Monday, May 16, 2011

Creating: Writing Space

Where we write.

In a lagoon
On the moon
On a float
In a moat
On our back
In a shack

Doesn't matter. We're all different.

What does matter is that our writing space suits us. And works for us.

Most of us could probably write anytime, anyplace, with any type of writing implements. But I'm going to focus on finding the best writing space - the one where we are the most productive, the most creative. The writing space that, at the end of the day, lets us smile and say, "This was great. I can't wait to come back here tomorrow."

Are you a pack rat? Do you like all your finds - from a rock you picked up at Aunt Sally's when you were six to the latest useless gadget you bought last week - nearby within sight and easy reach so you can see and touch to bring the emotions surrounding everything to the surface? If so, maybe a small room with a locking door is for you.

Not a pack rat? Maybe you're the opposite. You like sleek, open, clean surfaces with plenty of space to spread out. All your memories are in your head and not attached to particular things. If so, an enclosed porch or sunroom might work well as your writing space.

These are only two examples. Not every pack rat has a spare room. Not every minimalist has a sunroom. I'm somewhere in between, and I don't have a spare room or a sunroom. But I am a writer. I'm creative. I know how to think outside the box. I know how to create something from nothing.

So do you.

Maybe you lose yourself curled up with your laptop in the recliner or one corner of your sofa. Or in a dark corner of Starbucks, with hustle and bustle around you while enjoying the wonderful aromas of coffee during your entire writing session.

Or you must have a desk, even if it's an old table you found in the attic or at a garage sale and refinished (or not). And your desk is in the kitchen or a corner of the living room or in the nursery.

Doesn't matter. We're all different.

Experiment to find the type of writing space that works best for you. Don't be afraid to try something different, something new, if your current writing space stops working, keeps you from creating and/or being productive.

Who knows? Maybe your locked-room self is really craving Starbucks. Find out.

37 comments:

Joanne said...

I prefer open, clean surfaces with space for notes and outlines around me, and a couple of mementos too for inspiration. In the thick of working on a manuscript, I need that door closed, too, with lots and lots of quiet so my thoughts can just take off uninterrupted.

Jan Morrison said...

I love my writing space - my desk gets cluttered but then I clear it. I have a bed for taking to from time to time when I just need to look at a hard copy of my work. My space if full of things that inspire me, from books on writing to wooden rabbits, photos of important people and art. I love it.

Theresa Milstein said...

"Maybe you lose yourself curled up with your laptop in the recliner or one corner of your sofa."

That's me! I have a love seat with wooden armrests where I perch my laptop. But because I can travel with my laptop, I write virtually anywhere.

Colette said...

I write in the kitchen. No, not for the close proximity to food. I choose that space because it is bright and sunny.

Julie said...

I love this post. I'm the one curled up with my laptop. Usually on my couch, but I love taking it anywhere.

Rula Sinara said...

I can jot ideas and brainstorming notes just about anywhere, but when I'm really hunkering down to write, it has to be in my office. I like things uncluttered, but of course papers and notes pile up then need organizing. I also need total quiet (no music or backg.noise). Now, if I had a desk in a sunroom overlooking a serene beach with waves crashing (I can handle that sound) that would be heaven! :)

Carol Kilgore said...

Joanne - I need those open spaces, too. I don't have a door. But the dogs would probably claw it down if I did.

Jan - I love my writing space, too, but I don't have a bed.

Theresa - A mini-desk :)

Colette - One of my favorite things about my writing space is that it's bright and sunny. Before we moved here, I wrote in the kitchen, too.

Julie - Live-In Handyman and I share a laptop when we travel, but I'm more comfortable working on my desk computer.

The Words Crafter said...

Hey! I'm home today, so I'm cheating :)

I write all over, but I'm finding I can get a lot of longhand writing done during naptime in my classroom. Strange, huh?

My second most productive place is on the daybed in my office.

Love this post. Gotta think about the advice, too. Yeah, I have some distractions around me.....

Happy Monday!

Carol Kilgore said...

Rula - "...desk in a sunroom overlooking a serene beach..."
I would never leave.

Words Crafter - You and Jan both have beds in your offices. I'd have to think about that. It might be too distracting for me.

Hart Johnson said...

Two words. Bath. Tub. I AM a packrat, and i'd love a huge cluttered office with all my treasures, but our house doesn't have the space... and in actuality, I wouldn't probably be able to write much there for as long as I have the day job and money struggles... The tub helps block the stress of the day...

KarenG said...

Me too. Somewhere between packrat and minimalist, gearing more toward minimalist with my husband tending to packrat. Where I write must be quiet and warm and clean/tidy.

Tara said...

The shower is where I get my best writing done. Unfortunately, it's pretty hard to take the laptop in there. Even harder to get the desktop in. And, I lose an awful lot between blow drying my hair and getting to the kitchen to get the stuff in Word. ;-)

LR said...

