Monday, July 05, 2010
Writing house fantasies
Does anybody else out there have fantasies about having a writing house?
I do. I know--I have a desk, and bookcases, and a computer, and space to write already, for which I'm grateful. Still, when I'm walking, or driving, or paddling a kayak, a little voice in my head will say, "That could be one. That could be a writing house. I could really get a lot of writing done there."
Writing houses--at least the ones I focus on in my imagination--are small, about the size of a study, but they're self-contained buildings like the ones at the Tiny House Company or Michael Pollan's writing house. They have a window or two, and a view that's just beautiful enough to reward a glance without encouraging prolonged staring out the window. They have lots of natural wood surfaces, including tables or desks, and room for some books. The writing house of my fantasy has electricity but not Internet access or phones. Sometimes, in the nineteenth-century version of my fantasy, I bend the rules a little and picture working in a screened-in porch attached to a beautiful old shingle-style house high above the water (a recent house I saw inspired this one). So--wood, light, air, and nature are the only real requirements.
Did you catch the fallacy in this particular fantasy? After I've swooned over cabins, screened porches, and other writing-house contenders for a while, somehow another voice always brings me back to that last sentence: "I could really get a lot of writing done there." The voice says, "It's not what's outside, but what's inside. It's not about the house; it's about you getting work done. You can do that perfectly well in your study at home if you just get at it."
The writing house fantasy helps, though, because when I see one of the houses, I get excited about writing all over again.
Updated to add more food for fantasy:
David McCullough's writing shed.
Roald Dahl's writing shed.
Mark Twain's garden study.
Virginia Woolf's writing house.