Saturday, 10 October 2009

Writing Space

I laugh when I read other writers saying, "Write wherever you are". A laudable aim. Who amongst us has never written on a busy train, whilst sitting under a tree, in a cafe, or even in the living room while others are watching the telly?
But the truth is - and I'm a bit embarrassed to admit it - I've become precious when it comes to writing space lately. My excellent boyfriend, who is handy with a couple of rawlplugs and a drill, built me a desk right under our living room window, so that I can write and look out over the allotments. Excellent, work, boyfriend. Now what can we do about getting me a bit of peace and quiet?

Our house is not a large one. We live in a terraced house, in a quiet street in a quiet area. The walls are thin, and one gets used to 'tuning out' the sounds of life that come from the adjoining houses: children playing, the sound of somebody else's television, a person who owns only one CD and listens to it repeatedly over and over again. (Why does it have to be Keane?) But try as I might, I can't tune out the sounds that come from within the house. It's these that break my concentration and leave me a quivering, twitching wreck.

I know it's the luxury of silence, and a dedicated writing space, that has made me this way. There was a time when I could write anywhere, even with my housemates howling and chattering over How Clean Is Your House? in the same room. I'm just not the same girl any more. I can't stand to be interrupted when I'm working, especially if it's to be asked a question; more so if it's a stupid question, and most questions seem to be fairly stupid. Whether its "How do you spell tomorrow?" or "Do you want anything from the shop?", an innocently asked question is liable to send me twitching and gnashing my teeth down into the kitchen, where I will stomp around noisily making a cup of tea until the offending question-asker has discreetly removed him or herself away to a safer location.

It got me thinking about what other writers need to write? Do you have the same obsessive need for quiet as do I, or can you write in just about any conditions? I'd love to know!

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