Where I Write -- J Vincent

I am fortunate to have an office in my home—one of the blessings of living long enough to get one. When I first started writing and for many years after that it was at the kitchen table or on a card table and always with pencil and paper. The photo above is my much sanitized desk. Organized disorder, of course. Behind me as I key this in are bookcases and a large window. There are four seven foot tall by forty-eight inch wide bookcases stuffed full of 18th and 19th century research books-- proof positive that book collecting is a progressive disease.

The window wall is wallpapered with an English style floral with a window seat that is filled with family and friend photos. The other walls are painted and on almost every open space are hung period prints (at one time a favorite gift choice of my family) or maps. There are family photos on the top of the computer hutch. It’s too small for you to see but the Boyd’s bear by the Keeper’s legs sits on a book that has “Love’s Journey” written across the spine. I do love the Keeper of the Plains –this one is a Christmas gift that I cherish.

So I write in a room surrounded by sources of knowledge and signs of love. But “where” do I write? Is it on the Iberian Peninsula in the middle of a battle? Is it in the English countryside in a castle or a mansion in 1810? Is it in London or Paris wild from the Waterloo victory?

We are physically where we live and reside and I suppose that is where we write. But when I first read the topic I didn’t think of my office. My “mind” is what, pardon me, came to mind. In our brains--our minds-- the story ideas form, flesh out, mature. Within that mysterious sometimes computer-like organ we live the complex juggling existence of woman, wife, mother, maid, chauffeur, author and a multitude of other jobs. Yet our minds usually keep everything compartmentalized—schedules, appointments, calendars, characters, settings, plots. When we write we draw on our experiences. It’s what makes us unique as persons and as writers. We could all be placed in a grey walled cubicle with sterile office furniture and yet we would still create our worlds that are nothing like that cubicle; that are not hampered or enhanced by it.

Where do I write? In a place I’ve never seen, with workings I don’t understand We draw from experiences when we write but I don’t believe the actual place we sit in determines what we write. What do you think? Ruling out noise and chaos, does where you physically write make a difference?


Reese Mobley said...

Thanks for a peek into your writing world. As writers we have an edge over the rest of the working community because we never stop writing. Ideas come to us all the time and they don't care where we are.

Joan Vincent said...

Isn't that the truth! Many times while on trips instead of seeing the countryside or whatever I see settings for stories complete with characters.

Starla Kaye said...

Your office sounds very workable and nice. I loved the wallpapered window wall and the window seat. I also liked the writing in a place of knowledge and love.

I also agree that where we actually write probably has very little to do with what we write. At least it doesn't for me.