Tuesday, 26 July 2011

My Five Favourite Places to Write

When people find out that I’m doing an M.A. in Creative Writing, I tend to get asked the same sorts of questions. With naivety they’ll say, “So you want to be the next J. K. Rowling?” My unvoiced response is a long drawn out sigh followed by: Is that the only writer you are capable of naming? However, fearful of offending, I just shrug my shoulders and say, not really. Once they discover that I write poetry, they have a wealth of other questions to ask. “Do people still read poetry?” Yes. “Aren’t poets a bit crazy?” Not all of them. “Do you lock yourself away from the world and just write all the time?” No.

This week’s theme is ‘Location/Environment and Writing’ and, therefore, I thought I’d attempt to dispel the myth that poets are reclusive (slightly agoraphobic) creatures who sever all connections with the outside world. Yes, I like to shut the world out at times. Yes, I like my own company. And yes, I quite like solitude. But, I also like the outside world. I like the freshness of it – the way it changes. I like the ideas it contains.

With that in mind, I thought I would share my five favourite places to write:

  1. On the floor
    Despite having two desk, I always end up sat cross-legged on the floor. I like the space. I like being able to spread my drafts out. I like feeling grounded. I like being able to reach my poetry bookcase without having to move.

  2. At Barista
    A small coffee shop down Birley Street (Blackpool) that is only a short walk from my house.
    I go here when I need a change of surroundings. When my flat starts to feel like it's suffocating my mind. When my ideas have decided to hide from me. When I'm looking for something, this is the first place I look.

  3. At the Allotment
    Occasionally, I need a break from the modern world. I need to disconnect from technology. I need to walk away from the distractions of Facebook and Twitter.
    I don't always write when I'm here. Sometimes I just think - weeding and thinking. And recently, it has been this environment that has inspired many of the poems that I'm currently writing.

  4. On the tube/train
    I don't get to write on the tube/train very much at present. But when I lived in London, riding the tube offered an unlimited source of ideas. The rhythm was soothing. The people kept changing. There was always a new fragment of overheard conversation to jot down.

  5. Somewhere pretty
    It might be a quiet spot on the beach, a walk up Nicky Nook (Scorton), or somewhere in the Lakes. It doesn't really matter as long as nature is the dominate force. Yes, it does sound clichéd. But in reality, these types of places allow my mind to feel free and calm. I can leave the stresses of life behind, and as a result my writing feels more able to write itself into existence.
Where are your favourite places to write?

Thank you for reading,



Ashley R Lister said...

I have to admire anyone who can write in so many diverse places.

If I'm not sat in front of my PC, in my familiar chair, with the familiar pictures on the walls, I can't do any writing.


Ste said...

4am, on the sofa with a bottle or two of wine, an old beaten-up laptop with 2 stickers reminding me: 1)Don't be a Dick 2) F**k reality

vicky ellis said...

Poetry gets written in bed, usually when I should be asleep.

Prose gets written at the desk.

Initial ideas and plot alterations happen at work.

Songs are written on the sofa.

Lindsay said...

I write when the kids are quiet, any time, usually when I've been given a deadline. On paper or laptop doesn't matter really. I write a load of crap first then I find I get started properly and delete the first load of rubbish. That's when I actually do any writing that is, I've been doing more writing for this blog than I have in the past year to be honest.

Ste, I need that 'don't be a dick' sticker on my laptop after wine on facebook. Or just a facebook pissometer which won't let me post after I've hit one bottle. I wake the next day with regret and paracetamol.