I like to pretend that my preferred writing space is at a small white desk in front of the window, surrounded by my houseplants. It’s very picturesque. Sometimes I will even sit at the desk, pen in hand, and pretend that I’m actually getting work done.
Realistically, I do most of my writing in transit—on buses, in airport terminals, quickly jotting down lines or ideas on my phone while walking to the grocery store. For working on longer pieces, I’ll often walk along the beach, stopping to sit down on the occasional log to write for half an hour. When I feel stuck (which happens frequently) I simply pack up my things and continue walking until I find myself unstuck again.
On rainy days, I might settle in a coffee shop, where, even though I’m not walking, the environment around me can constantly change. New people walk in, bringing new voices and new moods. I think movement is an important factor for me when I’m writing. It helps me write with more fluidity, shifting more easily from one idea or image to the next.
However, once I’ve finished writing and begin editing, I do prefer to return to base camp: my small white desk by the window. It’s definitely where I can stay the most grounded, as I repeatedly break and piece my work back together.
Halle Gulbrandsen is a pilot and writer from Ladner, BC. Her work has previously appeared in The Antigonish Review, filling Station, and The Garden Statuary.
Photos courtesy of Halle Gulbrandsen.