Lydia Smith was in a writing group that lasted many years and in 2011 joined a new group following the Life Writing summer school with Deborah Shepard. She loves the process of writing together and then editing later in her writing space.
My writing space is in desperate need of de-cluttering –an awful word for a challenging task. The room in the villa has a desk beneath a double hung window that brings in the outside. I like the view out to a garden of rampant salmon pink geranium and a camellia tree, both gifts from old friends. Above and beyond is the neighbour’s deck which is busy with chat in the summer. There is plenty to distract but the direct light makes this a great spot to work and write. If only the desk wasn’t piled high with books and mail, my diary, address books, pens and ‘to do’ folders. A pretty shoebox sits on one corner full of pencils and other homeless items I never look at. It has become my non-writing space while I find myself sitting at the, usually, clutter free dining table for daily mailing and avoid the other writing I really want to do.
I yearn for a clean and clear and orderly space but obviously I haven’t wanted this enough to keep order and throw out, file and sort. My ‘busyness’ must be challenged. I need to create a completely clear surface that will entice me to sit down willingly. I’m sure a tidy desk is the sign of good organisation not an empty mind.
There are some pluses for my writing space besides the light. I do have a hard but comfortable chair with back support for my long and rickety spine and nice pens to write with. My favourite, a gold Waterman, was a gift from House and Garden for writing a letter to their magazine. The computer sits in the corner of the room and is easily accessible from the wooden desk. It’s an ideal set up. I just need to clear the desk and sort out how to manage my writing relationship with pen and paper, desk and computer. With my thoughts in order I will be off…
- For more stories on writers' reading spaces, read the 'My Writing Space' section.
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