Your Writing Place, Your Hiding Place


“The garden gate” by Richard Rydge, cropped

Things happen to you when you’re writing a story. At least, they happen to me. I forget where I am, I don’t hear ambient sounds, and I don’t see the screen in front of me. I start mouthing words as I speak my character’s lines, and sometimes I say them out loud without consciously hearing myself, because I’m so intensely focused on finding the character. I don’t hear my fingers pounding like crazy against the keyboard until someone behind me complains. That breaks the spell—that wakes me up. And no one’s happy to be woken from a wonderful dream.

It’s important to find a place to write, somewhere you feel safe to leave the physical world behind and immerse yourself in another. I’ve felt safe writing in a classroom, at my desk, or in the twilight (about the twilight) with no one but crickets and bats and tree frogs for company. These have all been my hiding places for writing.

This library where I’m writing now is on the very outskirts of what counts as a hiding place. Sure, I blend in with the others at this public terminal, but humanity is milling around me. People are murmuring, printers are whirring. An okay place for a blog post, perhaps, but not for a novel.

Find the places that you can hide away with your writing. Find environments that help you. Maybe you like it busy, or maybe not. Maybe you like sunshine and I like shadows. Find what works for you, and when you need to write, go to your hiding place.


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