Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Inspiring Places: Oh the Places You'll Write...
When I hit the magic timetable known as adulthood, I learned I needed to be more discreet. I loved to write curled up between the shelves at the public library until other patrons gave me odd looks. Sitting at the front stoop of my apartment was a great way to watch people go by...or perhaps hear a comment or two that might make its way into my writing. Perhaps the glancers were wondering, perhaps her time would better be spent polishing those grime-encrusted windows.
A decade and several children later, most of my writing must be done in the twilight hours or with my morning coffee before the patter of small feet stirring. I find I do a lot more of my writing at a desk. My computer desk faces a white wall and let's be honest, isn't nearly as enticing. The shadow of my deskside lamp can't compare to the long spring shadows of elm or pine on the driveway as I sit on the front porch.
Occasionally I leave my everyday world and find a quiet spot. I drink my cup of Peppermint Mocha at a local park while I watch squirrels rustle their way up trees, my pencil firmly ensconced in hand. Or I sit in a parked car and listen to the James River gush and torrent through my open window.
A few years back when my children were toddlers and I needed to find margin in my own life and know where they ended and I began, I took a writing class at the community center about finding the time and space to write. We spent most of the days writing inside a windowless classroom, until one evening I was the only one to show up for the class. The teacher and I drank coffee and sat outside on a bench as those finishing up their work day rushed to their cars. The pages flowed one after another.
I'm a visual writer was the lesson I learned that day. Something I should have suspected long ago. My best work is influenced by setting.
Lately as I try to bring the joy back to my writing, I find creativity in new places. I'm more apt to pick writing spots with windows. I fill moleskine notebooks with color and words.
And yes, I've even been known to write in very strange places. Like small town cemetaries. Mossy beds of forests...
As I change the spots I write I find my writing changes. Why not try writing a solemn scene in a graveyard, a scene with rippling changes at the shore with sand filling your toes. Why not a comforting word in the bathtub or a social scene at a local coffee joint?
My challenge to you this week is to find a place you've never written before and bring pad, journal or laptop...what did you find? Then hit yet another new spot!
Library Journal magazine and devotionals for Wonderfully Woven.