These days have been hectic. I have some incredible news to tell, but I need the last official paperwork to be completed, so I do not want to say it yet. Just because I feel like I may spoil everything. Anyway, I decided I needed to explore the city more, especially Stratford, the place where I lived. Living in London wasn’t always easy, but Stratford made my stay better, and still does. It is not the most elegant and fancy part of London, but it is home now. Therefore, I want to write about my favourite writing spots in Stratford.
I am deeply convinced that a writer should find a good writing spot. I have tried to write at home, but it does not work out that well, unless it is very late at night and everyone is sleeping. Which is funny, because I live in a house where people work and are always extremely quiet, but there something about writing in the night that makes me focus. It makes my mind sharp. Many writers say that walking helps them seeing everything from a different perspective. I do not like doing physical activity unless it involves two naked bodies, but I guess walking, running and doing sport in general is helpful for the writer who likes to eat and needs to prevent stretch marks or, in general, getting fat. Like I do.
Anyway, these are the two places that I discovered – and loved – the most as my writing spot. The first is the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. When you leave the big-shopping-centre Stratford behind, you will discover an amazing park that is full of beautiful memories. Stratford was brought to new life when it came to organising and structuring the Olympic games, and this park is probably the best achievement in this changes. It surrounds the beautiful Olympic Stadium, where the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games took place. You remember it, right? Beautiful. It was directed by Danny Boyle and there were some incredible guests. The stadium welcomes the West Ham now, and every Saturday Stratford station is quite crowded of all the supporters of the team.
Some weeks ago, I put my manuscript into a jute bag and decided to have a walk. My phone was dead – as it always is – and I just enjoyed the sun. It was a warm Sunday afternoon. I saw children playing in the funfair, tourists hiring bycicle and wandering around the parks. I looked at the canal. I found a spot, right in front of the stadium, on some wooden step. I took out my sunglasses and the manuscript, and I started reading until it got a bit too chilly and it was time to go home. That night, I felt better. I had walked and read. I had done everything I needed and I wanted to. A walk won’t probably prevent me from getting fat anyway, but I felt happy anyway.
Stratford has another lovely place. I mean, it has many lovely places, but this is one of my favourite. It is the Theatre Royal Statford East square. The Theatre, this eccentric, beautiful red building, faces the square. Right in the middle, there is the statue of Joan Littlewood, who was a theatre director. Right next to the theatre, there is a cinema – Stratford East Picturehouse. And right opposite, in the middle of all this culture, a lovely cafe and restaurant called Gerry’s Kitchen. Here, you can have some amazing Italian pizza or incredible cakes. It is not expensive at all, and it is all furnished with very interesting, shabby pieces, and there are books scattered all around. Late in the evening, people come and have pizza, and, if you can resist to the temptation, it is simply perfectly good to write, read and edit with the smell of wood oven cooked pizza. I love writing while having a good mint tea – here it is actually really, really good – and some pastries.
Writing in a place that is not my room is inspiring. First, because it helps me realising that I actually took a decision to go out and work, so, if I waste my time by scrolling my Facebook timeline or chatting with my friends, I will feel much worse than if I did it at home. Finding a writing spot outside – either indoor or outdoor – makes you feel useful. And it makes you enjoy the city or town where you live, which is always good for your inspiration.