What is your ideal place to write–or to read?
I think I found mine. This past weekend I went to Berkeley Springs, WV, with five writing friends for a writers retreat. I did this a year ago (see my blog here), only there were more of us this time and we rented a bigger vacation house.
This was a serious working weekend, organized by Elise. Except for watching the Opening Ceremony for the London Olympics, we kept the TV off and we wrote.
Besides being serious about our writing, we were also a health-conscious bunch. We woke up early and Meredith led some of us in yoga morning salutations. Here I am on the left, stretching (and don’t I look happy?) After that Keely and I went for a brisk 25 minute walk. But then we buckled down to work, pausing only for meals.
Each of us fixed one lunch or one dinner. Here’s what Jessica made – grilled vegetables, lentils, cheese and a really hearty-grained bread (She was much more creative than I, but, then, I am so-not-a-cook. But I’m a cracker jack dishwasher).
And we were there to help each other with any writing problems. The first afternoon Michelle helped me through a snag in my work-in-progress, and it enabled me to work with ease the rest of the weekend (Thank you Michelle!)
We each carved out our own spaces to write. My favorite was the screen porch and the weather stayed cool enough that I spent most of my writing time there. I only left the porch when it got dark and the mosquitos found their way in.
This is the view I had all weekend. My computer screen and woods. The only sounds I heard were birds, insects, and very occasional human sounds-cars driving by-people talking in the distance.
I loved writing on the porch. I loved the fresh air, the un-airconditioned temperature, the sounds of nature. My attention span was improved 100 percent over being at home.
I know of some authors who go to a hotel when they need a writing binge. I know of some who write at Starbucks. For me, a hotel room would feel too confined and Starbucks, too distracting. I love the beach, but if the screen porch was at a beach house, the waves and beach-goers would distract me. Gazing out on beautiful green trees, on the other hand, just made me feel peaceful. For me the screen porch was absolutely perfect. I think it was my ideal place to write.
What is your ideal place? Either for writing (or other type of work) or for reading?