I have – very belatedly – come to recognise the value of a dedicated writing space. A physical space to represent the elusive head space I am forever seeking. Everyone will go 'well, duh! Congratulations on this revelation, Captain Obvious,' but to me the idea of a writing space always seemed something unattainable. Something that wouldn't work unless it was perfect – a summer house at the bottom of an idyllic orchard, or a converted attic only accessible by a rope ladder that I could pull up after me.
It's all very well dreaming about such things, but they aren't likely to be possible any time soon, so instead I have created... my writing corner.
I acquired this desk about ten years ago. It originally belonged to my dad – he received it for his 21st birthday in 1968. During my childhood, it was always a fixture of our home. We called it 'the bureau' and it was the storage space for boring grown-up things like bank statements and insurance policies. It also housed my mum's typewriter, which I was allowed to borrow until the day it fell on my foot, causing the kind of crunch that is commonly described as sickening. (My mum was so relieved I hadn't broken it! As for my foot, meh.)
When my dad handed the bureau on to me, it occupied a place under the stairs in my first house. I occasionally wrote there but, as the indoors temperature fell to 11ºC in winter, the lure of woodburner in the other room tended to decrease productivity. My current house has central heating, but for years the bureau sat full of crap in the main downstairs room, its location too central and exposed to be a real writing haven. Instead, I got into the habit of sitting on the sofa with my laptop on one of those beanbag laptray things you can buy from old-person catalogues.
A couple of months ago, I asked my dad to help me move the bureau upstairs, and I now have it set up as my writing desk. I get a lot more done here than I ever did when slouching on the sofa – perhaps because it helps writing feel more like a proper job. Being a writer is, of course, not just a case of moving some furniture. I do feel it's important to be able to write when conditions aren't perfect – but even so, having my own corner goes a long way towards taking myself and my writing seriously.
Do you have a writing space? What's it like – or what do you wish it could be like?