One of the issues we like to discuss on The Travelers Notebook section of Matador is writing environments. What’s your most productive writing environment? What conditions enhance or detract from your writing? These questions generate enthusiastic discussion. I think that’s because we’re all genuinely interested in other writers’ processes and the spaces we inhabit while we write.
Entire books have been written on this subject.
Interviews with writers inevitably ask questions about it.
We’re endlessly fascinated with our writing spaces.
I’m not unhappy with my current space, which you can peek at here. It has everything I really need.
But I often find myself imagining my dream writing space.
It would have elements of Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul: punches of intense, unapologetic color. Floor to ceiling or 3/4 windows framed by unruly almendra branches that look onto an interior courtyard.
Sun. Lots and lots of sun.
A wide open room with tile or stone floors, its walls lined by bookshelves where the books are organized neatly by theme behind vitrine-like, horizontal doors. Vase-sized stoneware cups holding fistfuls of pens. Ultra-fine tip pens, black ink.
It would have desks– yes, plural. Long, solid, hardwood tables, some of them running the length of the room, with neat piles of paper, magazines, books, journals.
It would have elements of Neruda’s home in Isla Negra…
Haphazardly collected ephemera organized wherever they fit- like windowsills.
Some lovely, as of yet imaginatively unformed system of organizing letters (real ones), bills (oh, but if this is my dream space there will be no bills!), and clips I want to hold onto.
It would have an enormous and comfortable chair, one that envelops and wraps its cushions around you with the warm ferocity of a dear friend you haven’t seen in years.
And music, if I want it, and a large screen (but not large screen TV) for watching documentaries and films.
And you- what’s your dream writing space? Tell us about it in the comments.
*Photos by Julie Schwietert Collazo