Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Grabbing time and space to write

Right at this moment, I’m writing my weekly Type M post from a rather bizarre location: The Cloisters, that museum of buildings and art of the Middle Ages located at the northern tip of Manhattan. It’s one of my favourite places in New York City. The summer day is perfect by anyone’s measure (unless you prefer rain, snow, or hurricanes) and it’s a pleasure to sit here on a bench in the shade in the Bonnefont Garden, one of three outdoor areas the facility features. Now, if only all the other visitors would disappear. Places like this seem to demand solitude.

I enjoy getting away from home to do some writing. I’m also generally more successful when I write away from my usual cold, dimly lit garret. It has nothing to do with “getting away from it all”, either. There’s something about a change of scenery that seems to encourage my creative juices to begin flowing.

My ideal writing excursion would be to rent a villa somewhere in Italy or possibly France and write a novel from start to finish. I don’t have any trouble focusing on the task at hand the way I do at home, despite whatever local temptations might be at hand. A quiet location with a reasonably comfortable seat would be all that I’d need. Under such conditions, it’s no problem for me to write for six, seven, or even eight hours a day. While not strictly necessary, a good high-speed internet connection would also be helpful for researching those pesky plot details that always seem to be cropping up.

In the evening, it would be a pleasure to make a nice meal or perhaps enjoy dinner in a local restaurant. The rest of the hours before bed could be filled with some reading – not crime fiction, though. It’s my hard and fast rule to never mix writing crime fiction with reading it – unless I want my prose to start resembling some other writer’s.

Someday things may work out that I could attain this little piece of personal heaven. Until then, I’ll have to be content snatching little “glimpses” of what it might be like – wherever I find them.

Like here at The Cloisters on a sunny afternoon in August. And now, back to the novel-in-progress…

4 comments:

Charlotte Hinger said...

My place has to have room service.

Rick Blechta said...

I have simpler tastes in that regard. Unlike Simenon, I can't write for days at a time with no stops -- even for sleep. Doing something like making dinner pulls me away from the novel and gives my brain time to cogitate on issues and ideas.

Eileen Goudge said...

Love the Cloisters! One of my favorite haunts as well. If you live in NYC, as do I, it's like a mini-vacation.
I have a house on a lake in Wisconsin where I go for weeks at a time to write, from dawn till dusk each day. Amazing how much more I can get done without any distractions. I can do in a month what takes three months back home.

Rick Blechta said...

Gee, if I'd known, Eileen, we could have formed a 2-person critiquing group for the afternoon!