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Where is your 'dream' writing place?

edited April 2006 in - Writing Tales


  • Hi all

    I've been thinking alot lately about where I would really like to write. I come from Wales and miss the sea terribly, so often dream of a cosy cottage, looking out onto a windswept beach, with candles burning, and a comfy old chair....
    Do you think all this would help me to produce some beautiful words, or is it enough to conjure up this place in my mind?
    I often long for silence and solitude, but am also slightly afraid of it.....
    Where would your ideal writing place be?
  • I have a cabin/study in my garden which is where I write, though sometimes I use my laptop in the living room early mornings. My ideal place would be a lovely thatched cottage miles away from anyone - just me, my wife and my laptop and plenty of time to write. My wife comes from Pembrokeshire. We are talking about going there next year for a holiday.
  • Hi Stan

    I'm very envious of your cabin, I'd love a place that is not attached to the house, I think a sense of detachment is important. I also like to write downstairs in the early morning, it feels so different when everything is still and quiet, like you've beaten everyone else to the day!
    Pembrokeshire is beautiful, lots of wonderful walks and remote beaches, I come from Swansea, so my favourite place is Rhosilli on the Gower coast, followed by Mumbles, a super seaside village that has everything, great restaurants, cafes, bars and a knock out view.
    Happy writing.
  • My room in the UK is a tip - it's accumulated various bits and pieces from different places I've lived, and it continues to build up.  However, when I type things up onto my PC, I'm in a world of my own, so it doesn't matter that much.

    When I'm in Switzerland, I have to be careful not to be distracted by the stunning view outside the window - the general day-to-day distractions aren't there, and the place is quieter, but if I start looking out the window at Lake Geneva, I'm done for ;o)

    In my own head - that's the best place for me to be.  It's the only place I don't have anything else to clutter it up!
  • A log cabin in some nice, sunny woods (not dense and dark) with a flower meadow nearby and a stream running past.
  • It does seem to help if you can feel a bit cut off, doesn't it?  I've written odd phrases or snatches of dialogue in all kinds of places - on  buses, trains, sitting in car parks.  Something about travelling sparks off ideas.  But for a sustained stretch of writing then being alone without interuptions is very important.  Yes, I'll sign up for a log cabin.  That sounds like heaven.
  • Yes the log cabin sounds good, as long as there's a nearby bus service to the neccesities of life, and contact with other people. Okay maybe the log cabin is a bit too far out for me.
  • A major reason that I spend long hours driving the length of Spain is that we don't want to give up our house on the north coast in spite of my working in the south. It's no olde worlde cottage but it has sea views from every room being on a kind of promontory between two beaches. Like TP, once I get writing I don't care where I am but the place comes into its own when you need to reflect or rest. Walks on the coastal paths or the sound of the waves when you wake up in the mornings make a huge difference and allow you to create characters or think up new twists.
  • There isa difference between idealwriting placeand ideal thinking place. There are many placesespecially out in the open that inspire me to think but Iam not sure idealplace to write,it would need to be free of distraction but also interesting.
    Iremember when I was asked to help someone in some research for their PHd but my son had chicken pox.She had already had it so we went to the park. I did so much writing that day. Perhapswhen I make my first million they will give me a cabin there.
  • Well, it's definately not my bedroom where my desk and computer are. My dream writing place, would have to be in an area of Victoria called the Dandenongs. Otherwise known as 'The Hills' they seem to attract artists of all sorts. Threre's a forest of huge mountain ash trees, cottages and old houses built in the early part of the 20thC. Originally as guest houses or holiday homes for the well to do coming up from Melbourne. I'd like a little weatherboard (or mud brick) cottage on the edge of the forest.
  • Hi
    Lots of lovely ideas for writing places here...
    Kangaroo -  I lived in Melbourne many years ago, and I loved the Dandenongs. We used to visit a lovely place there with many craft shops etc, I think it was called Olinda or something similar - what a fabulous place, and it seemed like a very creative place to me, even though I was very young then...
    I also love the idea of writing in cafes, but have tried it and either feel self conscious and a bit pretentious, maybe its just me, but the idea of it is very nice...
  • Wow Dorothy

    Your writing place sounds very inspirational and absolutely wonderful...I'm so envious!
  • MM reading all this makes me wonder if I should give up writing and invest in a log cabin in the woods by the sea which I could rent out (at reasonable rates of course!) to fellow writing companions!!
  • Hi Lizzie and all,

    I live in wild West Wales - bandit country. I go for the log cabin as well and hope to get one this year. I'm going to sell an old family picture to get it. Know what you mean about writing in a cafe, seems like you are trying to be the next J.K. Rowling.

