Space to Write ~ Here, There and Everywhere

In response to Writing 101 Space to Write

There is only one place to write and that is alone at a typewriter. The writer who has to go into the streets is a writer who does not know the streets. . . . when you leave your typewriter you leave your machine gun and the rats come pouring through.

— Charles Bukowski, Notes of a Dirty Old Man

Where do you write? Do you prefer blogging on your laptop in a coffee shop? Are you productive in a quiet room, door closed, away from civilization? Today, describe the space where you write. Or, if you don’t have a dedicated place, what is your ideal setting? Consider these questions to shape your post:

  • What are your writing habits?
  • What equipment or supplies do you use to write?
  • What do you need and want in a physical space?

In the course, we’ll occasionally ask you to do a task in preparation for a future post. Today, insert a poll at the end of this post to gather ideas on what to write. (If you prefer not to add a poll to today’s post, an alternative is publishing a new page with a contact form, which you can use for this purpose.)

Over the next few weeks, collect post ideas from your readers and drop them in Simplenote, if you’d like. You’ll refer to this well of ideas later in the course.

Cheri and the Team

So I’m a little late in answering this one because I believe when you include a poll in a post, you’d better be there to answer the people who take the time to comment, to participate in the poll. And this week hasn’t been particularly conducive to writing or being present online much.
If you’ve read my Compulsive post, you’ll find this one to be in line.


Sitting in the doctor’s waiting room, I was watching the woman opposite me. I was staring actually but she appeared not to notice me at all. At first, I thought she was a homeless person with a drug habit. After all, my GP was known to be taking care of all the poor in the neighbourhood and it was a walk-in clinic after all. And the woman’s hair was a mess, her nails were bitten so short I was in pain for her. And she was wearing what had to be the most horrible and out of fashion pair of sweat pants. She might as well have been wearing her PJs. Once in a while she’d look up and stare left, right before returning to her knees.

She was scribbling on a notebook that looked ready to fall apart; she was writing on pages, then she turned the notebook backwards and continued writing almost over what she’d scribbled until then. Her fingers were filled with ink from her pen. It was when I looked at the pen that I realized she was no homeless, although the drug part remained to be assessed. It was a beautiful fountain pen that looked simple enough but writing my documents with one myself I knew it to be a good brand. She might have stolen it but it was in too good a shape to belong to a homeless person. Beside she didn’t smell and her hair – for all that it was messy – was clean. The way she gnawed at her lips was almost endearing. Definitely issues. Was scribbling a way to handle the stress?

I looked away from her when a gorgeous male specimen entered the clinic. He sat beside her and ever so gently touched her elbow. Definitely not homeless but how had she ended up with a man like that? I looked down at my book but still listened as he pried the notebook away from her hands.
“It’s full honey. I’ll get you a new one later.” He whispered.
“But I’m not done.”
Casting a quick glance I saw him pull out a cell phone.
“Type it in the notes and I’ll email it to you.”
She grabbed the cell and started typing away as if her life depended on it. I’d never seen anyone type this fast even my nephew. For a moment the man didn’t interrupt her but also never really got engaged in any activity of his own, as if he were checking she wasn’t doing something she shouldn’t do. Suddenly she stopped and handed him the phone back. She looked like a child almost. Even more so when she started pulling at the fingernails she didn’t have. The man took her hands in his.

“How was the exhibition love?”
She seemed to wonder what he meant before she bit her lips – again like a kid.
“I didn’t pay attention.” Now he seemed surprised. “I sat in front of one the painting but it inspired a story. So I wrote instead. And then they were closing.”
He laughed softly before kissing her brow. Was he her boyfriend or what? She seemed more like a child woman who needed someone to take care of her more than to love her. Surprising. I’m not sure I could put up with a boyfriend who constantly needed attention. Finally the previous patient came out and Dr. Jacobs called the woman – I would go just after her.
“Mrs. MLW?”

What? That woman was MLW, winner of multiple literary prizes and part of the NYT Best Sellers!! How was that even possible? Maybe it was true what they said: the line between genius and craziness is a fine one.



The bottomline is that I write everywhere… I merely need a notebook and pen, or a cellphone with a note app or a computer/laptop. I was actually writing while waiting for a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday and yesterday we went to the Louvre with my husband. At some point we sat down and I did write. I actually have a story I started earlier in the subway because one of the art pieces exhibited at the museum inspired me. So below are a few shots of where I’ve been found to write.

So as the Beatles said I write here, there and everywhere. What about you?


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