Sunday 22 May 2011

Where to write

Maybe it is because Leigh Russell will be hosting a creative writing workshop in the South of France and because Mozart's Girl blogged about Beatrix Potter and the Lake District, anyway I thought quite a lot about writing places. I mean you write in a setting, a place where you can get your mind focused on the task ahead and which hopefully gives you inspiration, whether it is to blog like I do or to write a novel or whatever. J.K. Rowling started writing Harry Potter in a train, which is a lovely place to read when the journey is long, but I never thought it was the ideal place to write. She used to write in cafés too, which again I find a lovely place to read, but too public to write. During my years as an undergraduate, some cafés in Montreal were simply overcrowded with aspiring poets and writers. I wonder if they published anything.

I always dreamed of having an attic room to work in. This would be for me the best place to write. It is usually quiet, you feel closer to the elements, far away from the busy rooms of the house, it just fits writing. And you can always look out the window when you cannot find inspiration. I sorely lack an office in an attic room in this attic flat. I guess the basement could work well for writing. A garden too, if it is quiet enough and if the weather is nice.

Now if we widen the focus and thinkof writing environment, the ideal place depends of what you are writing. For any kind of fiction, the French midi seems like a pretty good place. Since I consider crime fiction mainly an urban genre, I think I would rather write it in a city (you know which one), with just enough noise and a crime history for source material. If I ever write horror stories, I hope my attic room will be in a quiet English village. There is nothing more deliciously sinister as quiet English villages. If I wanted to write fantasy, I would probably choose an English village too. But of course, one would have to be quite wealthy to afford the luxury of writing in so many places, depending of his mood and what he is writing. I suspect this is why successful writers often owned many houses. Others have to compromise. Given the choice, I would choose an attic room, wherever it might be, to write anything.


Cynthia said...

I wrote a lot in cafés in Montreal but I never published anything. I don't write much in Paris ... no idea why!

Mozart's Girl said...

I am lucky Guillaume...I have that attic room! And it works perfectly. But I did some of my best (most productive) writing in an old summer house last year...quiet garden, no one disturbed. Interesting post! Glad you liked mine on Beatrix...more Lake District to come tomorrow! x

Anonymous said...

I only seem able to songwrite in my bedroom. It is most strange. But a lovely post and certainly made me think of where I feel most creative.