I'm pretty happy with my new writing space. It's light and I have a normal-sized desk (yay).

Carol Kilgore said...

Hart - I like to read in the tub.

Karen - Same spouse trends here. I like tidy spaces, but cool.

Tara - Did you know you can purchase waterproof paper and pens? I think the brand name is Rite in Rain. Notebooks are about $5 and pens $10-$12.

LR - Yea! Now aren't you glad you moved :)

Talei said...

Gawd, I just want that beach shack next to the water...you know one, right? Deep sigh... and the cocktail service in the evenings, post writing. ;-)

notesfromnadir said...

It's always good to be adaptable to your writing environment. I usually try to keep my desk neat. Doesn't always work out too well.

Terry Odell said...

Neat desk? LOL. As long as my keyboard isn't buried and I can see my monitor, I'm OK. I alternate between my desk, where it feels like I'm a 'writer at work' and downstairs on a couch with laptop in lap where I seem to be free to be creative because if it sucks, I'm not 'really' writing.

Terry
Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

Carol Kilgore said...

Talei - I want the one right next to yours!

Lisa - Same here. I do straighten it every night.

Terry - I think a lot of writers are like you.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

I need a door that closes and the self-discipline to not fritter away the hours (yes, hours) playing computer games. It's best I'm alone as I mutter and the muttering is often cruel. "Wow, that sucks" is a constant refrain. It's all about the love.

Jamaica Golf said...

I'll make do if a hot idea comes calling wherever I am. I do prefer being at a desk so I get go straight from my head to the keyboard.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I love trying different locations for writing...helps me stay focused (especially if I don't write at home). :)

Talli Roland said...

I like sleek open spaces and clean surfaces. I need room for my brain to breathe!

Carol Kilgore said...

Elspeth - There are days I would kill for a solid steel door with a deadbolt. But most days I'm good in the open. I cannot play even one computer game without instant addiction. I stay away. Far, far away.

Jamaica Golf - Yea! Another desk writer :) Thanks for commenting.

Elizabeth - That would pretty much send me around the bend if I had to do it all the time. I'm good for short periods, but I love my desk :)

Talli - Yes! I need order in structure in all other areas of my life so my mind is free to play.

Holly Ruggiero said...

I'm actually in the process of finding the right place or should I say the new right place. A sunroom would be awesome, but I have no such room.

Lydia K said...

I'm an omnispace writer. I can write in multiple places. Probably is a survival thing--I can't always have the same space when I need it.

Janet, said...

I sit at my computer desk and write on my laptop.There are times though, like today, that I would like to have a room of my own to go in and shut the door.

Mallory Snow said...

I want a sun room except I want it to be raining all the time. :)

Carol Kilgore said...

Holly - Check out every possible place and give them all a try. One will be your new favorite spot.

Lydia - Versatility is a wonderful trait.

Janet - I have some earplugs for those days :)

Mallory - I'll take half and half - rain and sun. Nothing in between.

Teresa aka JW said...

I love your post. You're so creative.

I have a desk (well an old Sears table) but my favorite writing desk is my lap!

Madeleine said...

LOL! Love this post. I love a clean tidy desk and yet mine is a tip! I love a Costa but am too inhibited to take my notebook there and just sit and write. What does that make me? :O)

Manzanita said...

Carol, Speaking of writing, I want to read something of yours. Where can I find it? I love mysteries and I'd like to read yours.
Manzanita@Wannabuyaduck

Carol Kilgore said...

Teresa - Thanks for such kind words. I'm glad to see you back here.

Madeleine - hmmmm...maybe that makes you a writer. I'm not sure what a Costa is. Like a coffeeshop?

Manzanita - I do not yet have a novel published, but I am going to remedy that soon. I'll let you know. If you would like to read one of my very early short mystery stories, you can find one here:
http://www.dowse.com/fiction/Carol.html

Miss Good on Paper said...

I need a clean desk room for my coffee, my notes, the laptop, and enough room to spread out all my notes. The cats prefer to sit on my notes, of course. =)

Clarissa Draper said...

I have a writing office space in my bedroom but I like to change things up a bit once and awhile.

Carol Kilgore said...

Miss Good on Paper - Of course. That's how they got to be cats :)

Clarissa - Even though I love my writing space, I have to change things up once in a while, too. I get that.

Glynis Jolly said...

Right now I write in the spare bedroom that we've turned into 'the computer room'. I sit at a desktop that is on a 2nd hand mini desk.

This would work but we don't have a door to close. The room is open to the hallway. Even that isn't all that terrible except my husband has his computer in there too.

I could work around him being here but he's natural slob. I love him dearly but I swear he doesn't know what a waste paper basket is and doesn't know how to put anything away.

Such is life.

Carol Kilgore said...

Glynis - Live-In Handyman and I once shared an office. I let him live - LOL.