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The Necessity of the Closed Door

Stephen King says your writing space needs only one thing: a door which you are willing to shut.

“The closed door is your way of telling the world and yourself that you mean business; you have made a serious commitment to write and intend to walk the walk as well as talk the talk.”

With all due respect to this masterful craftsman, I wonder if today’s artists are claiming a new palette.

An artistic friend and I were talking recently about our ‘coffee shop generation’, how the ‘third places’ of the world (1. home, 2. office, 3. third place) are where we find our creative ourselves.

I wonder how many of today’s up-and-coming writers will tell about the dozens of books they wrote in the corner desk in their upstairs office.

Or rather, I wonder how many of this generation’s books will be dedicated to the establishment that reserved the corner table where the pages began to unfold.

Like Donald Miller, who gives a nod to the many baristas who puffed hot air into his cups of coffee while he kept his appointment with the writer in himself.

My ‘writing space’ is my laptop, wherever she and I choose to go.  She’s my partner, and we prefer to work where there’s a drink, a snack, some sunshine, action, music, and space.

I’m not so prone to writing with a closed door.  Or maybe my earbuds are the equivalent to a closed door.  “Woah… look out.  The laptop is open, the earbuds are in: she means business.”

Or maybe there’s still an extrovert hiding in me who likes to be where the people are.

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. Just finished an amazing, compelling book (#13 on nf nyt bestsellers right now) and have to share what she wrote in her acknowledgements: “For inspiration that I would bottle and sell if I could, I thank ..the proprietors of the magical Doma Cafe in Greenwich Village, where I wrote most of this book.” ~Susan Cain

    JUST what you were talking about! And that girl wrote a bestseller. : )

    • Yes! This is exactly what I mean! A Great find, Miss Jodi. 🙂

  2. As you know I’ll read whatever you write, wherever you write it. But what I REALLY want to know is if you are REALLY reading The Thorn Birds!?!?

    • I really, really read Thornbirds, Dana. Read and Loved. 🙂

  3. I do not write with a closed door either! My best writing happens in my local coffee shop with “noise” all around me, a quick stretch by getting up from the table and walking around a bit to get the creative juices flowing, and even asking the staff to help me find the right word.

    • I love that: even asking the staff to help me find the right word. 🙂

  4. Whatever the venue, it’s working for you, girlfriend.

    • 🙂 Thank you, Denise. I won’t fix what isn’t broken, then. 🙂

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