“Butt in the chair!” — that’s the rallying cry of seasoned authors: Nora Roberts, the penner of more than 100 novels, springs to mind. But, like many another scribe, I tend to be a wandering writer. I’m disciplined enough to sit my butt in a chair for quite a while, but it’s rarely the same chair.
In my house, I have a bunch to choose from: There’s the painted wooden chair at my desk, the plush chunky crimson number downstairs by the fireplace, or my battered, but beloved, chaise on our porch. And I must confess, tonight, I am writing this post on my bed, which is not a chair at all, but suits me just fine.
As you might expect, all this roaming often sends me out and about in search of pleasing writing spaces. For me, this definitely does not include our local Starbucks. I know, I know, J.K. Rowling wrote her first Harry Potter book in a coffee shop and maybe she’s penning her latest mystery amid clanging cups. Love that caffeine, but the noise level just doesn’t work for me. I also like to spread out — a lot.
That’s why I was thrilled to rediscover a tiny local library, a small, Art Deco gem. Inside, it’s got vaulted ceilings and ornate plaster rosettes, and beautiful woodwork. It reminds me a little of the children’s library upstairs in Washington Heights where I grew up, which had wooden pillars and shelves and big windows. Best of all, my newfound haunt has long wooden tables. I can spread out my papers, my pencils and pens, bottled water, index cards — and sit on my butt and write. When I’m done, I go home, sit on my butt some more, and input what I’ve written on my computer.
My pocket library has everything I need: A water fountain! A pencil sharpener! A big, fat dictionary! A nice bathroom! If only there was a vending machine with coffee and snacks, I could live there. And of course, I’m surrounded by books, which just makes me more determined to finish mine.
All of which reminds me, in this time of high tech and infinite distraction, how truly lucky we are as writers. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t take much to make me content: a little quiet, a few ideas, fresh paper, something to write with — and I’m a happy camper. Hope this is true for you, too. Write on!