The creative writing space15 Dec 2017
It is a curious thing that people with an interest in creative writing are also interested in writing spaces. It is as if an understanding of writing process and the places they occur will lead to understanding what makes great writing. The UK Saturday Guardian Review section runs a regular piece in which writers talk about their process and they frequently describe where they write and the tools they use. Stephen King in his ‘On Writing’ told how upon getting a big cheque he invested in an imposing slab of desk placed in the centre of a room only to abandon it later for a smaller table in the corner of a room.
I like to write on a 28” desktop Mac. I have a dining table size desk though it is often cluttered and dusty – this is unusual as generally I do not like clutter or dust. It is by a draughty window through which I have a cherished view of the sea. It is a workspace. It is a zone. It is where I write.
Many writers write in public spaces – Kafka and Scott Fitzgerald for example. Other writers actively promote public spaces as adding an extra layer of inspiration to creativity. Karen E Lee (link below) in her Women Writers, Women’s Books blog post suggests that coffee shops are essential for writers. Against all my better instincts I decided to try something new.
I do not like my laptop. It is a perfectly good machine but it is small and a tool of convenience rather than preference. The coffee shop table was too high to type comfortably but I dislike juggling with knees whilst trying to write on keys slipping off my lap (now I come to think of it, ‘laptop’ is not the best name for them). It was not a relaxing start and even the coffee was not that great but then I heard it. I wasn’t there listening for dialogue or writing prompts but it would seem they fall like confetti in such places.
“I wanted to call my daughter Velvet”.
“Nobody could make horseradish sauce like my husband”.
“I wish to fuck nobody had invented Christmas”.
Overheard dialogue is disjointed from its context or story and so presents opportunity for a whole new set of stories. I don’t think I will ever be a fan of the discomfort of a coffee shop over my office, and certainly not of the startling cost of the coffee served but I am a bit of a convert to the exploration of new places to write.
#creative writing, #writingspaces, #coffeeshopwriter
Lee. KE, 5th April 2017, Real Writers Write in Coffee Shops. Women Writers, Women’s Books. http://booksbywomen.org/real-writers-write-in-coffee-shops-by-karen-lee/