laura resau interview (part 2 of 3): writing space
I believe in the power of place and the importance of space. After I was in my new office for a couple of years I had to do something to make it mine. I worked at establishing a place that reflected who I am and was comfortable and inviting to work. (Here is a link to a blog post about organizing my office at school. The interesting thing is now, two years later, almost all of my files are electronic, and I no longer have a school computer because I work off my personal laptop.)
Having a space to write is important too. I often think about ways to make classrooms inviting to student writers. How can it become comfortable and inspiring? What are ways to organize the space for writers? How can space become another teacher for students in writing workshop?
If you hop over to Laura Resau’s blog, you can’t help but notice an invitation to tour her writing space — a shiny silver trailer. On the right side bar there is a picture of the writing trailer and a link to go for a tour.
Naturally I was curious and wondered a little more about how this space influences Laura’s writing life. So I asked: Your writing trailer seems to be an important part of your writing life. Will you talk about this space and how it impacts your work as a writer?
Check out the tour and then read Laura’s response.
My writing trailer makes me so happy! I bought it on an impulse about five years ago, when we were waiting to finalize the adoption of our baby from Guatemala. My husband and I lived in a small house with two bedrooms, one of which was my writing room. When I the realization sunk in that I’d have to give up my writing space for the baby, I freaked out. I knew that somehow I’d need a room of my own. I went on Craig’s list and stumbled across a “sweet lil fifties rig” – a silver “canned ham” style trailer– for an affordable price. It’s completely uncharacteristic of me to jump into big purchases, but I bought it on the spot… and it’s been one of the best decisions of my life (up there with adopting our beautiful son!).
My trailer was a life saver for me as a new, overwhelmed mom with book contracts and deadlines looming. For a few hours each day, I’d retreat into my special creative space (permanently located in our driveway) while a babysitter or my husband watched our son. Stepping into the space, I could leave behind all the mundane worries and hassles of life and motherhood, and immerse myself in my story-in progress. I took joy in filling my trailer with inspiring and meaningful things that connect me to my creative source. Some of these include tiny bells, a comfy futon with heaps of pillows, old pictures and favorite books, vintage goodies from second hand shops, finds from markets around the world, little treasures from friends, beeswax candles…
This past year, we decided to do an addition to our house (which became necessary once my husband started working from home, too). During the construction, we had to be in rental homes for nine months, and sadly, I had to put my beloved trailer in storage. It was heart-breaking for me—I missed my creative space like an old friend. When we recently completed our renovation and went to pick up the trailer, I nearly cried in relief. When I stepped inside after the long absence, and smelled its deliciously musty, magical smell, I felt a rush of love and gratitude. Although now, after the addition, I do have a writing studio in my house, I’ve found that my trailer is still the best place for me to leave distractions behind and delve into creative writing. The space feels sacred to me. Now I can do emailing, business-y internet stuff, and book promotion activities inside my house, but my sweet lil fifties rig remains the place where I feel most purely and powerfully tapped into my creative source.
If any of you are feeling like you need your own magical space to create, I highly encourage you to think outside the box to find a solution!
How about you? What kind of writing space do you have? What can you do to make it magical like Laura’s?