WriteSpa #63 – A Place of One’s Own

WriteSpa – An Oasis for Writers

 As I was conversing with a WriteSpa client, and we were discussing assignments and goals, I asked her where she wrote. She hesitated, then said, “It’s a bit problematic…I don’t have a laptop and my computer’s in the living room. I don’t really have a place for it.”

From the way she spoke, I could tell that using “the computer” was for her a chore, a bit of a nuisance, something that she ‘should’ turn on and use, like a vacuum cleaner, perhaps. I knew that for her to have a satisfying relationship with Mr. Write, the ambience surrounding the area where she worked was crucial.

This is not true for everyone. I have friends who are most inspired to write when they’re with a crowd of strangers at a Starbucks. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote on the dining room table, in the midst of a great deal of hustle and bustle. Jane Austen snuck her time in between morning calls (which happen, by the way, in the afternoon). Some authors write in their head, some in bed, some can only do it with a secretary on hand to take down the words.

You need to know what works for you in terms of place. You need to decide what makes you feel secure, at ease, and in a space that you can enjoy. Even if you have to squeeze in Writing between a cup of coffee and taking the kids to school, you’ll find much more pleasure if you surround that brief time with ritual, with some form of beauty, with its own mood.

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Writing Practice – Setting Up Your Space

Fragrance: No matter where you choose to write, decide on a fragrance that you will use exclusively for writing. Choose an essential oil that speaks to you – sandalwood, rosewood, jasmine … whatever you’d like, but one that is not too familiar. Save it for Writing. Smell this each time you’re preparing to open your document. You’ll find it helps enormously when, in the weeks and months to come, you find yourself stuck, depressed, or distracted from Writing, or if you find yourself traveling in another town, far from home, and yearn to write. Through your olfactory glands, your habit of finding pleasure in Writing will be triggered in your memory, and will be reignited. Create the habit now.

Do something that is beautiful in your writing space. A vase of flowers, for example. A crystal. A piece of colored silk. A pinecone. Something that harmonizes and centers you, and reminds you that this moment is between you and Flow and nothing else. If you’re planning on taking your laptop to the local coffee shop, wear a color that inspires, or slip on a pair of shoes you particularly like.

Personally speaking, I wouldn’t listen to music while I write. I know music inspires many people, but I think it undermines the relationship between your heart and your words, because your heart is pulled by the music on the machine, instead of the music of the spheres. Try writing without artificial music for a while and see what happens. You can always go back to it.

Dears, comfort is essential. A supporting chair, or soft couch, or a bed piled high with luxurious pillows – choose what makes you comfortable, but be comfortable. This exercise is about loving the experience of Writing. It’s about appreciating its worth in your life – not about angst, feeling scratchy, or suffering. It’s about wonder, awe, gratitude – and opening another window into what it means to be human.

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Daily Happinesses

  • the loud sound of a leaf falling on a still afternoon
  • a silver fish in a silver net that can talk and grant wishes
  • swimming in a mountain lake in autumn
  • a small favor that resonates
  • meeting at the street fair
  • scraping off the barnacles
  • happy birthday wishes

One thought on “WriteSpa #63 – A Place of One’s Own

  • You reminded me of a place that existed, but I needed to claim it. Now it’s all mine! I will make it mine in manifold ways, continually.

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