I’ve read a couple of really good, no, excellent writing books recently. One was On Writing (A Memoir of the Craft) by Stephen King which is partly biography, partly about the craft but is wholly magic. The other is How to Be a Writer by Stuart Ferris, which is written in an accessible style, has an easy to read format and is packed full of useful tips on how to write and be published.
What both books advocate is that as well as making time to write, a writer should have space to write, though not necessarily one with a (distracting) view. For years I’ve written anywhere and everywhere I can; on trains, on planes, in bed, at the dining room table, on the sofa, in the office during lunch breaks, in the car with a notepad if I’ve arrived too early for a morning meeting. In the past twelve months the sofa and dining room table have been the two main places, with the use of earphones to block out the distractions e.g. children, husband, TV!
I have always longed for a writing space of my own, somewhere I can hide away and immerse myself in the latest novel/short story/feature. Somewhere that people will understand is sacrosanct (Ha! With a houseful of children?!) Somewhere I can take myself seriously as a writer…
Well, my husband was off work last week and fulfilled my wish – what an angel – by converting part of the garage into a writing room/study. He has a place to work from home (whilst I’m at work) and I have a place to write. It’s gorgeous! I’m slightly biased; the stud wall still needs plastering and the wires tidying away. However, in my area (there is a bar area too that is for universal use, honest) I have an old-fashioned wooden writer’s bureau with a flip top lid that doubles as a desk, where I am writing this post now. It has drawers and shelves stuffed full of how-to books, notepads, post-it notes, pens, business cards, old projects, draft manuscripts and tons of other stationery. I also have an executive chair and a printer. I don’t have a view (other than a corkboard full of things to remember to do) but that’s just as well as I’m best off with as little distraction as possible. It’s bliss! Here are some more photos for your delectation… spot the bottle of beer in one photo and that the desk has moved and lost the stereo in another. Yes, I did fiddle with the set up of this space for a few hours on Sunday evening; I am not ashamed to admit it! In fact, I revelled in it…
The difference having this space has made to my output is heartening. My concentration levels are up and therefore my speed. I’m working through the rewrites of The Lost Weekend (contemporary romance) at the moment, editing on hard copy MS, and am doing so a heck of a lot quicker than if I was curled up on the couch trying to tune out the rest of my world.
And though I know that it’s the act of writing itself that makes you a writer, and I have been doing that for years, I’ve got to admit that with the introduction of a writing space… I finally feel like A Proper Writer.
Where do you write? Tell us about it. Do you wish you had a writing space? If so, where would it be and what would it have in it? Share your thoughts with us.
Happy writing, Nikki x