There’s a book I read a few times as a child, called Evan’s Corner. Evan lives in a small apartment in the city, but he longs for a space of his own. His parents allow him to choose a corner of their apartment to be just his.
I just recently set up a new studio of sorts. Actually a cheap knock-down, assemble-it-yourself desk from Wal-Mart (which looks surprisingly nice when put together). The new desk, an old desktop computer from the back of the closet (which I’m already planning to replace, because damn this machine is slow), my iPad for background music, a stack of writing books. One corner of our very-rarely-used guest room is now a dedicated writing room.
On the face of it, the urge to do it just hit me from nowhere. If you really are planning to take this writing thing seriously, you need a dedicated space. Why not the spare bedroom? One of those ideas that pops into one’s head out of nowhere, then proceeds to occupy every thought until it’s done. And when I started planning how it would look, how I would set it up, I got much more excited about it than I expected to.
But it wasn’t really out of nowhere. Now, sitting here in this new corner, I realize that. It wasn’t a random desire; it came about because this little studio I’ve created, this corner of the extra bedroom is the part of the house that’s mine. And I realize that for a long time, I’ve been feeling like Evan did in the book—longing for a space to call mine, instead of ours. I’ve come to realize that I need that. And I’ve really not had it since we moved into this house. A room of my own. My old writing desk was in our basement, alongside the TV and right next to the room where my husband writes music and rehearses with his band.
Shared space just feels different. Even when you’re alone there, it carries a sense of the other person. Not so with a room that’s mine alone. Here at this desk, it’s just me and my words. It’s a much different type of solitude.
It’s already made a difference, having a space of my own, dedicated just to writing. I’ve already been more productive in this space than I ever was at the rec room desk. I’m sure it won’t be a magic bullet; I won’t be writing a new novel every weekend. But I finally have a place just to write. Just to be.