As I sit out on my deck watching the fog roll over the fields of my farm, I realize what a wonderful opportunity I’ve had to be able to write in such beauty. It seems wherever I am, I’m usually drawn outdoors to a porch or a patio, especially in the spring, summer and fall, when flowers are blooming, the hummingbirds are sipping their nectar and the cicada’s are singing their songs. My writing seems to flow easily when I’m outside the confines of four walls.
Apparently I’m in good company, as Anne McCaffrey once told an interviewer, “I think writers need windows on a view to remind them that a whole world is out there, not the minutiae with which they might be dealing on a close scale.”
One writer friend, who shall remain nameless, has 5 children under the age of twelve. He says the only place he can truly settle in to write in peace is comfortably seated on a sheepskin rug he carries into their large, oversized bathroom where he can lock himself inside for some quiet writing time. I thought this strange to the extreme until I discovered that Agatha Christie did much of her writing while soaking in her oversized Victorian tub.
On that note, there have been several other famous writers who have found sitting behind a desk in their library untenable. Gertrude Stein used to sit in the driver’s seat of her Model T Ford while parked on the streets of Paris.
It’s said that Sir Walter Scott wrote many of his poems on horseback, and several famous writers wrote from their bed.
Agatha Christie plotted out her first mystery while walking the moors near the Haytor Rocks in Dartmoor, and Ernest Hemingway is said to have written while standing at a writer’s podium.
I know that writers write wherever they find themselves, at all times of the day and night, but what I wouldn’t give to have walked the moors with Ms. Christie, eavesdropping as she plotted The Mysterious Affair at Styles, or to have stood gazing out over the rooftops of Paris with Earnest Hemingway and listening as he admonished himself with these famous words:
“Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”
So, as I sit on my deck getting ready to write and watching the ghostly tendrils of fog roll in, I close my eyes and imagine the heavy air carries the distinctive aroma of Hemingway’s pipe and I quietly put my fingers to the keys and say to myself, “Do not worry. You have always written before…”