As long as it’s quiet, I’m not too fussy about my actual physical writing space. But finding the quiet space, ah, there’s the rub.
If I’m at home and no one else is around, I prefer working on the kitchen table.. It meets three important criteria.
1. It’s close to the range so I can make copious amounts of tea.
2. It has good lighting.
3. And I like to look out a window now and then.
But when I want to write and I’m not alone at home—I head to my “office.” That's what happens most of the time.
The space I call my office probably wasn’t intended to serve that purpose. You have to walk through the bedroom to get to it. I’m guessing that when the house was built, the space was meant for extra storage or a sitting area. But our family isn’t “sitting alone by ourselves” kind of people, so for the first year or so after we moved here the space was empty.
If you tried to walk around the perimeter of the room you would bonk your head because the walls angle in, following the roof line. But you don’t need all that much headroom if you’re seated!
My amazing husband took a sheet of plywood and laminated the top to make it smooth and pretty. Voila! A huge desk, perfect for the way I like to spread out and look at drafts while I revise (which I do a lot of). With the walls painted the both soothing and inspirational colors of the air/sea and jungle, I am happily settled in. Artwork make by my children is over my left shoulder.
The only problem with the space is that it’s over the unheated garage. Even though it has one heating vent, if any heat comes out of it, I have never felt it. A small space heater, parked directly behind my chair, solves this issue in the colder months.
I have to go downstairs to refill my mug, but that’s not altogether a bad thing. I don’t know if it’s the blood flow to my brain or the change of scenery but walking around often helps me find the right words when I’m stumped.
I’ve tried to write on a treadmill, but I’m not that coordinated. The treadmill I tried to work on wasn’t a fancy set-up intended for writing and I found I could either walk and hold the pad, or hold the pad and write, but every time I tried to hold the pad in place and write I ended up sliding precariously backwards. It’s okay. I can shoot a decent free throw. Writing while walking isn’t a necessary skill.
I’ll bet a lot of people won’t agree with me here, but I believe that one extra bonus of the “office” is that our wireless network signal doesn’t reach there (yes, the router is ancient!). This means no cheating with peeks on the internet. When I need to do research, I have to come downstairs. And that’s a little inconvenient. But I’d rather have it this way. In my writing space there’s no email, no Facebook. Just me and my writing.
And the best thing the office space has going for it compared to the kitchen is—I can leave it as messy as I want. If I’m mid-thought when I have to stop, it’s no problem. Paper can stay where I left it. I don’t have to constantly shuffle through the stack again, trying to find the places where I marked my notes. It’s a wonderful thing.
Do you have a special place where you get your best writing done?
Finally, the winner of the giveaway announced last week on my post about the 12x12 picture book group--drum roll, please--Everyone's a winner! When I pulled one name out of the hat, the other slips of paper looked so forlorn. And I know how excited I am when I get a new book to read. So, this time the only luck you needed was to have commented on that blog post during the one week period that ended today. I'll be contacting the winners later today to get mailing information.