Where is your ‘writing cabin’?

December 13, 2012

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s every writer’s fantasy, isn’t it? To have that secluded little cabin at the end of a lane in the woods or perched on a cliff overlooking the sea.  To hide away from the reality of life and ignore all those distractions that are just obstacles to you unleashing your creativity. To be confined for the entirety of the gestation period and to emerge one day with a shining newborn to show off to the world – your novel!

Well…not for me!

I actually find silence more distracting than noise. I’m one of those enviable people who can concentrate when life is going on around me. When I was at school, I did my homework on the kitchen table in front of the TV. I relish working in the open plan office. It’s not that I’m into eavesdropping (unless it provides good research material). It all becomes the enjoyable white noise of life happening around me. The trills of the telephones, the whispers and the raised voices, the tapping of fingers on keyboards, the whir of the photocopier.  This cacophony of sound keeps me on track. Without it my mind wanders, often far from the path of what I should be doing and into the realm of daydreams.

So my ‘writing cabin’ can be anywhere I can take my notebook computer, preferably with noise, colour and movement. At home I don’t have a writing room, or even a writing desk, but I do have the most inspirational writing space. From anywhere in my living room I can see the garden with its myriad of Unit80 1birdlife, the river with its rowers and ferry boats that pass by regularly, the sky with its planes that cross in the distance as they arrive and depart at the airport. I sit amongst it and I write. At my workplace, I see the wind in the tops of the trees, the tall buildings of the city reaching for the sky, the zoom of the traffic outside my window, and in my lunch breaks, I sit amongst it all and I write. I write in Where I livecafes, in parks, by the pool and on hotel room balconies. While the outward world moves around me, I turn my thoughts inward.

My ‘writing cabin’ is in my mind.  Where’s yours?




14 Responses to “Where is your ‘writing cabin’?”

  1. Michael Murphy on December 14th, 2012 6:22 am

    I too have managed to emerge from the solitutde of my writer’s cave (home office.) My tablet and portable keyboard allows me to enjoy the outdoors as I vist the universe I’m creating. Still need the peace and quiet, just now it can be outdoors.

  2. Laurie Smith on December 14th, 2012 12:48 pm

    Good point Lea, I find that I can write anywhere although I do like the view from my writing room. The inspiration comes at varied times, generally when I’m driving (sorry officer I was plotting) so it’s not peace one needs. I believe if you only keep your writing for a specific place you stifle the creativity. Good blog, keep them coming.

  3. Betsy A. Riley on December 16th, 2012 9:02 pm

    I’m with you, Lea. I usually write while watching TV. Now if I’m editing, I’ll seek peace and quiet and no distractions. Sure I’d love to have the cottage overlooking the sea, but I’d need something to break the isolation.

  4. James Roth on December 16th, 2012 9:03 pm

    I usually write in our Entertainment Room a/k/a Jim’s Office. It is one of the more colorful rooms in our condo and I am surrounded by colorful art and stacks of books (ready for me to pounce on them if necessary). It is connected by French doors, always open, to our large colorful living room which many call our art gallery. I move around from time to time and from the living room I can also see out the balcony doors to the skyline of Minneapolis.
    I do like to write in quiet though, occasionally with some soft music. I think I’d do fine in a cottage by the sea but some artwork on the walls and floors and access to music would help.

  5. Tracy Leigh Ball on December 16th, 2012 9:03 pm

    I like to be in a quiet room with soft classical piano floating in the back ground. I sit at my desk, but if I had a cabin in the woods somewhere, I would be there with a fireplace, listening to the cracklin’ of the wood, smelling the smell of wood burning, looking out the window and seeing the fresh untouched snow upon the ground, and a dreary looking day would definately get me in the mood for writing. 🙂

  6. Jim Sellars on December 16th, 2012 9:04 pm

    my basement surrounded by guitars, books and cd’s and a dog staring at me. It’s a jungle of distractions, which explains why I get so little done.

  7. Ken R. Wells on December 16th, 2012 9:05 pm

    Fortunately, my entire house is my “writer’s cabin.” I recently moved from a house in the crowded suburban sprawl of Southern California to a tiny rural community in Northern California. My 2,000 SF house is on an acre of land, I live on a small cul-de-sac, and my four neighbors’ houses are each on at least one acre, so it is very secluded, private, and quiet. My writing room has a picture window and I write at my desk with a view of my swimming pool in the foreground (the water is peaceful to look at) and forested hills in the background. Occasionally, I occasionally see wild deer, turkeys, elk, and other critters walking through or near my property. It is so rural, there is no cell phone service in the area.
    My companions are two cats and a house rabbit. It is the most conducive place for writing that I have ever lived in. The house and setting is inspirational for the entire writing process, from contemplating and creating scenes, characters, and plot lines to the actual writing and editing. And to just sitting with a cup of tea or glass of red wine and thinking. My mind is always swimming with inspiration. I consider myself extremely fortunate.

  8. Dan Marvin on December 16th, 2012 9:05 pm

    We literally live in a log cabin on a 10 acre horse farm. My view in the front is of goats and horses contentedly grazing away and my view in the back is acres of rolling pasture and farmland backing up to the Kentucky river. Presumably, there couldn’t be a more idyllic place to write. However, I drive away from this cabin daily to earn the money that lets me pursue my hobby and return to dozens of projects needing my attention one of which is a 2 year old girl with very little understanding of why one would want to tap away on a keyboard when there is a whole WORLD out there to be explored. Most often instead of classical music and pinot grigio I’m frantically trying to crank out 600 words while seated on the couch with my laptop precariously balanced on my legs and the TV going in the background. Which does explain my predilection for flash fiction now that I think about it…

  9. Lea on December 16th, 2012 9:07 pm

    Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you all have some great ‘writing cabins’. I was writing this morning with the TV in the background, looking out over the water, surrounded by artwork and nature, with my two cats by my side. It’s my little bit of heaven. While we all get inspiration in different ways, I guess what’s most important is that you’ve discovered what works best for you. Happy writing!

  10. Ellen Young on December 18th, 2012 4:08 pm

    I do best at my desk with a view of my small garden out my window. It doesn’t change much. I record what I see to get things flowing, then move into the work.
    I rented a friend’s cottage at the shore for a week a couple of times. Wonderful location, but mixed results.

  11. Karen Murdarasi on December 18th, 2012 4:09 pm

    There’s something about trains that seems to help me write. Just enough distraction so it doesn’t feel oppressive, but enough peace to think. I’ve written some of my best work on trains – and I also find them helpful for studying Latin!

  12. Lea on December 18th, 2012 4:13 pm

    Oh yes, trains! I wrote the first half of Eclipsed on the train to and from work – an hour trip each way. Now I drive to work which is time spent much less productively, but its a shorter trip so I can leave home later which gives me time to write in my garden before I leave.

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Lea Scott