Blogger: Wendy Lawton
I have a book that I love. It’s The Writer’s Desk by Jill Krementz. Krementz is the wife of the late Kurt Vonnegut and is considered one of the century’s great author portraitists. The book feels like a window into the writing habitats of some of the authors we love best. There’s a picture of E. B. White (Charlotte’s Web) writing on 1960s typewriter on a plank table in his boathouse. There’s not a thing out of place. Joan Didion also writes in a relatively sterile environment. Roy Blount, jr., on the other hand sits in front of old computer in what I would consider chaos— a flurry of paper, magazines and books every which way on his shelves and a bottle of water close at hand. Eudora Welty sits at her desk in her bedroom. We look at her over the bedposts seated at her desk profiled by the light streaming in her windows. Each writer shares a paragraph or two about they attack writing.
Aside from the gorgeous photography, the reason I love this book is that it reminds me that each writer is the product of not only their imagination but their own setting. When I was most prolific as a writer I was writing at my desk on an enclosed porch at our farm, with windows to my right. Even now, when I write I often get so engrossed in the writing that I’m surprised when I look up to realize I am in a different place. I expect to see the old locusts out the window.
I know many writers can write in different places– maybe a porch for summer and in front of a fireplace in winter. Other writers, me included, cannot imagine moving around. The place informs the action. We could no more write at a dining table than we could give a dinner party at our desks. I did, however, once write the last several chapters of a book hidden away in a friend’s master bathroom. Happily it was a breezy summer setting with room for a portable desk. (That’s what a deadline will do for you.)
How about you. Where do you write? Are you able to be flexible and write anywhere there is a chair and a place to hold your laptop? Or is there one place that allows your words to flow? Do you need complete quiet or can you write with people around? How about music? If you could choose any setting what would it look like?
I’m looking forward to learning more about you from the answers to these questions. I just wish we could get Jill Krementz to photograph you at work.
How important is the place in which a writer chooses to write? Click to Tweet
The perfect writing environment– how important is it? Click to Tweet
Where do you like to write? Writers share their habitats. Click to Tweet