Tuesday, January 5, 2010


This is the first in a series of Guest Posts by fellow writers about writing conditions and techniques. I want to give other writers a outlet to voice their opinion on writing; how, where, and what they write.
So the first in the series is by my close friend and fellow writer; Don Lee. You can check out his blog; Whiskey Bottle Over Jesus

"The conditions under which the working writer writes seem to be of universal interest. I think on some level it’s part of that desire in all those who write or aspire to write, at least up to a certain point, to find out “the secret” of successful writing –  the actual physical act itself, that time when you sit down and put words down and somehow sometimes they flow out and it’s as if someone else wrote them, and you kinda sit back and go “Wow.”

Some prefer to write by hand, then retype, while others compose straight into the keyboard. I have been writing longhand for years and am trying to shift from the latter to the former right now.

For some writers it’s an issue not of how but of where. I used to write a lot in coffee shops when there were several good ones handy. More recently, living alone, when the weather permits I have a work station set up on the front porch of the cabin where I live in the woods. (I also enjoy writing in bars, although there is a limited window of usefulness there and one wonders about developing a Pavlovian connection between the two events, the writing and the drinking. Probably sounds better than is, in the long run.)

It is important whenever possible to have your own place to write. For one thing, a certain amount of privacy is necessary – uninterrupted time and space to think and compose. The downfall of the coffee shop – or bar, for that matter – is that once you’ve become a regular, you’re forced to deal with both well-meaning acquaintances and/or slack vampires who have nothing better to do than suck up your writing time. “Hey, buddy!” Your options become either rudeness or changing locales periodically so you won’t encounter people you know.

Earlier last year I lived for a few months with a wife who had a seven year old son. Finding a place to write away from home meant being away from home, often not an option. But there was a shed out back, concrete slab floor and a roof that didn’t leak – and best of all, electricity! – and this became my sanctum. It was just close enough to the house to be within yelling distance if yelling need occur, and just far enough out that I wasn’t in the loop of the usual dealing with a manic seven year old. I wrote a lot of journalism out there and a chunk of a novel that I dropped about the time I moved out.

If you are a writer and unless you have an incredibly secure, understanding mate, or none at all, the chances of finding privacy to write at home are low – but if you have a shed, I think you’ve got a shot at it. It worked for me."

If you are interested in being a guest blogger please email me; regier.writer@gmail.com and we will get something set up. 


Dad on January 10, 2010 at 8:56 PM said...

we will never catch the UK in the sheds dept.
they are too advanced.

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