Your small cabin in the woods

Georgia Heard calls it your “Querencia” in her book Writing Toward Home, while many others simply refer to it as your writing space. It’s your place where you go to write. To push out the hustle and bustle of life and devote a solid block of time dating your muse.

I can write anywhere, really, when I’m closer to that “zone” within me and am feeling balanced. Dining room table, in front of the television, even at a restaurant having dinner with friends. If I have something to write on and something to say, nothing stops me from getting it out of my head and on to the paper.

That’s when I’m feeling in that zone, though. As much as I try to stay there, I’m faced with distractions everywhere I turn. When I was performing last week in West Side Story, I found that I couldn’t find the ability to just write whenever I had a few minutes to put pen to paper. When I had a moment to breathe, that’s all I wanted to do.

But I can’t live like that for more than a day or two. I can feel the pressures building up, the words falling all over themselves as they attempt to find an escape–any escape possible–to get out of this mind.

It’s these times that I need to find that Querencia, that writing space, to refocus my life and bring everything back into perspective.

My friend Catherine has found a little cafe a few miles from her home that brings her great peace and inspiration to write. Another friend has converted a basement into an art studio. I, myself, have resurrected the other half of the laundry room in our basement and have created a spiritual haven that is unlike any room I’ve ever created for writing. But even that’s not enough sometimes. I’ve found a small cafe about 30 miles away that is a true retreat. It’s a place where nobody knows your name, the food and coffee are excellent, and the environment is ideal for getting lost in your writing (or, as some others have put it, putting your butt in the chair and moving your pen across the page, non-stop).

I don’t take such places for granted. Writers need a place where they can get their hard work done. Whether it’s drafting, revising, or editing, the work has to be done in an environment that promotes the opportunity for sustained writing. Otherwise, we’re just pecking at our stories–a little here, a little there, and when we finish, we’re proud of just exactly that and little more.

We finished. Congratulations.

It’s not about finishing, though. It’s about getting it right. And finding the right place to spend that lengthy block of time getting it right means the difference, often times, between publishing or perishing.

Find your place. Go there. Write. And take the time to get it right. We’re waiting to be moved by your words!

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