I have a fascination for spaces. Open, closed, narrow, wide. I am sure whoever is reading this, has a fascination for collecting umbrella handles or tasting fish bait or punching errant drivers on the road and frankly, we would all rather be talking about our own fascinations and interests than be reading about someone else’s. But, since this is a blog and you need to at least skim through the damned post so that you can make an intelligent comment, I have the benefit of putting together a couple of hundred words to put out a seemingly interesting post.
Ah, spaces. When I was just a struggling writer, that is struggling to put in enough time to write, I often thought that an isolated cabin in the hills would be the ideal place to write. There would be an occasional deer grazing out in the green patch outside the cabin (if deer can be found at higher altitudes, otherwise, chirping birds would do, because I am not crazy about bears) and a gurgling stream in the background which I would sit next to in between the writing. I was sure that masterpieces could be created this way.
However, over the years, I learnt something quite different. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I just want to escape to the mountains, like our learned sages but the irony is that I am already living in the mountains. My house looks into a valley and at night the hills are alive with twinkling lights. It is breathtaking and just the right place for inspiration to strike. Yet, writing is more than the place, the atmosphere, the resources. It is the urge to put on paper what cannot be held in the heart.
I have now recalibrated my writing habits. I mostly need absolute peace, but I have learnt to make do in crowded spaces, in noisy places. When I have to write, I write wherever I can, with whatever I can. I can type away entire posts on my phone if I do not have the luxury of a pen and paper. I can write sitting amidst a chanting group of devotees in a temple. My apologies to the Gods!
For inspiration, I would love to hear of your writing spaces and your writing habits. Thank you, friends, for having come this far (in the post). The Day 6 task of Writing 101 asks us to include a poll asking readers feedback on what topics to write about and since I do not want my friends to turn away in disgust at having to make yet another effort just when the rambling was actually going to end, please leave your answers in the comments. That is, if you have had coffee and are feeling sprightly enough.