This is a photo of where I write from – a ‘tool store’ attached to a farmhouse in Umbria, Italy. The shadow is of a big oak tree. Through the big window you can just see a white dog.
I can’t say it’s necessarily my first choice of a place to provide inspiration. A tiny tower reached by a spiral stone staircase and with a 360 degree view of the sea would do nicely. I once had a College room whose window gave right onto a river and that wasn’t bad…
I have this idea that total peace and quiet is most conducive to writing but it’s not always the case, not even for me. Silence can be intimidating, sterile even. On the other hand a hubbub of traffic or children or uncongenial music can stop you hearing yourself think.
It’s really a matter of each writer finding ‘their own bag’.
Is it, for example, helpful to have bare walls and a clear desk, or a clutter of nick-nacks and photos? Do you work best in bed? Does solitude foster your productivity or do you get more done surrounded by the life and movement of strangers in a café?
It’s quite brilliant that modern technology allows such choices, so where circumstances allow, we should throw away preconceived ideas and create, to the best of our ability, the ideal environment.
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