Monday, March 30, 2009

The Writing Week (Vol. 2) part 65 - When Space is King

One of the biggest elements of New York City life is housing. Ask anyone who lives here. New York is one of the few cities I can think of where it’s not only perfectly acceptable and polite, but also expected, that when talking about housing, you ask, “What do you pay per month?” In other cities, that’s an invasion of privacy. In New York, it’s a way of life.

The City is defined by locations and rates – which borough you’re in, and which neighborhood within that borough – affects not only your social calendar, who comes to see you, how long you commute, and what you pay, but also how you live your life. What with nearly 9 million people living in just over 300 square miles, it’s no surprise that housing becomes king. And, for the first time in two years, I found myself among the horde of people searching for a new place to live in the City.

I won’t go into the details of the search – if you’re thinking of moving to New York and have questions, though, please feel free to email and I’ll provide whatever advice I can – other than to say this: I did my apartment search based on how I thought it would affect my writing. Every place we went, I stood in “my” room and looked around, wondering what my writing vibe would be. Will I work here? Does the room lend itself to creativity? Go beyond the bedroom – would I be comfortable writing in the living room? Do I feel that this space mutes my creative drive?

I won’t debate you if you read that and think I’m a bit OCD. A bit “out there.” A bit nuts. Maybe I’m alone in that feeling. Doesn’t mean I can deny it, though. A writer’s space is key. Read enough interviews with writers, and they often talk about needing their desk to be a certain way or their office to meet X, Y, and Z requirements. We’re neurotic by nature, and if we’re not comfortable in our environment, no matter how psychological and avoidable the reaction to that space can be, the creative process can be thrown all out of whack. I was lucky enough to find a new apartment that I not only like, but that I can imagine myself sitting and writing in. I can clearly see myself at my desk in my new room, as well as my new living room.

Thank goodness for a creativity-welcoming apartment.

1 comment:

Antonia said...

Good luck with the new apartment, and I know what you mean about having to 'feel it' in your writing space.