This week in Writing Spaces, we take a look at the working space of Carole Giangrande. Subscribers can read her poem “Bear” in Issue #146.
My writing space is on the southeast corner of our house, which makes it bright and sunny in the morning. I try to keep things tidy (given the inevitable messy desk by the end of the day) because it creates a feeling of calm which I find necessary for writing. In the same vein, I chose white for the desk and walls, feeling that the writing itself provides the colour, along with pictures of birds and flowers. There’s something about the innocence of wildlife that I find encourages my writing (I also do bird photography, as you can see from my computer screen). I’m a very private writer and I love this space; I would feel too exposed at the local Starbucks, but I do sometimes write at our local library branch which provides single desks, plug-ins and lots of windows.
Yet I also incubate writing ideas as I walk. Here is the view from the footbridge over Mimico Creek, near my home in west-end Toronto, taken in the early morning (In warmer weather, mallards will be showing up to nest). It’s on my walking route and it’s such a beautiful, inspiring place; I can’t think of a better tip for writers than to spend some time outdoors every day. Walking teaches me to observe my surroundings with care, and the physical exercise seems to loosen up whatever blocks may be getting in the way of my writing. So many of my best ideas (or solutions to writing problems) come to me as I’m walking. I also find that getting outdoors feels like a micro-vacation; when I return home, I feel refreshed and ready to write again.