    I suppose in best Great Garbo tradition 'I vant to be alone' without my partner's mess crowding on my muse. We share a study but he also seems to share my desk with every growing mountains of paperwork.
  • You could try writing in the bath Nenastew! When my kids were small that seemed to be the only place where I could lock the door and shut everyone out!!!
  • I think it's often difficult to write at home.  I live in the country so it's lovely and peaceful but it's surprising how loudly the dishes shout "wash us, wash us,"  and the carpet grabs me by the ankle until I give in and vacuum it. 
    We are fortunate to have a static caravan on the Devon coast and I find that inspiring as there are no other distractions. 
  • Lucyq -didn't the kids come hammering on the bathroom door to use the loo? Maybe you had another loo in the house.
  • Lizzie, you're right, it is Olinda. Still lots of art/craft. Nothing much has changed.
  • My dream writing place is a good sized shed with all mod cons, completely fitted desk unit, filing area plus ample shelving for some of my big files I keep, particularly where research is concerned.  Failing that, if we move, an adjacent outbuilding converted with all these necessities, don't want much do I? Mum is planning to have me moved upstairs to the middle bedroom where I can shut myself off. I was up there during the eighties - deja vu. Seems very tempting when we have got rid of some of the clobber. We are affectionately known as squirrels.
  • Hi Lizzie
    I come from Swansea too and miss the sea.  I did most of my early writing trips along the Gower coastline, Parkmill Valley would be my dream place.  I have also lived in Pembrokeshire. Although, in reality I can write any place and even soulless Peterborough can become the 'magic' place again.
  • Ah Pembrokeshire - the birthplace of my wife. I can almost hear the waves on the beautiful beaches. 'I must go down to the seas again'.
  • I agree Stan. Pembrokeshire is a beautiful place.  We lived in Carew, just outside Tenby.
  • My dream writing place would be sitting on the grass by a river with trees behind me and a gentle breeze on a warm summer's day. There wouldn't be a soul in sight. But, on a warm summer's day (if i'm not at work) I have to make to do with the local park, which has plenty of screaming children and dogs running around.
  • Nicolek 271
    Where do you live, come down to the River Stour, there is a place called Friar's Meadow, bring something to sit on and you will be in seventh heaven. I work at the Trust HQ not too far away as it happens. Who knows, I might meet you there
    It is a lovely spot, particularly in Spring and Summer. Regards Woll52
  • The 'dream' writing place for me would be Canada.  A country I intend to visit for the first time no matter what age I am when I make it there.  Just the picture of Louise Lake and the snowy mountains, gives me many ideas for stories!!
  • Don't start me on about Finland - I have a particular reason for wanting to go there, and I'm afraid it all boils down to one of my favourite rocks stars coming from Helsinki...  *TP goes off in a swoon*
  • A desert island where nobody could disturb me!
    If I was 'allowed' three things (in addition to The Bible and Shakespeare) I would like a laptop, a good supply of batteries and a boat dropping in supplies every week!
    When I eventually got bored of solitary life (or needed a hair cut/manicure/change of books), I could beg a lift on the boat, back to civilisation.  Lily
  • i would have to say my dream writing pale would be...

    a room in a cottage that overlooked the sea. the cottage would be on a cliff in jersey or somwehere. but my study would definitely have to be overlooking the sea.
  • The romance of the sea is hard to beat, if not impossible.  Coming from near Portsmouth, I have a thing about the Navy (the Senior Service), though men in uniform have never held much attraction for me, particularly.  But spending months at sea, the freedom of the open ocean and the salt air in your hair and on your face. You've started something, now...
  • Hehe, with crisps?  What crisps?  I haven't eaten crisps for some months, now, actually.  It's the palm oil thing, see.

