I like windows beside me when I write, although I can write just about anywhere and have written just about everywhere. But my preferred places to write in my house are in my room beside my window, and at a window in our family room. Some people claim windows are distracting; they prefer to lock themselves in dark rooms so they can concentrate. However, I feel I need some connection the “real world” when I lock myself in my mind, so that I can remind myself what it’s all for and what it’s all about. I need to see the sky. The natural light doesn’t hurt, either.
There’s not much of a view outside my bedroom window, anyway. My neighbor’s garage takes up a large portion, gray slatted roof and smooth gray paneling. A tree from my back yard can be seen, a young birch: its branches tease the right hand side of the view. Behind the garage are several stands of trees, layering back, presumably, to the horizon (my neighborhood has a lot of trees). If I crane to the left, I can see more of the birch and the green grass of my neighbor’s yard. If I crane to the right, I can see my neighbor’s driveway, crumbling pavement, and a vehicle or two. Above all of this is a patch of sky. In the evening, I can watch the stages of the sunset in it. So, all in all, not much of a view.
Our family room window looks over the street. There’s a lot more distractions to be had from this one, as I can watch passersby (who are frequent, because we live down the street from a park), passing cars, my neighbors, my neighbors’ pets, etc. Across the street there’s a yellow lab; one of the boys plays with it outside a lot. Then my dog barks, and runs upstairs and puts his front paws on the windowsill to watch. I yell at my dog, and eventually get back to work. This window faces south, so I usually miss both the sunrise and the sunset. All in all I like this window better, as sometimes I get ideas for descriptions from it, even if it’s more distracting.
So, what do you think? Windows or not? View? No view?