Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Where Do You Write?
Where do you write? I’ve had a lot of readers ask me that question and I think I can see the interest. Plainly if one is a doctor or a lawyer, a sales clerk or a waiter, where people work and how they go about their jobs is fairly evident. An office, a store, a restaurant.
Not so with writers. To readers, and many others who don’t read much, writers are a mysterious lot, a strange group, a baffling enigma.
Where a writer writes I think depends on a whole lot of factors such as what kind of writing that writer does, whether its fiction, non-fiction, copywriting, article writing, grant writing, etc. Now I’m going to be bold and assume a large interest might well be placed on fiction writer. After all they create worlds and fascinating environments. Sometimes other worldly, sometimes down the street.
Some seem capable of writing at the nearest Starbucks or at a library. For me, I need to be somewhere more isolated. No distractions. Little noise. I do need a window.
Currently I have a full-fledged office with large L shaped desk, computer and lots of bookshelves and filing cabinets. Oh, and a very large cork board across nearly one whole wall.
It wasn’t always that way though. I stared out with a fold-down desk in a corner of my bedroom with one shelf of reference books alongside (that was pre-web days – I know that seems like a long time ago to some, but it wasn’t really). My total desk space might have been two square feet. Published my first two books from that small space.
About the time of the third advance I sliced off a small piece of the back patio overlooking the lagoon (we lived in Florida then), added my window and moved in. It was small and tidy but I graduated to an actual desk and added a couple more shelves. It was expensive because what had been supposed to be add a single wall to separate the space from the rest of the patio and a window in place of the screen so the space was weather tight turned into a major ‘do’ as I made the mistake of hiring a relative and basically ended up getting ripped off – but that’s another story. Writers are full of them.
When we packed up and moved west, a major undertaking doing it ourselves and then building our own house on five beautiful acres, my office was planned into the house. It’s about twelve by sixteen feet. I wasn’t’ in the ‘wealthy writer’ category so we did a lot of the work ourselves, actually helping to build the house. And one of the last things I put in the office after unrolling the wall to wall carpet (which, yes, I also installed myself) was the wonderful cork board which ended up being about four feet tall by ten feet wide. Don’t know what I’d do without that cork board now. It’s bedecked with my calendar, a clutch of business cards I don’t want to lose, some loved one’s photos and my work space where I can pin ideas for new projects.
So what about that inspirational muse that lets many write anywhere? Well, I could if I had to, return to that tiny fold-down desk or perch in a library, or hang at a coffee shop. But I do a lot of research for my books, have my computer with my high-speed internet connection, telephone, and printer in my office. And don’t forget the cork board. It’s comfortable, quiet, isolated from the rest of the house on the second floor and lets me write without distraction. It’s adorned with my favorite writing mementoes, photos, two large windows and a tiny fireplace, oh, and three rescue dogs sprawled in various snoozing positions. It’s my writing zone and my muse perks right up when I go in. It took a lot of years to get here, but (deep sigh) I’m home.
If you’re a reader tell me where you love to perch or hide or just relax to read. If you’re a writer tell me where you write now, if you just love it or if you’re aspiring to your perfect writing zone. If you're both, even better!