Is it Monday again? It seems as though a great deal of time has passed. For one thing, you may have noticed the format has changed somewhat in the last week. Today we bid farewell to ‘Manic Monday’, ushering in a new future for the beginning of your week. Stay tuned! But today, the topic is change, primarily that of scenery.
There are many kinds of change, but one of the most dramatic is a change of location. We, as human beings, have an evolutionary imperative to associate shelter and the home front with security and comfort. As even a migrating tribe would build camp during pauses in exodus, today we exhibit similar habits and traditions on a modern day scale. People tell you, “Home is where the heart is.” I suppose that means the first thing you have to find is your heart. If you are a writer, your heart may be in your work. It follows logically that home is actually where you feel safest to write.
If your heart is in your writing, then home is anywhere your computer (or other writing tool) is. What surrounds and lies beyond your computer is the other story. Beyond the desk and the chair and the temperature of the room, what defines the comfort and security of the home for your heart, for your craft? And what of the writer who never writes in the same room, or has no room at all? Every person, and so every writer, draws their peace from a different source or combination of sources.
Most of us are taught and socialized to accept that home is where you pay your rent, wash your own dishes, and keep your own shoes next to the door. There is a reason we use a general term like ‘homeless’ to describe anyone who does not live inside. A simple Pinterest search proves that many writers swear by the importance of a well-designed writing space. If it takes a collection of colors, angles, and textures brought together in specific syncopation to maintain the stability needed to write, then change of scenery is only rendered irrelevant when that small corner of one’s environment is reclaimed and set back into stone. Every new apartment, house, or otherwise has potential. After all, what are walls and floors and ceilings except another blank page? But the life one lives with pre=printed address labels is not always freedom — for many others, it is prison.
Consider the life of a traveling writer. From whence does a wandering scribe draw harmony? For a traveling writer, the bread and butter is the constant change of one’s scenery, and the adventures that develop as a result. Surely, a different constant tethers a traveler to the center of their own sense of zen. When every hotel room, foreign hostel, camp tent, and blanket beneath the stars must serve as home one day at a time, how does one collect from fountain of stability? Yours truly believes it is the glorious lack of tomorrow’s itinerary that drives a wandering salmon upstream. If upon the rise of every sun the same day lies before you, how then can you paint the picture of a different possibility? Similarly, it is a brave soul that writes only from experience, and it is upon the winding road of adventure that one lives more than the one life each of us is guaranteed.
What role does scenery, characterized here as where one might call ‘home’, shape your writing and your identity as a writer? Is there a part of you that hungers for the traveler’s life, or do you seek the homestead? It is arguable that one can write most clearly from what one has truly experienced — do you agree, or can the talented artist work from fresh, unblemished clay?
The June contest marches on with its chosen theme, Lost & Found. Follow the link to play along, or to support your fellows. In addition to writing games hosted throughout the month, you are also invited to attend a Google Hangouts session on June 14th, an official Flamestorming meet-up for any and all to attend!