Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Where Do You Write Right?

Where do you do your writing? This is my space--at the top of the stairs in the hallway. Yes, this is a roll top desk, but I would have to swoop all that junk off in order to close it.

 I'm always curious as to where everyone does their writing. I have to ask for forgiveness for my envy (especially when I see Deb Raney's studio. It's so beautiful.) My environment is really important to me and it can mean the difference from getting a lot done to a complete standstill. 

Over the years I've had my "perfect office" to where I am now--a crowded desk at the top of the stairs next to my bedroom (where, because my husband worked all night, he's snoring and I have to be quiet. My laptop sound is muted.)

This latest office area is what I call Organized Central Chaotic Control. My chair is crippling me, but I tried the exercise ball to sit on, and while it's great for my back, let's just say--not too smart for a klutz like me--at the top of the stairs. (Yikes.) I have to have a small, skinny chair so we can pass by. I'm looking into getting a different chair. 

Our house is open concept so with four grown sons at home at the moment, plus, two dogs, I can hear all noise from every single room, including the garage. I'm the kind of person who works best in an organized, quiet area and right now this isn't cutting it. (That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.)

Here's the top of my desk. I love my owl painting print, but I really don't look at it when I have my nose in my computer.

This is my view behind my chair. Yes, that's the front door. Ding-dong and the dog alarms go off, too. 
This is one dog alarm. Her name is Lizzie and she is a West Highland, Terrier. This is the view from my desk over the railing.
This is Bear, my other Dog Alarm, but he's pretty sweet (he's a Scotty.)
What is important to you when you're writing? What are your absolute "must haves?" I have found over the years that my list is simple, but not simple to achieve. 

1. I must have quiet. People talking to me, noise from a TV or radio, music, dogs barking--these all interrupt my thoughts and distract me from being in my writing world. 
2. A good, working laptop. I really do not like working on a desk top computer. I like reading on my computer and have edited many manuscripts on the computer.
3. A comfortable chair. 
4. Breaks to get up and go outside.
5. My materials/research close by my laptop. 
6. Something to sip, like water or coffee or iced tea.

 Whatever your list, it is important to find what works. You could be working in your chair in your living room, like Colleen Coble does. You could be at your kitchen table, like Debbie Macomber started off doing. Or you could have a lovely office like Deb Raney, who started off at her kitchen table with four kids. But finding the time is most important. 

I complain about this set up right now, but eventually I'll find what works better. And it might be right here, because I just need a good chair, some headphones and to clean up my desk, don't you think?

Writing isn't really just a place--it is an action. You can find what works best for you, but it's really about making the time. And that, my writing friends, is the important takeaway from this blog. Plus, I just really want to know:

Where do you write? 

And if you're curious as to where some published authors write, here's a link to Author Donita K. Paul's pages showing a big list of authors' writing spaces. Enjoy! And dream on, just keep writing!



  1. Recently I've been writing with my laptop on my lap in the living room which is a sunny yellow with high ceilings and a view, if I stretch, of the lake.

    I really like writing outside or by an open window. For some reason being outside seems to really get the creative juices flowing.

    Most disruptive things to writing: the ringing phone or my husband, God bless him, sorry to bother you, but...

  2. BTW, loved your dog alarms, "Terror" and Bear. Our
    dog, Miles will stand only so much of me working then he'll come lift my hands off the keys with his nose.

  3. Miles sounds so gentle, Mary. Lizzie the Terror is only 14 lbs (opposed to gentle Bear's 42 lbs) and she whaps me with her full weight until I cry uncle! She has this sharp bark, too.

    I loved hearing where you write, Mary. I have a husband who is like yours, too. Ha!

    I have a screened porch I can take my laptop to, but there's a cat out there now and he scratches at the screen and Lizzie the Terror barks incessantly at it. Lizzie is 10 this year. She acts like a puppy most of the time. (Ha)

  4. We have a roll top desk too. It used to be my second desk, but it is now a display for many of my late father-in-loves bibles and files.

  5. This is one corner of my space:

  6. I do have a dedicated office, which is lovely, but over the winter I just couldn't seem to work in there. The laptop made it easy to move to the living room. I'll probably move back to the office soon so I can watch the lake out the window.

    Miles is gentle and such a sweetie. Everybody just loves him. He loves company, especially children, but when ladies come for Bible study he grabs his red bone like a pacifier and carries it around he gets so excited. He lays as close to us as he can get so he can be part of the action. He's mostly quiet - which suits me.

  7. Hey Darren, liked your library. I saw Matthew and Mark but was wondering where Luke and John are.

  8. Darren, see? I have to tamp down that envy on your writing space. Look at those shelves! Those are awesome. It looks organized, too. Perfect for writing speculative fiction...and you can do your writing daydreaming while riding your lawnmower.

    Mary! You have a lake!? You look out over a lake? Sigh.

    I have to go down our road to get to the river (can't see it from here--too many trees.) I can see our creek down in the woods but only when the trees are sparse.

  9. I do, although my view is somewhat obstructed because somebody across the street put up a pavilion - how dare they? From the garage or front lawn we have a better view. I do love it.

  10. Hi Crystal,

    My workspace is a full office. My biggest needs are:

    1) Lots of surface area to work.
    2) Quiet.
    3) A snack and something to eat.
    4) Paper, paper, and more paper. (I'm a compulsive
    list maker.)
    5) Books. I must be surrounded by books.

    Susan :)

    P.S. You've inspired me to do a full post on my workspace in the near future. I'll link to this article.

  11. Oops! That should be a snack and something to drink.

  12. I have an office that I LOVE, but it's usually full of stuff I have to hide if someone is coming over on short notice and I don't have anywhere else to pout the junk on the dining room table! LOL. I do about half my writing the same way Colleen does -- in my recliner with my laptop with all he dogs sawing logs beside me until the mail lady honks the horn breaking the silence. I have the TV on, too, usually, but it's just for noise and doesn't distract me. My husband is usually jamming on his guitar or mandolin or banjo there is a lot of noise here including my twins with autism running in and out with earth-shattering reports to share. I've learned to write just about anywhere in any situation.

    I also write at the library but anymore I prefer to be at home. Sometimes I write in my office at church but not very often unless I'm into some super heavy edits and have to have absolute unbreakable silence! And I've picked up the art of writing on the run with an old fashioned notebook and pen. It's been fun doing that, too. I've written very well that way, actually!

    I LOVED THIS POST! I'm fascinated with other home "offices!"

  13. What a fun post, Crystal! I'm looking forward to checking out the other writing spaces. Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your writing life. Writing is such a lonely life - at least the writing part of it - it's nice to imagine other authors out there writing. And easier to imagine when you paint a picture for us!