As I've learned to take my writing more seriously, and not as either a hobby or a waste of time (i.e. daydreaming on paper), I've tried to define what my ideal writing environment would be.
I've never been able to afford a stint at a writers colony or retreat, although I've often played with the idea. Being in a country setting with no phones, no internet, no wine, and adhering to a sleep cycle that rivals that of a monk may be good for creating a sense of discipline, but the idea of putting a cast iron girdle on my muse seems counter-productive. I get my ideas from conversations, reading blogs, television, household noise. In short, life.
I've even toyed with the idea of making Nathan's now vacant room (a space that's only about 10x10 feet, has no windows, and is attractively den like) my writing space. That would work well during the day, but to tell the truth, I work better late at night when Nettl is asleep a few feet away. If I started working in a separate space, I'd have to take time away from her to write. Frankly, I work best when "the spirit moves me", not on a pre-determined schedule. Some of my best ideas hit while she's at the computer 12 feet away and I'm blogsurfing in my chair.
I've often wished I could spend a week alone in a cabin in the mountains, or by a lake or river. There, I could follow my own schedule, go for walks, and write at my own pace. The problem is, I know that I'd fall into a routine of sleep late, drink coffee while blogging, write, make some dinner, watch Olbermann and Maddow, pour some wine, write until dawn and then go to bed. Hell, that's my daily routine anyway, so why spend money just to miss my family, imagining some Lifetime movie psychopath outside every time a raccoon lifts the lid of the trash barrel? Which makes me wonder, do you think all of these Lifetime movies are written by people who rent a cabin in the woods?
A slightly more attractive setting would be a room at either Chateau Marmont in Hollywood, or the Chelsea Hotel in New York City, both famous for their bohemian, literary clientele through the years. I'm afraid, however, that the history would be distracting and that I'd probably spend far too much time in the bar trying to capture some of whatever it was that inspired all of the great writers who've stayed there.
So it seems that for me, my own home,with the busy-ness that comes built into a family of five, six and sometimes seven, is the best place for me to write. I really think that the only writing a colony, cabin, hotel room, or even home office would produce would be some interesting blog entries.