Letter from the Director, July 2021

Finding Your Place – Literally

Standing deep center beneath the old arbor, the leafy tendrils of the wisteria vine woven tight as fabric, I could convince myself I’m in a cave. It’s dark, perceptibly cooler, wetter, dense. Birds nest in the corners and I hear their wings brush leaves as they dart away. The thick wood of the vine leans on the burdened latticework. Some support pieces are already broken, others are splitting from the stress. The light that filters from the sky is sparse, barely able to pierce through, like pinpricks, tiny white stars against a multi-hued black. This is my place to daydream, read, and write. I sit on the purple bench in my hidden, hollowed-out heart of garden. Here, I am invisible as I write in my journal. Here, I wield the power of my pen like a magic sword.

I’m an advocate of special writing spaces because there is potency in the power of “place.” When I return to a favorite writing spot over and over, I feel a sense of belonging and anticipation. My body knows what I’m supposed to be doing here, and settles to the prescribed course. Confession: I’m easily distracted. A new place offers so much sensory input that I have to sort it all out before I can write. When I return to this particular spot, my busy mind doesn’t have to catalog new sights and sounds. I already know what I’ll find here and I can direct my energy to the page.

Do you have a favorite writing place? Maybe it’s your desk or your back porch. Maybe it’s the coffee shop around the corner from your office. Or maybe the table by the window in the library. Do you find the repetition of writing in this place to be comforting? It’s like coming home, isn’t it? It’s safe, it’s known. When you’re dealing with the delicate act of sharing your heart through your writing, a little mental comfort goes a long way. 

Shoot me a quick note and let me know about your favorite writing place. I’d like to compile a fun list to share on our social media. No specifics or names will be revealed – so your special place can remain yours alone! If you have more than one, let me know that too. When it’s raining, I have an open but covered porch I like to visit. When it’s too hot or too cold to be outside, I have a little table in a glass-enclosed porch overlooking the garden. I have to be able to see the outdoors, one way or another! What is your “must-have” ingredient for your perfect writing place? I’d love to know!


 Photo Credit: EJ Bowman, RWC writer-in-residence