Yes, I'm stealing (shamelessly, proudly, and cheerfully) from Mister Hemingway. Actually, go read him first and then come back. I can wait.
Better than what you'll get here anyway. But thanks for sticking around nevertheless. 'Tis noble of you. And just to make sure I'm playing both sides of the net, I give you Miss Virginia Woolf, she of "A Room of One's Own."
I'm musing on writing spaces here and their importance relative to the craft of writing itself. No doubt there are many scholarly works out there that have said much more about this subject, and said it much better. But here you are.
Much of the work of writing (perhaps ALL of it, even) is done in solitude. Of course there are those that like to write in public spaces (i.e. Starbucks, their local bookstore, etc.) but even there the act of writing happens largely in the mind.
Having a "clean, well-lighted" space is fairly critical to the quality of the work produced. If one is jumbled and not able to sort through the mental dross in search of uncut gems without interruption they're far less likely to craft something substantial. The clean part is relative...some like their space sloppy. But the solitude thing, for me least wise, is non-negotiable.
On occasion (interpretation: too often) I like to daydream about the writing place I'll have one day. Until that ship comes in, I content myself vicariously through enjoying the spaces others have created. Oh the day...
|No idea, but oh my...|
|Michael Pollan's little place|
I couldn't find a very good picture of it, but David McCullough's studio is one my favorites. If you ever watch John Adams there is a documentary at the end of the series about McCullough that includes footage of him in his "clean, well-lighted place."
And here's a great little video about Laurie Halse Anderson's retreat in the woods and how it was all put together.