A writer in her natural habitat

I don’t travel much. It’s a combination of lack of funds, and a sort of stick-in-the-mud attitude that keeps me pretty firmly entrenched on my home turf. I’m pretty lucky to live in a great place, as well, and tend to be one of those hometown snobs: WHY would I want to go anywhere else, when HERE is just so fantastic?

Also, I don’t like putting on pants.

I went to Boston last week. As in, I put on pants, packed a giant bag with enough clothes for four people, and enough charger cords for a Radio Shack worth of electronics, and boarded a tube that hurtled at hundreds of miles through the sky. I’m not a horrible flier, but I do my share of armrest clutching and muttering prayers to Ceiling Cat along the way. Suffice to say, we all survived, and spent a lovely seven days on the East coast.

There, we visited several museums, multiple monuments, at least 2 iconic restaurants, and ingested no less than 10 sea creatures, including an entire lobster, consumed all on my own.


In addition to these more standard delights, I also encountered/endured a sunburn, various bug bites, including some kind of horsefly on the bottom of my foot, a stye in my right eye, and a random case of hives over my right shoulder and chest.

I am a magnet for these sorts of things. As I told my husband: it’s because he made me go outside.

Writers, as more than a few people have noted, err more on the side of being indoor creatures, lurking in the cool, out of sight, in the shade, far from the natural elements. It’s a stereotype, somewhat like the pale-faced nerd, handcuffed to the computer, but stereotypes truly stick for a reason, and I, in this regard, am all stereotype. I am an indoor person – I maintain that we built houses so we had no reason to spend all our time outdoors. I find trees and plants lovely, and am perfectly happy to view them from a window, or even venture onto a cool patio. I have no hatred for nature, but no love for it either.

My desk is in a corner of my bedroom. It is a strange nook, once occupied by a fascinatingly-mirrored vanity that we pulled out before we even moved in. My desk fits perfectly, however, and so I face a wall the majority of my day, with just my computer screen between me and the eggshell paint.

I like my set-up. There is a coziness to it; it is out of the way of the main part of the room, and thus doesn’t infringe on the sleeping and whatnot functionality of the rest of the room. It is also adjacent to the bathroom, which I find to be a plus. If it could magically join to the kitchen, we’d be aces.

This is where I write. I did not write for the seven days I was in Boston. I had the capability, for the most part, in my janky old netbook, but not my atmosphere, not my habitat. I don’t think I’m unique for needing such a thing, for requiring a set of circumstances, and a setting itself, for my writing time. Perhaps some people are more adventurous, and feel that the setting is mostly of the mind, and can pick up their laptop, and forge on, but I know more who require the RIGHT table at the RIGHT coffee shop, or the RIGHT chair and the RIGHT music at their desk, and on and on. People, not just writers, are peculiar creatures, and we all have our quirks, our needs, our attachments.

Me? My natural environment is right here: in the corner.



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3 responses to “A writer in her natural habitat”

  1. Kathy Spoering says :

    Yep. I don’t just weave only at home because my loom is immovable. I probably have an immovable loom because I can create only at home.

  2. newstart4liz says :

    i have to laugh (and wonder if this is my down coming) i call myself a writer, but i love the nature…well at least when the weather is warm but not too hot and even can be cool but not cold…
    i live in Boston….but did not grow up here and i won’t comment on the weather here…and yes…i do spend more time at my desk with my computer when the weather is bad so perhaps this is why writers are indoor creatures
    but i totally agree, there are places i like to be in when i write and places i cannot write in if i try….and times i am a blank page….and others when the words come tumbling out and seem ‘just right’

    we are, if nothing else, a finicky lot!

    thanks for your post…i really enjoyed it

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