Where writers write - Wilmot B. Irvin


In a previous post (July 17) I talked about how I came across Wilmot Irvin's novel, Jack's Passage. I invited him to share something here about his favorite writing places. Here's his response:

      Over the years I have settled into a variety of comfortable writing spots: a quiet basement in a clapboard country home (Eastover, South Carolina) where we reared our first generation of children alongside umpteen pigs, chickens, goats, dogs, and horses (and an occasional cat); an upstairs study teetering off the side of a rambling old mountain house in Saluda, North Carolina, designed more for love-making than for writing; a practical office in our current place of abode on a very pleasant street in a quaint (some say historic) neighborhood of Columbia, South Carolina, in which we try (and often fail) to provide a decent upbringing for our second-generation child.

     Each of these venues has its own peculiar charm, and in them I have banged out seven novels and a few short stories, too (they are harder – there is no room to meander). But now that Henry has prompted me to think about place in relation to writing, I realize that any old space will do; that charm of place doesn’t produce the words that form the sentences that create the paragraphs that compose the chapters of a story that writes itself, for the most part, and occasionally brings joy or laughter or tears or pain to a reader, who every so often for no hope of gain writes a note of encouragement to this writer. And so as long as I have a modicum of peace and quiet to burrow into my imagination and disconnect from the space I am occupying, I could just as well write in a phone booth or a motel room.


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