This writing challenge has really got me thinking. http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/daily-prompt-writing-room/ A genie has granted your wish to build your perfect space for reading and writing. What’s it like?
Reading other bloggers responses has been fascinating. Many have written of the fabulous places they would like to inhabit while writing – places with beautiful views, loads of books on hand, a great chair. All these wonderful things would enhance the writing process – or would they? Sometimes I think the perfect writing space is more a state of mind than a physical address.
In my post https://artifactsandfictions.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/my-writing-space/ I wrote about the clutter and muddle that is my writing space. I’m sorry to have to report the situation has not improved greatly although I am two chapters further along in my book. Sometimes the writing space at home gets too much and I gather my papers and drive down to the river. I sit in my car and write – or at least try. The people can be distracting.
I took this photo from inside my car. I was intrigued – what were these people looking at? It seemed to me they were seriously contemplating nothing. I guess they found it relaxing but it did nothing for my writing to spend time trying to figure out what they doing.
Another place where I sometimes go to write is a bench in the local nature reserve of Tower Hill. It’s a pleasant spot but I usually spend more time relating to the emus than I do writing. They can be pesky birds. The last time I was there one got fascinated by my orange bag. He kept sneaking up on me from behind and trying to pull it off the table. When he finally succeeded and the bag containing my phone, wallet, camera and car keys clattered to the ground he gave me a look that seemed to say ‘Got ya!’
None of these situations are ideal and I wonder, would my writing woes end if I inhabited a perfect space where all was sweetness and light? Would my words flow like honey across the page if there were no distractions, no mess and no interruptions? Probably not. Even when I clean up, unplug the phone, sit in a comfy chair and gaze out the window at the flowers the writing process is still a roller coaster. Sometimes it flows, sometimes getting the words out is like getting blood out of a stone.
All this forces me to conclude my perfect writing space is inside my head. My perfect writing space is a place where my characters behave themselves. Each morning over breakfast they tell me clearly and directly just what their next moves are and how they feel about that. In this perfect writing space inside my head my story lines proceed from a to b without deviating. I never wander off into a digression which turns out to be a dead end nor do I spend hours wondering whether dubious is better word than doubtful to use in a particular sentence.
In fact, it would be safe to say, in this perfect writing space doubt does not exist at all. There is no room for the dubious anywhere. All that occurs in this perfect space is concentrated, pure, unadulterated, exquisite creative perfection.
Unfortunately the only way I could achieve this perfect space is if I got a new head. I do spend time in my inner space dismantling my creative doubts. It’s an ongoing process. Regardless there are times when the writing goes pear shaped. Over the last few days I created a beautiful character in my novel. He had me entranced by the possibilities he presented. This morning I woke up with the cold hard realisation that his story doesn’t belong in the book I’m currently writing. To put him into it creates a blip, a disturbance and a distraction that does nothing to move my story forward. Today I must delete him from my manuscript. It feels like a homicidal act. In my perfect writing space I would never invent a character only to delete him days later.
Ah well – such perfection eludes me. My writing continues to take place in my imperfect writing space. As Ned Kelly, our great Australian anti-hero said when told he was to hanged the next morning – ‘Such is life’.