Writing, an an art, or a discipline, or a science, is one of those things where the writer often draws from their most personal experiences and deepest emotions to create beautiful pieces of writing. And it only makes sense that such a subtle and expressive art form is also, in some way, influenced by the location in which it takes form – whether that is from affecting the mood of the author, or they drawing some direct inspiration from their surroundings.
A great many writers I have spoken to have a little creative corner, or a writing spot. In film and novels, these creative corners are found on romantic sunsets overlooking the sea, or a quaint little cottage overlooking the woods, or perhaps high up on the mountain where it is just the writer and the raw inspiration of nature and beauty.
Of course, in real life that’s more the exception than the norm (although, if that *does* happen to be where you write your daily musings, then you’re very lucky indeed!). Your writing spot may be a quiet attic room in your home, or a writing desk situated in a shed at the end of your garden, or that corner of a local library surrounded by the names of the literary gates.
Or maybe you go for an early morning stroll, writing materials under your arm, to drink some coffee at your favourite coffee shop while you jot down notes and ideas, drawing inspiration from passers-bys going about their day-to-day activities. Maybe your creative corner is when you sit on the train on your daily commute to work, and for a few moments immerse yourself in what you love doing most.
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In essence, a creative corner can be any place and anywhere, any time, and with anyone or completely on your own, just where you’re most comfortable and at peace.
For me, my writing spot is at my white writing desk, leaning into my comfy chair and facing towards the window. I like to be able to glance up and look out of the window, with warm sunlight streaming onto my face as I watch people walk around on the street below.
The thing with creative corners, is that in most cases they’re not even consciously chosen. As writers you kind of just adopt them as that one spot where you’re most at home with your pens and your paper, or your laptops and iPads (or whatever other materials you use to write).
An interesting anecdote is the story of Charles Dickens and his creative corner, and you’d struggle to find any writer more iconic than that, who wrote his best works on a writing desk and chair that he felt worked best for his creativity. Such was the value of his little writing spot, that if he would be out of town for a time, he’d ensure that his writing desk and chair were also shipped out with him to accompany him on his travels and, most importantly, be there as familiar ground when he was working on his creative endeavours.
It goes without saying, if Charles Dickens believed so strongly in the whole concept of a writing spot, there must be some merit to the idea!
Speaking of well-known authors, one can’t forget to mention Stephen King, who probably had most the readers here looking over our shoulders at least one point in their life while reading his books or watching one of the many movie adaptations of his work. In the early days of his career, he would lock himself away in the laundry room as he tapped away at his wife’s typewriter. In these humble surroundings he write his successful first novel Carrie, his writing desk sandwiched humbly between the washing machine and dryer.
And coming back to a point made earlier on, that a writer doesn’t need breath-taking mountain-top vistas or the moodiness of Wuthering Heights – esque moors to create spellbinding works of fiction. Even the cramped confine of a laundry room wouldn’t dampen Stephen King’s passion for writing!
And to round up this small analysis on the idea of creative corners, let’s touch on the words of E. B. White. He had no desire to seek out a place of quite contemplation and consideration – in fact he would work in the hustle and bustle of the living room of his house, the very centre of family life in any household. Once he commented,
“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.”
As was touched upon earlier, by and large most writers don’t purposely seek out any specially designated or ‘inspirational’ place to create work. Creative corners are often humble and unassuming, their presence weaved effortlessly into a writer’s everyday life to make as little impact as possible on family or work life, or day-to-day activities. A writer doesn’t wait for the ideal conditions or perfect source of inspiration, the whole essence writing, in a way, is to draw inspiration from the most mundane aspects of life and create something unique out of them.
Perhaps that is what makes creative corners so personal and unique, they’re accepted as the chosen writing spot largely for their accessibility to comfort and inspiration, so that one can write from the comfort of familiar surroundings and draw inspiration from what one knows best.
What, or where, is your creative corner?
Sobia Hadi is a writer and artist based in the West Midlands, UK loves all things about creativity, literature and fine arts. She loves to go for long walks in her spare time and does an odd bit of baking on the side here and there. If you ever want to check out a portfolio of her art, it can be found here; https://www.instagram.com/
Picture credit: Yasmine Boheas on Unsplash