Monday, 27 August 2012

Where Do You Write?

Where do you write? This is a photo of my desk, where some of my writing is done. It's where most of my administration stuff is tackled: emails, chasing for payments, research and the like. 

But, when I'm in 'the zone' I can sit at my computer and bash away at the keyboard for hours, because it's my space. I know where everything is and most of what I need is all at hand.

Having your own dedicated writing space is important. You don't need your own study (one day I will have one - this is the corner of a bedroom). But it's great if you can have somewhere that you can call your own writing space. This will help you get into your 'zone' more quickly, too. 

We are, generally, creatures of habit. Sitting down at roughly the same time, in the same place, on a regular basis, helps to train your brain into thinking, "hang on, he wants me to go into the zone in a minute." And having everything to hand means there's less chance of being encouraged to step away from my space ... thus being distracted by something else!

I mentioned that my space is a corner of a bedroom - and one day I will have my own study.  But that doesn't mean to say that I don't make little improvements from time to time. Whenever you have a writing success, treat yourself to something for your writing space. Over the years I've upgraded my desk, added more shelving and bought space-saving devices so that I can have stuff to hand. My writing space isn't perfect, but it's getting there. (I'm still too far away from the window for my liking, but that's not a problem that I can overcome at the moment, and I hate having my back to the door, too.) But the point is this: not having the perfect writing space isn't stopping me from writing.

As long as you can find somewhere that you can call your writing space: whether it be a comfy chair in the shed where you can sit with your laptop, or pen and paper, or the cupboard under the stairs, look for somewhere that feels right for the moment. It doesn't have to be perfect: perfection comes over time. I know people who write in attics, in conservatories, in sheds, in summer houses, in kitchens, and at the dining room table. But what they all have in common is when they get there, it's the place that feels right to write at the moment.

Think about where you write. Is it the right place, or could you find somewhere else? Have you tried working in other places in the house? Just because where you write now is where you've always written, that doesn't mean there may not be a better place in the house that you should try. Why not give it a go? (Perhaps sitting in the car would work better, if the kids are running around causing mayhem in the house!) Because when you feel like a writer, sitting down to do some work in a place that feels right for writing, you're more likely to do some writing!

Good luck.

13 comments:

  1. You use part of the bedroom, I use a part of the living room. With just Jan and me here it's a lot easier as Jan sits quietly playing on here 'puter while I sit here tip taping away. I shall post a photo of my small area on tomorrow's blog.

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  2. Simon - glad to see the most important item takes centre stage - the tea mug!

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  3. Hi BirderRon,

    Looking forward to seeing your workspace on your blog. And yes, Rob Innis, the tea mug is so important!

    Simon

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  4. I love hearing about and seeing where other people write, I even have an album on my laptop of famous author's writing spaces/sheds, etc. I have several different places I particularly like to write, in the summerhouse weather permitting, at the dining table, sitting at the top of the stairs at home and the one that I have been most productive in is the car! I don't even drive, but every time we take the kids out or go shopping, if there's a few minutes where I can sit down in the car I write. It's where I've come up with the most ideas and made notes or written chunks of stories that have gone on to be published :)
    Emma
    P.S. My tea mug is probably the most essential piece of writing equipment!

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    1. Yep, tea mug is the most vital piece of equipment (as well as a kettle and teapot nearby in order to fill it!) Sounds like the car is the place to be!

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  5. Your blog post has come at exactly the right time Simon. I'm in the process of trying to sort out a writing space. At the moment I use my dining room table :( Piles of papers everywhere, and it all gets moved every time we have dinner *deep sigh* :(

    It's been really getting me down :(

    Sooooo, I have a plan! Lol

    Thanks for sharing your desk.....right.....that's it.....I'm gunna do it! ;)

    Xx

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    1. Sounds like you should turn this into a project! Try and find somewhere new to write each day for a week, and then identify which setting was the most inspirational and productive for you! It might make it more fun!

      Good luck!

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  6. Im so glad this has been brought forward as an issue. I have wayward neighbours with feral children (they never sleep). So writing at home can be near on impossible. The car will have to provide the writing space. Once this is established "zone" time will be less fraught.

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  7. Definitely - and why not take the car to a quiet spot, too? If you only have an hour's writing time, you might find you're more productive if you drive five minutes down the road and write for fifty minutes (and then drive five minutes back home) than trying to write for an hour in your home environment.

    (I now have visions of all these writers clogging up lay-bys up and down the country!)

    Good luck!

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  8. This is quite funny, following as it does our conversation on Twitter about piles Simon! It was looking in my piles (ahem!)for my disastrously dispersed sticky-note novel plan, that made me think: I can't cope with this! It could be ages before the house improvements get done - and I need a desk!
    I can write anywhere if need be, but I do need one place to go back to, homingpigeonesque, where I can lay my hand on the right notebook, cutting or pen in an instant. Cue much moving of furniture and massive declutter: desk (huge, much storage space!)is now in... the corner of my bedroom :) Never written there before so we'll see how it goes!

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    1. Sounds like you need two desks - one for your piles and one for you!

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  9. Always interesting to read about where others write, and I like your idea of a little 'treat' after any success. I wrote my first ever novel's main draft in hotel rooms and in the hotel gardens - several years ago. Very productive as it was pretty much done in 5 weeks but thay may have had more to do with the lack of having to do anything else too ;)

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  10. I treated myself to a proper writing desk a couple of months ago after 3 years of writing at the dining room table. Unfortunately I am still in the living/dining room but hope springs eternal I will have my own study at some stage...move out kids!

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