The Writer’s Studio

I have always envied artists when they made reference to their “studio”.

When a recording artist referred to “time in the studio”, it always inspired me as that special place where the magic of creativity happened. It was the incubator where ideas were hatched and where new sounds were created. It was the place where the collective creativity of songwriters, producers, engineers, musicians and singers culminated in the birth of new musical material.

Similarly, when seeing visual artists working in their studio, it struck me as a sacred place that gave them a chance to play, to experiment and to work in their chosen medium, to translate vision, imagination and creativity into physical form.

It didn’t matter whether actors, photographers or fashion designers mentioned “studio”, the word itself was to me like an incantation invoking the spirit of the creative masters of the centuries. The term “studio” always gave me palpitations.

But I have often asked myself, “Do writers have studios too?”

Why shouldn’t they?

While on the one hand, I could refer to my writing room as an “office”, I just concluded a 33 year administrative career, working in offices. To me, the term office doesn’t necessarily associate itself to a space for deep creativity, but that’s just me and my baggage talking.

To me, the word “studio” seems best suited for letting my creative calling find its wings. It is the space to be alone with my thoughts and to be able to listen carefully to what the voice of inspiration has to say without the cacophony of life getting in the way.

When I first started blogging eight years ago, the merits of having a quiet, dedicated space for the purpose of writing became so obvious to me.

I rounded up all of my reference materials and writing tools, and set them on the bookcase right next to my favourite writing desk. I also selected one of my most favourite, most comfy chairs to complete the set as there is nothing like a sore back or sore bum to interrupt the flow of the best writing idea ever known to human civilization!

I was also able to repurpose an old sound system to complement the space with gentle instrumental classical, jazz or electronic music in the background to keep the pace of ideas flowing.

It took a few tries, but I eventually found lighting to create the perfect ambiance for writing, not too dim but not so bright as to perform surgery either. A few carefully chosen scented candles also helped set the stage to focus my senses.

To have that dedicated, comfortable space to get into that state of stillness and calmness, was an asset to help clear the path for ideas to surface from my subconscious. It quickly became an inspiring place to dream, to imagine and to write. Just saying “my studio” was motivating in itself.

However, as much as there is no place like home, it did have its occasional setbacks. When I lived in the city, whether it was an orchestra of lawn mowers outside, blaring music from a car in the street below or even worse, staring off into the distance and noticing something that needed to be cleaned, the home environment was not always conducive to doing what I loved most.

I found noise cancelling headphones to be one solution to help keep me “in the zone”. The other was a stronger set of psychological boundaries to not allow myself to fall into the trap of distractions.

Similarly, when it comes to the editing process, I found that a quiet space was a necessity to read the draft blog post out loud to truly assess the wording and the flow. In a quiet space, I don’t feel self-conscious in becoming a one-person brainstorming session, reformulating a sentence over and over until it sounds just right to my own ears.

Also, to produce my best work, I need time. While I can certainly write under the pressure of a deadline, having done it repeatedly over the course of my career, it’s not my preferred method of working. Rarely have I ever completed a blog post in one sitting. Most times, it takes many iterations of writing, stepping away and returning with a fresh pair of eyes. Having the time, the stillness and the headspace to carefully consider every word is a luxury to me and the right combination for productive creative writing sessions.

To my own surprise, there are times when ideas are flowing incredibly well, all on their own. When that happens, no amount of distraction can keep me from writing. It takes practice, but when the urge (or need) to create is like an undeniable gravitational pull to the computer or to the paper, distractions from the outside world seem to fade. In those moments, I have found that working on my craft can happen pretty much anywhere and anytime. It does not have to be an actual bricks and mortar physical structure.

Just recently, I seem to have graduated to dictating first drafts of blog posts or writing ideas to my iPhone, while taking the cat for her health walks outside, but this process is still new to me.

People who can focus on writing away from home base were my heroes. How many times have I wondered what masterpieces people were working on from a bustling coffee shop? I have often envied those folks who seemed completely comfortable in their creative bubble amid commotion and distractions on all sides.

I think it would be fair to say that everyone is different. The joy of being a writer is that one’s studio can be anywhere, wherever we are able and comfortable to successfully commit words to the page.

For me, my home studio, surrounded by the controlled conditions and the comforts that help keep distractions at bay, remains the anchor of my creative process. I am so deeply grateful to have the luxury of a room for that purpose to help me follow my passion and my calling for the next chapter of my life.

Did you enjoy this post? If you did, if you haven’t already, please check out the rest of my blog at andrebegin.blog. From there, you can click on the “Follow” button to receive future posts directly in your inbox. Also, don’t be shy, feel free to tell a friend or to share the link.
Sincere thanks for reading!
Have a great day,
André

2 Comments

Filed under Writing

2 responses to “The Writer’s Studio

  1. I’ve taken a little space close to my home on rent. I call it my studio and it’s amazing how much more creative you can feel in a quiet place, exclusively meant for working on your craft.

    • Hi Corinne,
      Thank you for commenting and for confirming that writers have studios too!
      I am so happy that you have found a place for writing that offers the right conditions for your best work to shine through.
      All the best,
      André

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