If you could pick one place in the world to have a writing retreat where would it be?
I’m torn when it comes to this question because three settings instantly leap to mind:
1. A beach hut on an isolated, wind swept peninsula. My desk sits before a giant picture window which looks out across the white sands to the sea. The sound of gulls wafts in through my window.
2. An isolated mountain cabin, snowed in. There’s a huge fireplace and I sit before it with a small folding table and my laptop with a glass of red wine. When I need a break I stretch out on the bearskin rug and stare into the flames.
3. A huge, rambling garden that’s attached to a house miles away from civilisation. Okay, it’s isolated too. There’s a back verandah where I can stretch out in the sun, listening to birds call in the trees and watching the lazy flight of bumble bees as they move from flower to flower.
You’ll notice the common theme here is isolation. I’m the type of writer who writes best with total silence; no music, no tv, no conversation. Ideally I have no interruptions whatsoever except for when I get up to boil the kettle or make another cup of tea.
Unfortunately my reality is a bit different. I have a cramped desk in a two bedroom unit. Piles of work and uni papers are stacked haphazardly around the shelves and my pen always seems to dry out just when I need it most. I’m usually able to get in a few solid hours without interruption though, and my five dollar chair from the second hand store is immensely comfortable.
It’s a little cramped but I like to tell myself it’s cosy, and one advantage is that everything is within reach. In the meantime I’ll keep dreaming of that beach shack, or that snowy cabin, or that peaceful garden; one day I’ll get there!