    Well, I'm sorry, but yes, I'm afraid I do constantly hanker after the sea.  It's the smell - it gets under your skin, and there's nothing like it.

    Yesterday, I had a fine experience.  It was really warm and sunny here, like most days at the moment, and we were upstairs having lunch with the family (you know French families?  I say no more) - and the clouds closed in.  Little Guillaume (18 months) was running around in his birthday suit, getting wet, to cool him down, so when the rain came down, I held him on my hip and let him watch the lightning and listen to the cracking and booming thunder. 

    Then, when his mum had rescued him from the goosbumps that were coming up on his pudgy legs, I stayed outside in the pouring rain and let myself be drenched.  I'd never done that before, and it was one of the most cleansing experiences I've ever had.  Very pagan.  The only downside was I had to keep all my clothes on... 
  • Oh, come along now TaffetaPunk!

    Birthday suit should be just as appropriate for you as it was for that little bindle of mischief.
    (When in Rome/France etc.?)
  • Hehe, I don't think the in-laws would have been vey pleased with me, Jan.  If you're 18 months old, you can get away with it (and, yes, mischief is the right word, but he's a complete sweetie, always pleased to see me), but when the days of childhood are long gone (as they are, in my case), sadly, decorum says it's rather crude.

    One day, though...  One day.
  • Ahh, they'll be fine, Tessa, you'll see.

    You know where to reach me if you need to, though...
  • Worry not Tessa Tangent,

    Our offspring have an uncanny knack of behaving out-of-character when we least expect it but you'll be surprised just how responsibly they may, sometimes, behave.

    My son travelled in France, during his college studies (he was sixteen - some years ago), for a summer work experience contract via his college. Paris enticed, he met two girls who invited him to share their travels around the continent, but he resisted and started the long train journey south. A travelling busker tempted him to forego his education and "experience" freedom of going where one pleases when one is tempted. He again managed to remain on course, left the train at his proper station for the arranged employment.

    There have been episodes of concern but he is still alive, now married to a very tolerant lady and I now have an enchanting grand daughter.
  • hi. just reading where your dream place to write would be.

    being by the sea is always relaxing for me, though living only a few miles from it doesnt mean i visit it much. i think because its on my doorstep i know its there if i want it! the moors are beautiful this time of year. Dartmoor isnt far from where i live either and i found it inspiring last time i visited.

    though to be perfectly honest anywhere that i can get some peace and quiet from my little darling girl (almost a year old and full of mischief) would be nice.
  • In view of today's temperature the Arctic Circle seems inviting
  • i know what you mean Betsie.

    yesterday i could have quite happily cooled off in the freezer!

    today its overcast here, so the temp has stayed down a bit.
  • That could come after this spell of hot weather. Mum is now threatening to clear out the middle bedroom[landing] and turn it into a sitting room cum study.  The interesting bit is when all is cleared[we are squirrels by the way although not by name but habit] new carpet laid then taking all my clobber upstairs, including the PC which is not lightweight by any stretch to the imagination by any means, to say nothing of the filing cabinet etc, etc[2] This last week I got rid of a rather tired lever arch folder, transferring my admin stuff to a new one, getting rid of the gunk, one small step for mankind, oh er, sorry, woman kind in this case  Mind you,I can then create in peace so to speak when I am not working for the RST during the week The only small drawback is going to be one very unhappy Bengal[lounge leopard] pussy cat who is going to be crying its eyes out so guess what,Mum will open the stair door and say "Could you have Mystery up with you, she is wailing or as the Scots would say 'greetin' Well my resistance is going to be low as she is very sweet. This week while Mum was away looking after some cats for a friend of hers, she and I have been watching Big CatWeek and she has been hooked although she deferred from the omnibus edition this afternoon with as much to say "I have been watching it all week along with you having the kittens over some of the near misses with the cheetah cub and your mother is now doing much the same.  Anyway think of me, I am sure the end result will be worth it.  I am sorry ou have not heard from me for a while but I have been having fun with other sights
  • My dream writing place is stretched out on a picnic rug, with the sun shining down on me and a cool breeze to diffuse the heat.  In winter it gets complicated because we're robbed of our sunshine, so maybe this year I'll get a lamp that emits the same warmth and sunshine.
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