A Writer’s Hideaway

If you could build a tiny hideaway cabin just for yourself, what important features would you include, and how would you furnish it?

I often fantasize about building a little cabin in the woods based on Henry David Thoreau’s house at Walden Pond. It would be 10×15, off-the-grid, with no electricity and running water, but I’d have a little pot-belly stove for warmth, along with bookcases, a desk for writing, and a very comfy reading chair. Windows would be strategically placed for a view of the mountains through the trees, and a high shelf all around the walls would hold my nature collections – old bones, birds’ nests, and interesting rocks. I’d need a big dog bed for Jesse, too.

It’s a fantasy, but a fun one! I have a site all picked out and I find myself browsing the internet for kits and blueprints. I’d love to hear your ideas.

And I love reading Henry’s. One of my luckiest purchases ever was a complete set of his journals – fourteen volumes plus the index. The set was remaindered for a very reasonable price, and it’s a treasure trove of nature observations and thoughts that range high and wide as our Western sky.

Here’s a quote, possibly my favorite:

“The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.”
–H.D. Thoreau

Building a writing cabin is a lovely idea, but there’s a danger in this sort of thing. It’s easy to get so caught up in creating the perfect space for your craft that you never get any actual writing done. I have a beautiful office downstairs, but I spend most of my time writing at the kitchen table, because the view is better.

The best and most important writing space is in your mind: it’s the ability to focus intently on your fictional world and shut out distractions. Once you can do that, time flows faster than a river, and fingers fly over the keyboard.

But  we all dream about a space of our own. I’d love to hear your ideas and dreams about what your perfect hideaway would include. Together, we can build a perfect fantasy cabin!