you love to go to when you want to think or write?