Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Writing Space

This is the first in a new series called My Writing Space.

(You can find all the posts by clicking on the My Writing Space link in the "Popular Calamity Jane Series" box to the right)

I’m hoping it will become a collection of pictures/descriptions of the places (desks, offices, coffee houses, airports, coffins, whatever) where different writers get work done. Where the magic occurs.

Where the sobbing and banging of the head against the wall happen too.

Spatial organization – oh, let’s face it: ANY type of personal organization – is appealing to me. I believe heavily in efficiency and love to hear about new tools or ways people have found to organize their time, space, lives. Writing or any other part. Yeah, it’s a little geeky. But hey, I’m a geek, no big secret there.

So I have some writer friends lined up to participate in upcoming weeks; to share about their writing spaces, tools, habits and anything else that may apply. Both my published and unpublished writing peeps, because they’re all awesome.

I’m going to try to see if I can get Nora Roberts to send me a picture of her writing space – but since she probably has a restraining order out against me from the whole RWA incident, that probably won’t happen.  Alas…

But this week, to kick it off, I thought I would start with my personal writing space.

First, let’s be clear, if I was Nora Roberts, and had sold 400 million (no kidding) copies of my books and had my own personal stalker, this would be my writing space/cabin:


Because, right? Seriously awesome.  Plus the walls come up if you need to get rid of your stalker. Helpful feature.

I didn’t have a real writing space at all until this summer. Before then, I wrote wherever: at the kitchen table, at Starbucks, but mostly on my couch with a little plastic TV tray holding my laptop. But once my back and neck started giving me problems from multiple hours of slumped-over “grandma sitting” as my hubby called it, we decided to get me a desk.

After consulting Craig’s List, this is what we came up with – a sweet, little writing desk.


We decided to put it downstairs in the corner of our living room. Our thinking was: I would be sort of out of the way, but not so far gone that our four kids would burn down the house. Plus, putting it there enabled me to meet my pathological need to have the wall at my back in order to get anything done. (Maybe my next series should be: “All the Ways Janie is Crazy”)

I also have a bulletin board and whiteboard (both which can be slid behind my entertainment center that is right next to my desk), a lamp, and a couple of motivational posters, which basically say this (but not as pretty):




My writing space is definitely still a work in process. I know I still need:

1) A better chair. The folding one I have now is terrible (it's not the one in the picture).
2) Some sort of electrical zapping device that shocks me if I start looking at Facebook or Pinterest or any other social media when I should be writing
3) A conveyer belt that will take my coffee mug over to the kitchen and refill it.

I guess nothing’s perfect. But here’s the AWESOME thing I’ve found about having a dedicated writing space:  When I sit down at my desk to write, my brain gets all serious.

Because writing is the only thing I do when I’m at this desk, there’s a kind of muscle memory that happens when I sit down here. Everything just sort of clicks on.  A dedicated writing space hasn’t solved every writing issue I have, but it has certainly been a start. And I'm glad I have it.

You know, just until Nora Roberts and I go in on our writing cabin together.

I look forward to hearing about and sharing the writing space of other authors. Next week will be fellow debut Harlequin Intrigue author, and my buddy, Barb Han. If you’re a writer and got a space (great or otherwise) you're willing to share, let me know and I’ll get you scheduled on here too.

14 comments:

  1. I love your corner! And your desk is so cute!
    (Mine is perpetually buried under eleventybillion scrappy bits of paper with notes on, cd's, pens that don't work, reminders...)

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    1. I need to schedule you for a week, Rachel. The writing space of a pre-published author. :)

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    1. Thanks Stephanie! It was steal on Craig's List! :)

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  3. I love your little desk too. It's very classy. You need like... a fancydancy wing-back chair and a boa :)

    Mine's a mess when I'm working. And the candles. They're EVERYWHERE. I think I must have been a pyromaniac in a former life.

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    1. Blahahahaha. We want pictures! We want pictures! And of course, I ALWAYS wear my boa when writing. As all princesses should. :)

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  4. What a fabulous corner!!

    Love it.

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    1. It works well sometime, but not others. I wish I had my own office, but alas... Can't wait to see your writing space next week, Barb.

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  5. Writing space is sooo important! Congrats on finally getting some for yourself.

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    1. Thanks Jen. Would love to hear about your space too.

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  6. You deserve a better chair! Something that's padded and rolls you to the kitchen to refill your cup. The stalker-free one above looks good but are you supposed to pee in the woods, because I don't see a bathroom??

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    1. hahahaha. That's a very good point. Nora and I will have to be sure to include a bathroom in our writing retreat.

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  7. You are so right about your brain working like muscle memory when you sit down in your writing space, Janie! My brain works like that, too. My space is for writing. I have a different computer for Internet, email and other types of distractions.

    Love your desk! And yes, get a better chair!! Your neck and back will love you for it. ;)

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    1. I have gotten a better chair. It's not an awesome chair, but it's much better than the folding one.

      What you said about the multiple computers is an *excellent* point, Julie. I've just been moving my laptop to different locations, but I certainly have enough of them floating around my house that I could leave one set up on my desk to use ONLY for writing my novel. That would be double muscle-memory.

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