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The Secret Magic of Writing Nooks

There’s something magical about secrets that hook us, the elusive thrill of mystery that has tangled its fingers in our culture and curiosities.

In my opinion, everyone needs a secret place where they can channel the wonder of mystery into creativity.

Have you found a secret place that spoke to you, fills you with the heady rush of proud solo exploration? A place that seems just a little brighter, a little more real, a little more fantastic than the rest of the world?

If not, I’m sharing with you today five of my favorite secret places on Maryville College campus that inspire me, and spark my creativity.

1. Upstairs in the back of the library.

There's a cute little wooden desk hidden behind rows of bound periodicals in the back of the library, up the spindly stairs that pop and crackle like logs in a bonfire. The area smells like old books, and sunlight filters in from the window through a thin haze of dust that dances in the air. It’s quiet and warm in the sunshine, and you can watch campus life as you work or read.

2. Baseball field concrete bleachers.

To the right of the baseball field there’s a lovely set of concrete bleachers that are perfect for a midday picnic outdoors, or a peaceful afternoon reading session. For those like me who enjoy the outdoors but prefer not to sit in the grass, it is the perfect way to enjoy all the sights, smells, and sounds of nature while still resting in the shade away from bugs.

3. Beeson willow tree.

The willow tree in the Beeson courtyard is a beautiful edition to campus, and droops its wispy ringlets of leaves to the ground in a waterfall-like circle. There’s a healthy amount of shading from the small copse of trees near the sidewalk, and the birds twitter in the trees while squirrels chase each other through the branches. There’s plenty of students walking by to do laundry or socialize at the picnic tables which provides background noise for studying.

4. Outdoor classroom by the fountains at night.

The outdoor classroom may not seem like a hidden treasure, since most students walk by it every day to get to class, but it is a magical spot at sunset. I’ve spent countless hours stargazing, watching the sky slowly shift from an indigo and sapphire fusion to a misty navy that bleeds like ink. It’s relaxing to listen to the light bubbling of the fountain, and you can bring a cozy blanket and curl up to watch the stars wink into existence.

5. Hammock in the trees by Crawford House.

The last place only applies for those who own or have access to a hammock. There’s a little grove of sturdy trees outside Crawford House which are perfect to hammock in. The area always gets a nice breeze and smells pleasantly of freshly mowed grass and tree sap. It’s a secluded place to hammock and perfect for reading a book, taking a nap, or “hanging” out with friends.

I hope that you can find as much pleasure in these spots on campus as I do, or that you find new little spots that are unique to you. Whatever the case, happy nook hunting!

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