Steven's and my work studio has undergone a serious overhaul that makes me SO HAPPY. It's not quite finished (then again, what home improvement project ever is??) so I'm just going to give a small sneak peek of the before / halfway through / after: BEFORE: Rather cluttered and uninspired...
There's a lot more organizing and moving back in to be done, so the space will fill with more color as we pack our shelves with paints and books-- those photos will come soon.
So here I am feeling all happy about having a beautiful space in which to work when I read THIS is Annie Dillard's book "The Writing Life" this morning:
Appealing workplaces are to be avoided. One wants a room with with no view, so imagination can meet memory in the dark. When I furnished this study seven years ago, I pushed the long desk against a blank wall, so I could not see from either window.
Actually, I feel confident in disagreeing with her. I've worked in some windowless dungeons; I've stripped writing spaces bare of anything but a table, paper, and pencil; I mean, I had a studio in a radio station above a bus station in West Africa for god's sake, where I prayed to high hell that the monkish discomfort would lead to profound creativity. I'm sorry, but I WANT A ROOM WITH A GODDAMN VIEW.
Last year I wrote this piece for 20SomethingReads on this topic of the ideal writing set up.
“I wrote in bed in hotels in the desert,” said the author Paul Bowles of how and where he crafted his most famous book, THE SHELTERING SKY.
How romantic is that? It makes me want to chuck my laptop, trade it for a typewriter and head off to the Sahara to rent a simple room with billowing curtains and a quiet, whirring fan.
The only problem is, I’ve done that before. Not with the typewriter, but all the rest of it. I wrote in bed in hotels in the desert and you know what? It sucked. The heat was excruciating, the flies incessant, the food awful, and the loneliness completely debilitating. And I’m not a picky traveler.
Funnily enough, because hindsight in not actually 20-20 but all happy-blurry, rereading that here in my beautiful new studio I'm suddenly thinking, "Damn, maybe it would be really nice to write in hotels again..."
Yes, I'm nuts.