“We need a photo of your studio,” my publisher requests.
I’m confused for a moment. “My studio?” I think. I’m not sure what they mean. I’m a musician as well as a writer (well maybe not cause I don’t make my living as a musician), so maybe they mean that. I’ve worked with many publishers in the past and sometimes they like to show other parts of a writer’s life. It’s interesting to some to see that a writer has another life and skills outside the written word. Some readers find that cool.
But then I realize that my publisher wants a photo of my writing studio; that place where all the writerly action happens. You know what I’m talking about. You’ve seen some of these bits on social media; beautiful photos of rooms, sheds or even actual houses that scream WRITER’S ROOM. The bookshelf full of books, the solid, dark brown desk, the ergonomic chair, the fireplace, the high backed leather armchair tucked into the corner where the writer reads or edits, the large windows looking over a copse of dignified trees, or an ocean, or a yard the size of football field, a couple of highly expensive fountain pens.
Writer room porn, I call it. Nice too look at but is it actually real?
For me, not so much.
You see, I have a laptop; I’ve had one for the better part of the decade. And I have a relatively small house and a family. So a whole room set aside just for writing? You’ve got to be kidding.
So where do I write? Where do I go to find an atmosphere to create the proper inspiration to create novels?
Sometimes I feel like writing at the dining room table. So I write there. Although I have to remove some plates from breakfast in order to do so. And if I’m too lazy to remove those breakfast plates, or if I don’t want to get caught up in a series of procrastinating tasks after clearing up those plates (empty the dishwasher, fill it up, sweep the floor, you get my meaning), I’ll head into the living room and sit on our red leather couch. Nice light from there.
But leather can be cold so instead I’ll take the big green armchair in the opposite corner. Sometimes the cat likes to sleep there. But I’ll move him. I’m not one of those writers who complain that they can’t write or sit cause the cat is in the way. I’ll move the cat.
As the 2016 Writer in Residence for the Edmonton Public Library, I have an official office. It’s nice, but without natural light. But I can write there too. Local coffee shop. Yep, written there.
I don’t need a special room to write. I don’t need a place a view of trees, ocean, what have you. I don’t need a location with proper amount of atmosphere and ambiance to inspire me to write. Inspiration comes from the actual act of writing so I just like to sit my butt down wherever and get started.