Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Where Do I Come to The Page?

Becca at Becca’s Byline asks this question: where do I come to the page?

Where I write depends on what I write. When I write Morning Pages, I am lying on the couch in the family room, in front of the windows. The blinds are pulled. It is still dark outside, so I have a soft light on in the kitchen and one beside the couch. I lie propped on a big pillow with a small pillow on my stomach and my notebook on top of that. I’ve let the dog outside, so I write until he scratches on the door, then get up and let him in, then write some more until it’s time to hop in the shower and get ready for the day.

I carry a pen with me everywhere, and can be found taking notes on any available blank piece of paper that I find in my purse—backs of envelopes or receipts, one of my Moleskine notebooks that I carry to keep poems and book notes in, Post-Its, or whatever. One of my Moleskine books comes out at the book stores as I peruse the books I might want to buy. I write down the titles of books I want to buy, the price, etc. If it’s a non-fiction book, I will skim through it and write down pertinent ideas and quotes that I want to remember. Sometimes just getting the main ideas is enough, and I don’t have to buy the book. Other times, I can tell from the sheer number of quotes or the beautiful language that I must buy this book!

For blogging, I am usually sitting at my desk, composing on the keyboard. Sometimes, I lift a journal entry to use. I always develop it further at the desk though. I don’t know that I want to share a picture of my desk, even though I am like Becca and love to look at other people’s work spaces. Mine is a mess though! Piles of paper cover it, along with pens, treasures, knick-knacks, books, pictures, etc. I clean it up occasionally and it takes about two minutes for it to be filled up again. I think I have an aversion to clean empty spaces!

I don’t have a laptop. I fantasize sometimes about sitting in a comfy chair or couch with a laptop and soft lighting. I may have to borrow one to see if I would really use one that way. To me a computer means sitting upright using my ergonomically correct keyboard and a real mouse—I hate those little touch pad things.

I have a friend who writes in a teepee. I have friends who carry little notebooks with them and write anywhere and everywhere. I have a friend who writes at her dining room table. I think, when you are a writer, you can write anywhere and frequently do write everywhere. We may have our favorite spots, but all we really need is a pen or pencil and a scrap of blank paper. We carry the urge with us all the time!


Tammy said...

My dog always has to pee at my most creative moments. ;) Enjoyed your post and I think a messy desk is artsy. lol

I'm contemplating a laptop too!

Becca said...

Linda, how great to see you again :)

I loved the description of your writing places, especially the place you write your morning pages. I could feel the early morning stillness, when it's just you and the dog, greeting the day.

My desk is always messy too - you know what they say about that -
it's a sign of creativity!

Thanks for sharing these lovely words about your writing places.

catherine said...

I enjoyed your post and your description of yourself and your blog. I also have had my nose in a book since childhood; my family says that's why I don't remember much of my real childhood!
After reading several of these entries, I am going to start carrying around one of my moleskin notebooks, maybe the softcover one so it's not so heavy. I need to work on writing wherever the idea strikes me...
Thanks for your entry.

Llama Momma said...

I once wrote an entire essay on McDonald's napkins while my children played! Now I carry a little notebook in my purse for such occasions...

anno said...

Oh, those messy desks... don't you love them? My hunch is that any creative endeavor requires making a bit of a mess, and a messy desk just assures me that I'm already halfway there!

The Blonde said...


It's so good to see there are others who carry a pen in the case of emerging thoughts. I have often been found writing on the back of a napkin at a bar, completely ignoring my drink (probably the reason I went there in the first place) When I'm done I always wonder if it's normal that I'll pull out my pen anywhere and scribble till my brain is emptied out on whatever paper I find. Now I know I'm not the only one and that feels pretty good.

I've posted my response on my own blog. =0)

jkcm said...

Hi Linda,

Thanks for posting on my blog! I love your blog!! What a passion you have! I must say reading a good book is the one thing I look forward to when I can get a break from the little ones. Good luck with your creative writing and let me know when I need to be looking for it at Borders!!! Miss you and Carla. I'll come for a visit with the kids some time soon.

Anonymous said...

I like this! I like to hear about when and where you write. I also like to know that you (and others) pull pens out of bags and scribble on whatever there is to absorb the ink because the thought we have at that very moment is just too important to let it escape! (I often write on my hand in the absense of paper - I've found that on my hand, I will copy it before it washes clean - the bottom of my shoe, however, well, it's gone..