This week I enjoyed the article, ‘Where Great Books Were Born’ exploring where well-known writers have penned their most famous works. At Wild Words we encourage our participants to write in unusual places, particularly in natural outdoor settings. I was therefore delighted to read that George Bernard Shaw had his garden shed built on a revolving turntable so that when he wrote, he would always have the sun on his face. The daily rhythms of nature informed his creative process.
It’s not often that I find myself mesmerised by looking at a photograph of a humble garden shed. But then, there is something captivating about knowing that the creative words awarded both an Oscar, and the Nobel Prize in Literature came into being there.
The feeling is akin to how I felt (this is years ago now), when I came abruptly face-to-face with actor Ewan McGregor doing his weekly shop in my local London supermarket. Here was the heartthrob of millions, doing things little me could relate to. Specifically, he was trying to bribe his young child to stop her screaming, whilst fast losing the circulation in his hands from carrying plastic bags heavily weighted with pizza and frozen peas.
Just like Ewan McGregor, the garden shed looked so ordinary in the flesh, and yet was, at the same time, a rarefied place of worship. In an environment we usually associate with banging nails, mixing plant food and tying up tomatoes, worlds that have enduringly enraptured millions (those of Eliza Doolittle and Saint Joan to name just two), had been created in the head of one solitary, shed-dwelling author.
The Weekly Writing Prompt
One of the most magical aspects of being a writer is that fact that while we are washing up in our humble abode (or undertaking similar mundane tasks), we can simultaneously be living out a whole other life in our imagination.
Write a piece of poetry or prose that explores the similarities and differences, the agreements and contradictions, between our outer and inner worlds.