Here I Write, There I Write (Penny Rader)

Here's my writing space. Isn't it awesome?

Just kidding. It's a puzzle I gave my daughter for Christmas. Wishful thinking on my part.

I don't have one specific writing place. The main computer is in the living room...but my dh spends as much time there as I do there, if not more. But that's okay because I usually write most of my first drafts by hand. I like the portability of a notebook and pen/pencil. And the connection I feel between the pen and paper.

Sometimes I write in the recliner or on my bed. Sometimes I write in my car. A couple weeks ago, during Mass, I surreptitiously pulled my trusty little notebook out of my purse and jotted a couple notes while trying to conceal my actions beneath my coat. All the while I expected a nun to tap me on the shoulder and ask me to share with the class. Sorry. Memories of parochial school. ;D

Then there are times my brain wakes me up while sleeping. Sentences will whirl through my head. If I don't get it down on paper (or into the computer), it's gone. Time and time again a great idea wanders into my mind. I repeat it to myself a couple times and even though I know better, I tell myself this time I will remember it when I woke up. Most of the time...nope. It's just gone. Other times the thoughts pester the dickens out of me until I get up and Write. It. Down. Which just aggravates me 'cause I like to sleep and when something wakes me for more than just a split second I have a horrible time getting back to sleep. Which makes me all draggy at the work the next day.

Enough about me and my weird brain. I like to poke around the Internet, so I decided to see where other writers write. Here are snippets from a couple that spoke to me. Maybe they will appeal to you also:

The Importance of Place: Where Writers Write and Why (Alexandra Enders)

Why do some writers prefer company and background noise, while others need isolation? Why do some need the magical monotony of sameness, and others the inspiration of variety? What does it mean for a writer to be locked into a place? What does place even mean to a writer?

Where I Write #3: Wherever and Whenever I Can (Kate Geiselman)

I would start writing in earnest, I kept telling myself, when I had a place to do it….But in the meantime, over twenty years and in twenty-minute chunks, I had managed to write only bits and pieces….It was my husband who finally called bullshit one Sunday morning at the breakfast table. He had been gently nudging me for years…. “All you have to do is send it. It’s a deadline. Finish something. Please.”

Since I don't have a real office, I poked around and found these:

Writers’ Rooms

Where I Write: Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors in Their Creative Spaces Cool pics, though Chip Delany’s office makes me a bit dizzy.

This got me to thinking about what I'd like to have in an office. Blogger and I are having a disagreement about putting pictures where I want them (instead of shoved to the top of the post), so I can't show them to you. But I can give you links to them. :D

I like these warm pink walls and the pictures and notes tacked up on the walls. I find it helpful to have pictures and notes out where I can see them. This is where I would probably work on my first drafts.

The openness of this room would be perfect for those days when I need to wander around and think. Lots of room for my books and notebooks and files and such. Lots of room to spread my stuff out so I can see all the pieces and parts. I think there must also be a comfy window seat on the other side of the room for when I need to take a break to read or daydream (aka ‘nap’).

I love the coziness of this room. This would good for when I need to get words into the computer.

The sharpness of this room drew me in. I’d probably use this room for reading through my mss and editing.

This one reminds me of when I first started writing in a drafty dining room on an electric typewriter.


Do you have a special writing space?


Vonnie Davis said...

I've learned that it's not important where I write, but THAT I write. I told myself I'd write when the children were older, when they got out of high school, when they got out of college, when I got out of college, when I retired, when the house was completely clean, when... Well, you get the picture. The best tool a writer can have is a laptop with a long-life battery. I write on my recliner, at Bob Evans, Barnes and Noble, Micky-D's. Set a drink beside me and I can block out the world as I create mine. I can write to classical music, silence, children whining...okay, maybe not (Parents, do the world a fovor, teach your kids whining is unacceptable). The important thing is to write. Light a candle, if you like. Put on some mood music, if that's your thing. But write.

Joanie said...

The funny thing is that while I have an office (former third bedroom in my house)whose space is used exclusively for my writing biz, I do most of my writing in either the sunny breakfast area off the kitchen, or in my comfy chair in the family room. Guess it just goes to show that even when we get what we think we need, our subconscious makes sure we use what we really must.

Good blog, Penny. Love the links, too.


Penny Rader said...

Hi Vonnie! When my kids were younger I had a hard time creating new stuff when they where milling around unless I already had a good start on it. For some reason I was able to do edits and research, maybe because I find it easier to pick up where I left off when words are already there.

LOL about whining. One of my daughters liked to whine when she was little, so I told her that her bedroom was her whining room. If she wanted to whine, then that's where she needed to go. :D Not sure if she still remembers that.

Penny Rader said...

Hi Joan! Sometimes I wonder if I'd still gravitate toward the living room or my bedroom even if I had a real office.

Getting ready to head to Mass. Hope inspiration doesn't strike because the weather's nice and I won't have a coat to hide under!

Mary Ricksen said...

Our house is tooo small and I have only one place to write. At the kitchen table, now my DH won't shut up and I need quiet to write. It's very distracting for sure. I so agree with everything you said. I forget the things I swear I will remember. Great ideas, gone in a puff!
I need a nice room for myself to writ in! Someday...

Tanya Hanson said...

Gerat blog, Penny. You had me laughing out loud at times, especially writing surrepticiously during Mass. I am lucky to have my own writing room. After my kids left home, I told them don't expect to come back LOL, this room is MINE.

I've got my research books and a shelf full of favorites, souvenirs from London (one of my favorite places) and a few special things on the walls.

I don't do music when I write. And I always have a notebook with me for scribbling down ideas.

Great post!

Penny Rader said...

Oh, Mary, I'm so sorry you don't have a quiet place to write. That's one of the things I like about being able to take a notebook and pen with me anywhere. Even though most of my kids are grown and out of the house, I have a hard time creating new stuff if someone else is around, so I often retreat to my room and pile up a couple pillows. Another thing I haven't done in a long time is drive myself to one of our parks by the river. I especially like it when I can find a shady spot to park under and feel a cool breeze through the windows while watching the sun dapple the water and the geese swim. Very relaxing and conducive (sp?) to writing.

I hope you find a writing space that's yours alone soon.

Penny Rader said...

Hi Tanya! I like to have background noise when I'm writing, whether it's tv or music. I get ideas from music. Music also helps me capture the emotion of what I'm trying to say.

Lucky you to have your own room!

Cait London said...

1. For blogger pics. Just copy the html of the pic and paste it where you want it.
2. I started writing wherever there was a flat space and some minimum quiet in the house. Then, it was a corner of the bedroom, the door closed. Enhanced now, a bigger system, a PC standing and waiting, it is my work space. That is, I go there to work. It's quite a space, too, tho I do have a regular ofc room. But my characters come here, in this corner of a bedroom, and I work. Regimentation if possible is great, but writing around the corners of your life is great, too. I did that for years. But this corner means work, productivity, schedules, business. I am here to do a job, with that attitude. My PC understands, the laptop does other stuff wherever, but the PC means business. :)

Joan Vincent said...

An awesome writing room--an awesome puzzle too! I write best at my desk with no radio, no nothing. Sometimes I do use music--like when I was writing some fandango scenes for one of my Honour books. These days it doesn't matter where i write just that I do.

Melissa Robbins said...

Penny, you and I are kindred spirits. I wrote out dialogue for a story just last Sunday during Sunday School class. Our normal room was too hot, so we hung out in the chapel. Our speaker couldn't see what I was doing. I felt so naughty.

Nina Sipes said...

I'm so very glad you write. Your outlook on things is so comforting and the stuff you can find on the internet is awesome skilled.