The first time I saw Neil Gaiman’s writing space, I wanted it.
Prior to this moment, I languished in the thought of having a traditional study, built on the handiwork of master woodworkers and modeled after the academics of the 1920s. Considering the style of house needed for that study to even exist, and the severe unlikelihood of ever owning such house, the gazebo became the new desire.
However, given my current arrangement of living in suburbia with a postage stamp backyard… half of which is taken up by a stamped concrete patio… this desire is not coming into fruition anytime soon. Also meld this with young children, one salary and the fact my skills at anything handy are on par with my two year old (although I think he’s probably better).
As a long term goal, it’s in the realm of possibility. For right now, some creative thinking must come into play. So what can be done?
First is to look at what the gazebo represents.
For me, it’s a place of solitude where I can allow my thoughts to simmer. It’s a place of freedom from interruption where some serious writing can be done.
Given those two points, it’s time to look at the second step:
Is there some way to replicate those representations without the physical space?
The answer is yes.
Getting up an hour before the rest of the household allows time for me to enjoy a cup of coffee while my thoughts go to play. Staying up an hour later gives the freedom from interruption to get some serious writing done after those thoughts from the morning have spent the day working through my subconscious.
The physical space may be the counter-top in my kitchen, but mentally I’ve created the gazebo. When it comes time to building the physical space, I’ll be prepared to use it for its purpose.
If you’re looking to create a gazebo in your backyard (metaphorically speaking here), you must mentally prepare the space first.
Otherwise, it becomes nothing more than a novelty that never gets used.