“My first published story was written on our dining room table with my sons playing noisy war games around my feet.”
I am a peripatetic writer: I have no one special writing space where functional fixedness reduces distraction. Instead, I have several but they all resemble each other: all present a large surface—I’m an inveterate spreader-outer; piles of manuals, dictionaries, novels and research notebooks teeter around or fall off the edges; stacks of scrap paper curl as I write longhand; bookcases and a printer live nearby.
My first published story was written on our dining room table with my sons playing noisy war games around my feet. I wrote my two books on a desk tucked into a corner of the same dining room. I connected with my MFA online community in my older son’s room which I appropriated after he left for university: he and I received our degrees in the same week four years later.
These days, I mostly write at that same dining room table now settled for his second incarnation in the corner of a room that overlooks the garden and a ravine with a Carolinian forest, north-exposure light streaming through three walls of windows, birds trilling on the deck or rain pecking at the skylight. When spring finally arrives (will it?), I will write on the rickety IKEA deck table.
And when I have a moment to spare, I write at the meeting table in my office.
Margaret Nowaczyk, MD, MFA, writes in Hamilton, Ontario. Her award-winning essays and short fiction have been published in Canada, US, Germany, and Poland.
Photos provided by Margaret Nowaczyk.