I spent the last week at Edisto Beach, SC. It’s quiet and lovely and other than the ocean itself, any entertainment you have to bring with you. I couldn’t help feeling that it was the perfect place to write. Everyone knows there’s only one perfect place to write, after all. If you don’t put yourself in that perfect place, the muse won’t make an appearance and you’ll end up staring at a blank screen trying to come up with opening lines that clearly flew south for the season. I really think the beach is that perfect place. The ocean’s constant crash and roar is nature’s white noise, soothing and peaceful. Soft breezes off the water caress your face while you relax into your imaginary world, only realizing hours later that you’re sun-crisped from head to toe except the tiny square of laptop-shaped skin on your legs.
Okay, maybe the beach isn’t perfect. It must be the mountains. Renting a cabin surrounded by the wind sighing through the trees is the one place on earth you can truly find your creativity. The quiet of the forest, broken only by the calls of birds and the skittering of squirrels on the rooftop, and the sudden crashing of bears coming through the screen door in search of the open package of Oreos you forgot you left on the table.
Hmmmm…I’ve got it now. The desert. Sure it’s hot during the day, but at night the sky becomes an inspiring black velvet canvas littered with sparkling diamond stars, unmarred by city light or smog. Or heat. It’s bloody cold at night in the desert, and most writers’ feet get cold even in the warmest climes.
Maybe sticking closer to home is the answer. Of course, the library! The library is quiet and free of distraction, temperature controlled and just packed full of books containing every bit of information you might need to give your story that bit of verisimilitude that pushed it from good to great. All those books on the shelves next to the ones by Steven King and Dan Brown, who made six kajillion dollars, an amount you’ll never be able to achieve and what the hell are you thinking, assuming you can write anyway?
Sorry, sorry, lost my train of thought there. Clearly the library’s out. But the coffee shop – now there’s the place. All the benefits of the library (except those annoying bestsellers to taunt you) with access to overly sugared food and all the hot caffeinated drinks you might want. Sure there might be other fledgling writers nearby, watching you write and sighing at your obvious determination, but there’s no harm in that. Until one of them steps close to your table and tips your freshly served coffee over, scorching your legs and shorting out the laptop just when you finished the best eighteen pages you’d ever written in your entire life.
You know, come to think of it, there is one perfect place. The perfect place for you to write is right where you are. On whatever medium suits you, sitting in the comfortable chair, creating the story that drives your imagination and letting the muse hold your hand.
Yeah, I think that’s it.