It’s gone, my cherished writing space. Up until Christmas I worked at my laptop in the dining room. I used to have the whole of the dining table to spread out in, surrounded by a chaotic array of files, piles of paper, notebooks, post-its and an assortment of pens and pencils. But I’ve had to vacate the dining room while the kitchen and dining room are being knocked into one room with an extra three metres added on. I’m looking forward to the end. However, in the meantime, icy gales rush through, making a cup of tea requires me to negotiate an obstacle course. I need to wear several layers of fleeces inside the house to avoid frostbite, and I’ve had to stack my WIP and all the notes and various versions of the manuscript in one teetering, homeless tower.
I’ve had a garden room built, completed just before Christmas, which will be my new working space. It’s sitting there gazing at me, (or maybe that's me gazing longingly at it!) To reach it, I would have to cross a ten foot ditch, a quagmire of mud, and fight off a plague of rats, and even if I made it there alive, there’s no space for me and my laptop and my tower of notes as it’s doubling as storage space for everything that was in the dining room and much of the kitchen that there’s no space for in the living room. I won't be able to get to it until April.
So I’m back in the box room, where there’s no room to swing my hair never mind swing a cat, and there is no view. I’ve been trying to convince myself that it’s cosy, that I can shut myself up inside it and pretend I can’t hear the constant banging and drilling and other noises emanating from the building site outside my non-existent back door. It’s not working, yet. I've hit a block with the WIP too and I'm wondering whether it's because I'm not in my usual writing space, physically and in my head. I know I have to make it work or find another temporary home for writing. I’ve never been a coffee shop writer. Coffee shops are for meeting friends, chatting, drinking coffee, nibbling on a slice of cake, idling time away. I can’t see myself sitting at a table with my laptop and being creative. People-watching and eavesdropping yes, but writing? Probably not.
I didn’t think I was such a creature of habit, tied by routines and patterns, but now I realise that I am. All this building work has probably been a good thing for me in that it’s forced me to realise what a stuck-in-the-mud person I am, and how changes in a writing space might actually be a good thing. So if the shoe-box room doesn’t work, I’m going to try a different room, and if that doesn’t work, I might even venture into a coffee shop or a library. I’m sure that I can write anywhere – I just haven’t had to write anywhere for a long time! Does anyone else have this problem, or can you write anywhere?
I’m in the shoe-box room right now. Hopefully I’ll be writing...