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by Traci Macnamara

As writers, we can write wherever we are, right? We write during takeoffs and landings, and we write while commuting on busses, subways, and trains. We lug around our laptops. We keep our tablets charged, and we don’t forget to take our journals on overnight trips.

We can write on…whatever, too. We text message ourselves when ideas emerge in lines at grocery stores. We find chewed-up pens in the bottoms of our bags so we can take notes on the backs of receipts. We write on greasy napkins crammed in the glove boxes of our cars. 

I’m writing right now, for example, in the lobby of a hospital, where I’m waiting for a friend to recover from back surgery, and I’m thinking about how writers make space for themselves, how I’m doing it right now, even though I know that this activity involves shifty ergonomics, me sitting here with a laptop wobbling on my legs as I type.

We do these things–we write wherever and on whatever–but isn’t it nice when we have proper places and spaces for our writing, too? And maybe it’s more than just nice–maybe it’s necessary. Hedgebrook pretty much operates on that principle, and in my recent work with Proximity, I’m seeing the necessity of creating spaces for writers, too.

Beyond being a new literary magazine dedicated to sharing true stories about place, space, and connections in the modern world, Proximity represents my first foray into the realm of creating a space where writers can share their work. Three other writers join me on the editorial team, and we’re all exploring this new terrain together. But when I checked our inbox and saw the submission forms we’d received, I felt like I was the one who’d set eyes on our first streak of gold!

Of course, yes, please keep writing, wherever you are and on whatever you have available. Others are out there doing it, too. But take a break every once in a while and do your work in a place made for writing. And share it in a space where others will join you in knowing that writing through bumpy landings and pothole-pocked roads is what helped you get it there.


MORNING is the theme for Proximity’s first issue, and the submission deadline is November 30, 2013.

For information about submitting to Proximity, see www.proximitymagazine.org



Traci J MacnamaraBased in Vail, Colorado, Traci J. Macnamara is a writer and literary critic with publications in magazines and journals including Backpacker, Vegetarian Times, Isotope: A Literary Journal of Nature and Science Writing, the Patagonia catalog; and in books, including A Leaky Tent Is a Piece of Paradise: 20 Young Writers on Finding a Place within the Natural World (Sierra Club Press, 2007), and Antarctica: Life on Ice (Travelers’ Tales, 2007). Macnamara regularly writes book reviews, which have appeared in High Country News, Denver’s Rocky Mountain News, Sacramento News & Review, the About.com Contemporary Literature site, and NewWest, among others.


Hedgebrook supports visionary women writers whose stories and ideas shape our culture now and for generations to come. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily representative of the opinions of Hedgebrook, its staff or board members. 

Traci Macnamara
About Traci Macnamara

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