“A perfect studio has always told me that the person is afraid of his own mind and
is reflecting in his outward space an inward need for control. Creativity is just the
opposite: it is a loss of control.”
Natalie’s book, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, is one of my favorite guides. I love its wisdom and simplicity, and enjoy dipping into it every now and then for a dose of inspiration.
Just today, I came across a chapter called “Writing Studio,” in which she talks about the way in which some people use their quest to create a perfect writing space as the perfect excuse…not to write. Often, once these ideal writing conditions have been attained, people long for something noisier, messier, less controlled. Natalie believes that this is because “it’s hard to sit in an exquisite space and rub against our imperfections which writing brings up.” Fascinating insight!
In Natalie’s view, a writing space should be a bit unkempt: “A little apparent disorder is an indication of the fertility of the mind and someone that is actively creating.” Actually, right now, my office is more than just a little disorderly: it’s piled high with stuff everywhere, because I’ve been so obsessed with getting my YA novel done, that I’ve let everything go. A little housekeeping is in order!
Starting tomorrow, I’m going to go back to an approach that works for me: Spending half-an-hour a day getting things in order by tackling one pile at a time. That’s about all I can manage. I know I’ll never have a Martha Stewart set-up here, but that’s OK. I just need to be able to do my work reasonably comfortably.
What’s the real message in all this? Let’s not get too hung up on having the right space and the right stuff to write. What’s really important is keeping our mental space uncluttered and open. So, let’s just relax and write: that’s what we’re here for. Write on.