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Where Do You Write?

Where Do You Write?

By Miss Marm

I feel weird writing when someone else is in the apartment. God forbid someone barges in and asks me what I'm writing about; I basically turn into Mel Gibson. Sparkler jazzie9328 has a similar condition:

Okay so i have a very weird problem. I love to write (hint thats not the problem) the problem is that i just can not get myself to do this with other people around. Even in my own bedroom I have a hard time writing when someone is in the house. They usally come bursting into my room, scaring me out of my writing world, plop right next to me and say, "Hey what ya writing? Can I read it!" Do you have any sugjestion on how to get over this or other places i could write without being disturbed?

Jazzie, we're in good company. Jane Austen didn't like writing around other people, either, and she didn't have a private place to work. She used to scribble on tiny pieces of paper, which were easy to hide whenever someone came into the room.

I think you have three options here, one of which I've stolen from Austen.

Option 1: Confront the problem head-on.

* Talk to your family. At dinner one night, say something like, "I don't want to sound like a diva, but I kind of need alone time when I write. If I hung up a big sign on my door when I'm writing, do you think you guys could give me some space for an hour or so instead of coming in?"

* Make a poster. Get out your puffy paints and glitter and make a big honking sign for your door, something along the lines of, "Please do not disturb: next pretty good American novel in progress!"

* Stick to your guns. If someone barges in, plops down, and demands to see what you're writing, say, "Ummmm, didja see the sign? I'm writing something top secret. See you at dinner, okay?"

If that doesn't work, make like Austen and...

Option 2: Obfuscate.

1. Don't announce that you're writing. Sneak off to your room when no one's looking. If someone asks where you're going, mention Facebook or reading or lying down for a while because your head hurts.

2. If anyone comes in, hide what you're doing. Close your Word window or slip your notebook under a magazine.

3. If caught writing, lie. When asked what you're working on, say, "Oh, some stupid summer assignment," or, "A letter to a Sparkler."

Yes, it's bad to lie, but a little blurring of the facts isn't the worst thing in the world, especially if your family refuses to stop hounding you.

Finally, you have a third option.

Option 3: Leave.

If you're comfortable writing in the relative anonymity of a crowd, go to...

  • A coffee shop
  • The reading room of your local library
  • A cheap restaurant where they won't mind if you linger for hours

Absolute privacy is harder to come by, but you could try...

  • A park
  • Your high school (ask your English teacher if there's an empty room you could use when classes are out)
  • The backseat of the family car
  • The backyard
  • The bathroom (only works if your family has two or more)

Where do you write? Got any tips for Jazzie?

Topics: jane austen, writing habits, sparkler questions

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