I hear this question, along with some of its derivatives–do you need music or silence when you write? Do you have a favorite desk? Coffee cup? Pen? Notebook?–a lot. So I thought I should take a second to set the record straight.
Where do I like to write? Let’s see. Ideally, at an antique roller-topped desk in a room with a fireplace, looking out onto rolling fields capped with a dusting of freshly fallen snow.
Where do I actually write? Well, right now, for example, I am typing on my Blackberry while waiting for the F-train to arrive, and juggling a gym bag, a purse, and a water bottle. I’ve also been known to write at the dinner table (rude, I know); in taxis and trains; even in bathrooms. I wrote the majority of Before I Fall on my sidekick, while commuting between my full-time work, my full-time school, and my part-time job, and emailing the pages to myself as soon as I emerged from the subway.
I’ve since upgraded to a Blackberry, but other than that, very little has changed. I still write on the fly (and, I’m sorry to say, at the dinner table), and I still squeeze in my writing whenever and wherever I can. It’s not ideal, but life very rarely is–and if I can write anywhere, I never have a good excuse to avoid writing.
Some day, maybe, I’ll get my fireplace and wooden desk. Until then I’ll take a BlackBerry on the F-train. If the F-train ever chooses to arrive, that is…