I ended last week's Blog post with this: Books and Boards reflect a deep-seated desire to have a secluded, away-from-the-room-filled-with-distractions in which I currently write. Authors of every stripe have or have had their version of a "writer's cave," and for the same reasons I hold for myself.
While some writers chose to set up shop abroad to immerse themselves in an undistracted world of prose or poetry, their choices often overlooked vistas of the Alps or vineyards surroundingTuscan villas or perhaps a castle or two. A few set up camp in hotel rooms.
The writers I'm spotlighting in this and forthcoming posts, and their deified writing huts or sheds, are or were near at hand to each other. Their quaint and simple structures could be reached by a worn path or a short walk from the main house. Crucial to them was the sense of ease, the lifting of a creative web, the necessity of being near to their writing labors.
Michael PollanRoald Dahl
Michael Pollan's book A Place of My Own is the story of how he built a tiny writing hut for himself in the woods behind his Connecticut house. As he writes on the first page, "Is there anybody who hasn't at one time or another wished for such a place, hasn't turned those soft words over until they'd assumed a habitable shape? What they propose, to anyone who admits them into the space of a daydream, is a place of solitude a few steps off the beaten track of everyday life."Pollan turns his sharp insight to the craft of building, as he recounts the process of designing and constructing a small one-room structure on his rural Connecticut property—a place in which he hoped to read, write and daydream, built with his two own unhandy hands.
(Quentin Blake, children's author and illustrator)
"It is the loveliest study you ever saw...octagonal with a peaked roof, each face filled with a spacious window...perched in complete isolation on the top of an elevation that commands leagues of valley and city and retreating ranges of distant blue hills. It is a cozy nest and just room in it for a sofa, table, and three or four chairs, and when the storms sweep down the remote valley and the lightening flashes behind the hills beyond and the rain beats upon the roof over my head—imagine the luxury of it." - Mark Twain, in a letter to William Dean Howells, 1874
Michael Pollan asks it best, "Is there anybody who hasn't at one time or another wished for such a place...?"