I like to think that I possess concentration enough to write fiction anytime, anywhere, but the truth is, my surroundings have an enormous impact on my creativity. My home office, which I’ve written about before, is a sanctuary, filled as it is with books and mementos, a pair of big windows that frame the top of a beautiful Crepe Myrtle. When I can open those windows and feel a kiss of cool as I sit down (or stand) to work, the words seem to cohere themselves more easily. But by mid-August, my beloved office feels stifling and my thoughts are as thick and humid as the Houston heat.
Which is why I’m dispatching this post from the second-floor patio of a rental house in Vail, Colorado where it’s 59 degrees and breezy. Below me, Gore Creek prattles and rushes. A beaver is making its way across the reservoir in the near distance, and beyond that, a mountain with gorgeous rows of pines and aspens rises so sharply that I have to crane my neck to see the blue sky above it. In this semi-outdoor office, I can hear myself think more clearly.
Naturally, I will have to move. Not soon, friends and family. But someday. And in the meantime, I can dream:
My ideal writing spot is in a wooded area, close to a lake. Someplace where it snows in the winter and the lake freezes. Where the leaves change colors in the fall, and where summer temperatures never reach Houston’s highs. (Colorado? Minnesota?) It’s secluded enough that I’m not interrupted by human sounds, e.g. “Moooooooom! I’m hungry/thirsty/unable to find…” It’s a treehouse with windows that open in clement weather, and close against the rain and snow, with the sense of being both part of and protected from the elements. It’s small: room enough for a broad desk, comfortable chair, maybe a bed. In front of the window is a canopy of quaking aspens that shimmers in the wind like confetti, like sequins.
The woods beckon me with so many quiet voices—creek, trees, wind, lake—amid which I may better hear my own.
P.S. Here are ten stunning writing studios to inspire your own ideal workspace.