Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Private Library...


This one's for Amy...

I've been thinking a lot lately about a dedicated space for all my creative endeavors - drawing, painting, print- and book-making, as well as writing. A few months back, I drew up a sketch for a proposed work space, but seeing this video, I think I have to reconsider my goals for the space:

Private Library from A Space In Time on Vimeo.

OK, so the design of this is lovely... but I think I might have problems with this space if it were mine.

As lovely as this is, I can't help but think about what Stephen King said about a writer and his writing space, which he documented in his wonderful book On Writing. For those that haven't read it, here's a paraphrase:

When King was a young writer, he worked basically anyplace he had space. Kitchen tables and cramped nooks... he was poor and worked long hours and wrote in the cracks of time he had available (sound familiar?) When he hit big, as a reward, he bought himself a big house with a writing studio, which he filled with a mammoth desk, set right in the center of a special, dedicated writing room.

Of course, King later fell prey to his rock-star lifestyle and became addicted to cocaine and other drugs. Later, King was struck by a car while out on his daily walk and was almost killed. This seemed to reset King's priorities, and as a result, he changed his opinion: push the desk in the corner, under the dormer eaves, he said, and let life dominate your living space.

In other words: write about life, don't make your life writing.

As someone that struggles with this particular balance, I've always found great comfort and, yes, strength in this perspective. As such, this "retreat" space, as cool as it is. has some peril, I think. While I love the "getting away" aspect of this, and the solitude is certainly appealing to ANY parent of small children, I think that this sort of space would work better as a loft area on an existing house or workshop, where the swirling chaos of everyday life can and will sometimes intrude.

What do you think? Perfection or too isolated?