A Writer’s Space
Editor’s note: This is the seventh in a series of 12. Find the others here.
You need space, yes you do.
If you want to write, you need a space all to yourself.
You need a place for scribbling, drafting, drawing, and editing.
You need a place to concentrate, daydream, plan, and wonder, ‘What if…’
And you need a place that inspires and makes you want to write, even if writing makes you sob like it’s raining out of your eyeballs or cackle evilly.
Your writing space should feel beautiful, creative, and encouraging to you.
I often write at my kitchen table.
I call it, not-so-originally, my Kitchen Table Office. I usually have flowers and I am almost always slugging down coffee from my favorite owl mug. If there are cookies nearby, then I have only a few feet to traverse to find them, thank goodness.
Who wants to work hard to find a chocolate chip cookie? Not me.
The lion is from Rebel Dancing Daughter when she went to Kenya. I stare at it for humor.
I keep journals around for ideas and to write through teeth-gritting problems I’m having with my book. One of my journals says:
Trust Your Crazy Ideas.
Which, by the way, you should, fellow writers. Take off and fly. Trust your crazy ideas and the zany, off-beat, swirling and twirling ones. Examine them. Throw them around. See if they’ll work.
I also love to write outside, in my backyard. This is called, again, not-so-originally, “My Backyard Office.”
I can get distracted because I love to stare at my garden and make outlandish plans for building a blue, curving slide from the second story into a pool, a ten foot rock fountain, a hot tub with Keanu Reeves inside, and that sort of thing.
But I find it peaceful, too, which makes me want to write. I’ve seen hummingbirds, blue jays, raccoon, and possums out there and we have no problems with each other.
As long as the bees aren’t swarming and wanting to eat me, I like my little corner under the trumpet vine, next to the impatiens.
Sometimes I have to write with Little Kitty nearby, the cat that Darling Laughing Son dropped off at my house before he skipped away across the seas for an internship.
I like watching our wisteria vine grow and my faux windmill spin.
Adventurous Singing Daughter and I planted Sunflowers and I love watching them grow taller each day.
An outside “office” works for me. Nature is inspiring. Gardening gives me ideas.
Maybe it would work for you, too, although for those of you who get three feet of snow in winter it probably won’t work well unless you can keyboard in gloves.
I do have a place for my extra books and journals in a small bedroom upstairs.
And I do have a place for “junk.”
The junk is in a corner of my dining room. I have NO IDEA why I keep it there. Really. It’s a nice dining room with red walls and a chandelier.
It makes no sense unless we’re going to EAT the manuscripts and notes. Paper is not tasty but, alas, there it stays.
I should move it, I should.
I probably won’t.
Many writers have cleaned out closets and moved in a small table.
Other writers have claimed part of a room in their home for their office. The room might also have exercise equipment (MUST we use it?) and boxes of Christmas decoration (We really need to haul a bunch of that to Goodwill), but it’s their space.
Some writers have a desk in the family room where the kids screech and yell and the dog barks. They learn to shut all that out unless there’s blood or the police arrive with a noise complaint.
Some have a true writer’s office. (See PS below.)
Their writer’s office is only for them, decorated with color, quotes, books they love, and lists of Things To Do. The views are cool, the dogs wander in to chat, and their imagination leaps about.
Go and create a space for yourself. Go make pretty. Find a corner. Find a room. Find a wall. Find a desk, find a table.
Clean it out.
Plug your computer in.
Add flowers, photos, a stapler, journals, notebooks, pens, a printer, and cool souvenirs. Add you.
Then write. Write away.
Where Writers Write is coming soon!
We’ll peek into the offices of some of your favorite writers including Catherine Ryan Hyde, Barbara Claypole White, Kristy Woodson Harvey, Ann Garvin, Amy Sue Nathan, Laura Drake, Amy Impellizzeri, and Katie Rose Guest Pryal.