Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Fortress of Solitude

Each of us has a place of solace that we seek out when we want time to ourselves.  For writers, this place is extremely important, as it is the focus of our world.  As egomaniacal as this may sound, writers can't write just anywhere.  Okay, maybe we can get by for a limited period, but if we write for too long in an unfamiliar place, one of two things happens:
1.  The writing feels forced, and its low quality soon becomes apparent to those who read it; or,
2.  This unfamiliar place becomes our new Fortress of Solitude.

Writers are creatures of habit, whether we want to admit it or not.  As such, we feel safe pouring out the contents of our imagination only in a few places.  Mine is the office in my house, surrounded by the clutter of the computer, my games, my books, and various other assortments.
These things provide comfort and stability in an otherwise unstable world.  It provides me a secure bubble from which to write without distraction, so I can focus on the task at hand.  I know a few people who turn on the TV, radio, and put the buds in for their iPod so that they have to intentionally try to filter all of that mess out in order to write.  Others sit at the kitchen table with pitcher of Bloody Mary's and a bagel next to them.  Regardless of the setting, they all have one thing in common for the writer in question - familiarity.

I used to think this made me an uncreative person.  Shouldn't I be able to turn on the juice at will and bring forth the next classic novel?  It actually worried me for a bit until I realized that I wasn't the only one.  JK Rowling is famous for writing at a particular cafe in Britain(although she finished book #7 in a hotel).  Stephen King bolts himself in his basement until he has 1800 words for the day.  I figured that if such accomplished authors were as quirky as that, then I was in good company.


  1. I like this post. I have an office, too. It is clean, decorative, homey, practical, and organized. It has a bed in it where I do my reading. It is my own space away from the world where I can focus on my work.

    1. A place to call our own is sometimes all we ask. Thanks for commenting.