Post by Jenny
Move over, Man Cave. There’s a new gender-specific home getaway space taking over the land: the She Shed. Man Caves have been a thing for years now, so you probably can envision one without too much trouble: overstuffed lounge chairs, sports memorabilia, a big screen TV, pool table, and all the trappings that go along with the consumption of adult beverages. Think sports bar with the added benefit of an invitation-only crowd, and, if you’re the host, no need for a designated driver.
But She Sheds are not merely the female version of a Man Cave—i.e. primarily a place to hang out and drink margaritas with rowdy gal-pals. Here are some of the ways She Sheds are described on Pinterest: getaway, retreat, escape, oasis, zen-den, backyard bliss, inspirational, creative, quaint, chic, delightful, private, relaxing, homey. They are used for gardening, crafting, photography, art, reading, hiding from demanding family members…and, I presume, writing. One pin boldly proclaimed: “She Sheds are Man Caves for women, and you will want your own so badly, it will actually hurt.”
Well…yes and no. They are adorable, and it’s fun to think of how I would deck out my private writing retreat. It would have to be four-season compatible, so I could use it all year long. A fireplace would be nice, and the capacity to make endless cups of hot tea. Plenty of light and fresh air and windowboxes with aromatic flowers. Disney-esque birds to flutter around and keep everything tidy. Brand new office supplies. And books. Lots of books.
Sadly, it’s not going to happen for me in the foreseeable future. If you’re in the same boat—without the time, money, energy, or skill to customize your own shed, cupola, loft, or attic—don’t despair. One of the great things about writing is that so much of the inspiration comes from within, it doesn’t matter if we work in a backyard oasis or a noisy coffee shop or the corner of the local library. We write bits of dialogue on fast food napkins and make semi-intelligible voice memos on our phones while we drive. We keep notebooks in our purses and glove compartments…and in the bathroom, because lots of great thinking happens in the shower. I’m all in favor of a clean, organized work space, but we don’t need to build the muse a shrine. When we align our energies with writing, she will visit us wherever we happen to be.
Other than inspiration, what is a must-have for your ideal writing spot?