How do you create a sacred writing space, when all you have is a kitchen table, a closet, or your car parked in your driveway? Most of us have a vision of the perfect writing space. It might be an uncluttered room with a simple desk, and a single Buddha on an otherwise bare shelf. It might be decorated with bright silk scarves, colorful wall hangings, and flowers. It might be a porch overlooking a solitary expanse of beach with the blue-green sea beyond.
Yet, most of us have to make do with much less. Whether you are lucky enough to have your dream space or find yourself writing on a park bench, you can still create a sacred space for your writing.
Making your space sacred honors the value and importance of your writing. It protects your writing time and makes it inviolable. It enables you to step away from the worries, pressures, and distractions of life and devote yourself to your work, whether it’s for a few minutes or for hours at a time.
But how do you make your writing space sacred? What can be sacred about a corner of your living room or a table at a café?
There are several steps you can take to create sacred space wherever you write. Here are the basic ingredients:
The first step in creating sacred writing space is becoming aware of the sacredness of your writing. You do not have to be writing about a deity or a spiritual path to hold your writing sacred. If you write thrillers or romance novels or even erotica, those can be sacred, too. The sacredness of your writing comes from the sense that it is what you are called to do. That it comes from the deepest part of yourself. That it is an authentic expression of who you are.
When you sit down to write, bring that awareness with you. Remember that your writing is more than putting words on the page, that it is your offering to the world. Come to your work with that awareness, and it will sanctify the space you write in.
Boundaries are easy to make if you can shut yourself away in a room--not so easy if you don’t have a room to shut yourself away in. Yet, boundaries come in all styles, and no matter where you write, you can create them around your space.
Simple physical boundaries can often be improvised. A commenter named Carly remarks on About.com that, when she and her screenwriter husband were living in a one-bedroom apartment, he curtained off a section of the living room using eye-hooks and curtain rings so that he could write in privacy.
This creative tactic is only one way to create space. A portable screen, a cord drawn across a corner, even a ribbon attached to your chair can make that place sacred. These types of boundaries serve as reminders to yourself that you are beginning sacred work--and announce to the people you live with that you need to be left alone.
But boundaries aren’t always physical. If you write in a public space, you can create a mental boundary. Mentally draw an invisible line around that cafe table or a magic wall separating you from the person next to you on the city bus. These psychological boundaries sharpen your awareness that this is your sacred place for writing. Surprisingly, the people around you will also pick up on the cue that you aren’t to be bothered.
Thresholds are essential. They remind us that we are stepping into a different way of being. We’re leaving the everyday world behind and entering into the world of writing, into the universe we’re creating on the page, into sacred space.
Thresholds aren't necessarily physical things. A true threshold exists in your mind. It is a shift in attention and intention. A change in your awareness. When you step into a place to write, remember that you are crossing a threshold into sacred space.Things are different on the other side.
Whether you realize it or not, you probably already have a writing ritual or two. Almost all writers do.
Ritual doesn’t have to be elaborate, ceremonial, or obvious. You don’t have to bow down to your computer or give the Sacred Sign of the Writer before you pick up your pen. Rituals can be as simple as straightening your desk and choosing just the right pen before you begin. Or making a cup of tea in your favorite cup and setting it to the right of your keyboard before your sit down. Or even just pausing to take a deep breath and set an intention.
Ritual, like boundaries and thresholds, remind us that we are initiating unique and special work. They are another way of helping us keep in mind that we are embarking on a sacred path.
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Humane Society of the United States, Defenders of Wildlife, Interational Society for the Protection of Burros and Mustangs, National Wildlife Federation,...