Do You Need a Writing Space?
I had intended to do a blog post this week on some of the tools and tricks I’ve learned to help me write my novels. That will wait. Instead I’ve decided to comment on the need for a place to write and show you mine.
Not everyone needs a special place to write. I know people who can write using a laptop in pubic places like a coffee shop, library or bookstore. There are even those who can write in the same room as the rest of the family while watching TV. I am not one and sometimes I envy them.
I am one of those who prefer to do one thing at a time and I like to provide my full attention to whatever that is. I can write OR listen to music. I can write OR monitor my social media. I can write OR pet the dogs or cats or any of the other fuzzy, cute, four-legged charity cases my kids have adopted. Multitasking is not one of my skills and I have yet to learn a way to completely ignore distractions — although I do seem to be able to write AND drink tea AND smoke a clove cigar.
About a year ago I finally realized this personal shortcoming and turned a bedroom into my writing room after one of my kids left for college. Alternate names for it (depending on who is speaking and under what circumstances) are library, office, study, and man-cave. The name doesn’t matter. What does is that it is MY space.
If you find yourself procrastinating about your writing, distracted, and unable to concentrate, you too may need a personal space. My advice is to get a room. If you can’t, get a corner, a spot in the basement, anyplace you can identify as yours and put the things you need for your writing there. Make it a space where you can minimize distractions. Make it clear that this is YOUR spot. Others may visit but only with your consent.
Outfitting your personal writing space is a matter of choice and taste. The things I’ve found necessary (so far) are:
1: A computer with a full sized keyboard and internet access. I don’t like using a laptop keyboard. My writing speed, error rate, and frustration levels all benefit from a regular keyboard.
2: Reference books. Yes, I keep a real paper dictionary and thesaurus. I also have books on various subjects including science, philosophy and history to use as references as needed. Even though such things are available on line, I find my paper books are often easier to use and more helpful.
3: Personal comfort items. For me these include a tea warmer, fan, and ashtray.
That’s it. It doesn’t take much.
Do you find yourself distracted? Does your attention wander? You too may need a personal space.
As promised, here are two photos of where I do my writing.