Where do I go when I want to create people, places and things that do not actually exist in real time? I go inside my head, which is to say I let my subconcious have its way. I place myself in a comfortable chair, with my laptop on my lap of course, and my ipod plugged into my ears, and I let the music take me out of my everyday existence. I look at the blank page with fear and trembling, knowing that I have no idea where to begin. But I do have an image of something or someone floating around in my head, just a grain of an idea or thought and I put my fingers to the keyboard and let my story unfold. Each new chapter is like standing on the edge of a cliff and jumping off. Will I fly? So far, I have never hit the ground in a broken crumpled pile. I do have wings metaphorically speaking (and so does everybody else, by the way).
I have attended some great writers conferences in the past when I was first learning to be a writer. Like the Santa Barbara Writers Conference where I was thrilled to be in the presence of other writers far more advanced than myself. I never wrote anything there, being too hyped up to let my subconscious have full swing. But that was not the place to actually create something new. It was a place to learn about craft and absorb the good vibes that creative people put out in abundance.
Virginia Woolf needed a room of her own, but back then there were no laptops and ipods in which to tune out the adorable husband who always needs to know when dinner is going to be ready or where did I put his book. Of course writers with young children have to wait until they are asleep as little people can be ignored only at great peril. A writer must write, as a painter must paint and a singer must sing. We always find a way.