Discovering the Relevance of Words
They say that Tolstoy used to write in the town square. The faces of the people inspired him.
I’m not sure if that’s true. I heard someone say it on a TV show once.
But it’s interesting.
It makes me think of the people I usually see writing in public. Is that Tolstoy over there, playing Scrabble on his laptop at the coffee shop, scanning the room through glasses without any prescription to see if anyone is paying attention to the Writer in their midst? I don’t think it is.
I’m not saying I haven’t found myself pacing my house, unable to type another word until I get out of this uninspiring prison. At those times I have found it helpful to leave my work space and go out into the world to let new thoughts invade my beleaguered brain. It can be like putting a fresh pair of eyes on a problem.
But that doesn’t change the fact that, for me, writing has always been a solitary thing. I find people distracting in general, but especially when I’m trying to write. I need privacy to celebrate my good sentences and lament my bad ones. I can’t take that shit to Starbucks. People would think I was a lunatic, laughing out loud at something I just wrote and tapping my foot to the Bowie in my headphones. Just ask anyone at work.
There are as many ways to write as there are those who do it. Some of the best minds I know belong to people who thrive on chaos. For them, a busy coffee shop or public park might be the perfect place to write.
Where do you write? Do you ever leave your work space and venture out into the big bad world?