Sunday, May 29, 2011
A Cosy Spot to Write
Writing isn't easy--the only people who think writing is easy haven't actually sat down with a blank piece of paper and a pen. I have friends who say they're going to write a novel--they have the perfect story to tell. I smile and encourage them, knowing it will never happen. At the very least, writing takes discipline, time and energy.
It's taken me years to figure out that there is a right time and a place to write and forcing myself to write during other times or in other places won't work.
I need a cosy spot to write, which happens to be my office. It's a small room on the second floor of our house, painted Wedgwood blue. Some of my favourite things are kept there, among them, a large print of Monet's water lilies, an antique French rug that I carried home from the Antique Market in Toronto twenty-five years ago on the subway, stuffed animals I've collected over the years and a marble urn containing my father's ashes. I like to think he's helping me now as he did when he was alive. Of course there are white book shelves and a comfortable leather chair that creaks.
The best time for me to write is in the afternoon at my desk under a window overlooking the backyard. I love the sound of birds singing in the trees, but will only get off my chair to look at blue jays and cardinals. I'll write for a few hours, make supper, walk the dog and settle down in the guest room beside the office. With the TV on, I'll plot out the next scene of my novel on paper with a pen or pencil. The next morning, first thing, I'll sit down at the desk and review the chapter I wrote the day before. Everything seems to fall into place early in the morning. I don't even require my reading glasses.
I get more work done when I stick with this format. I like to write a fairly decent first draft. I'd rather have 2-4 pages that require minimal revisions, than 8-10 pages slapped down in an undecipherable mess that will take me another whole day to repair. The next time you find yourself writing something that flows effortlessly, make a note of the time and place. It might just be the best time and place for you to write.
As for blogging, I prefer Sunday afternoons, while the dog and hubby nap in the living room. I'll tiptoe upstairs with a glass of wine and a plate of grapes and cheese and type my feelings and thoughts to people who understand the art of writing.