|Writers' room, Jane Gardam, 2009 (courtesy: The Guardian)|
Thanks to the glacial polar vortex that swept much of United States last week, I spent virtually the entire time house-bound and working on several writing projects: journalism, fiction, academic, and non-fiction (and of course, blogging!). For some reason, as I shuffled from one project to another, I started to become more mindful about how/where I wrote; thinking about that made me recall one of my favorite photography series published in The Guardian, Writers' Rooms, which were essentially portraits of the spaces in which the authors created their works. The writers' commentary about the spaces would accompany the portraits in which they would refer to descriptions of the spaces, such as the texture of the light pouring into the room or stories about the furniture surrounding them, unusual nicknacks populating their desks, and nuggets of insights into their writing processes. While it was fascinating to learn of how they wrote, it was also equally intriguing to see where they wrote.
As for me, I have always been more concerned about my desk than the immediate surroundings. When I was younger, I used the vanity to display the pretty frivolities I had accumulated: miniature boxes, figurines, make-up, and jewelry but my desk was resolutely functional: a pen stand, journals and notebooks, and...emptiness. Even now, I find it difficult to work on a cluttered desk (whatever they say about cluttered desks = vibrant minds!) The rest of the room may be in calibrated chaos yet my desk has to be plain and unadorned and existing for one sole purpose: to be a space conducive for writing, whether in notebooks or laptop.
As I have previously mentioned, I haven't particularly strongly colonised our current living space, aware that we will have to soon dismantle and pack it all; and so, there is a conscious dearth of spaces which I have specifically carved out in which to create. At the moment, the only requirements I demand of a writing space is silence and a steady surface upon which to balance my notebooks or laptops. Apart from my home, libraries hugely appeal to me but incubating creativity in a coffee-shop is probably not for me: I would be much too distracted by the hustle-bustle and indeed, a human library of sorts to browse through: library of sounds, conversations and people!
But...say, if I were to have a writer's room or studio, what would it be like? I decided to play a little game of make-believe with myself and conjure up a Writer's Room of my own...
|Indigo-Aqua (courtesy: Pinterest)|
"One wall is indigo blue and that's because it reminds me of the sea of indigo-blue houses in my home city, Jodhpur. I don't like too many things on my walls because I prefer expanses of white spaces - even if you do see something, they are most likely to be statement pieces like large colorful abstract paintings or photographs, rather than a grid-like gallery of photographs, posters, and paintings.
|My mother's shawl and My Mother's Wedding Dress|
I drape my chair with several shawls and pashminas; sometimes, unconsciously, while I am writing and start feeling cold, I will pluck one out and drape myself with it - and when I finish writing, I am startled to find myself draped in it.They also add a lovely splash of color to the room!
|Eccentric blooms and magazines|
Apart from pens, my diary and journal, and of course, the laptop, you will also find a stack of magazines sitting on the desk: fashion, art, interiors, and celebrity gossip (yes, I plead guilty to this pleasure!) Suffice to say, I am a visual junkie: you never know how an image or even a line from a text may jumpstart my imagination.Finally, there is nothing like a vase full of variegated flowers, each with their eccentric, quirky personality, to impart character to room.
What kind of a writing/creative space studio would you like to work in? And if you already work in a studio/creative space, I would love to hear its description!