Welcome to another Wednesday Wondering. Today’s question was posed by Write Romantic Alex and is:
Where do you write?
I love this question. I subscribe to ‘Writing Magazine’ and there’s an regular feature in there called ‘My Writing Day’. Writers from different genres talk about their background, how they write and where they write and it’s one of my favourite articles as I love to pick up hints and tips … as well as be downright nosey if they’ve included a picture of their writing place. I was therefore very excited when Alex put this question forward and I’ve absolutely loved looking at all the pictures.
I also have some serious pink laptop and gorgeous notepad envy from Helen P’s picture. Actually, I want her desk too! I also want Rachael’s dog. And Jo’s armchair. And …..
I hope you enjoy reading about our writing space and seeing the pictures as much as I did. Here’s where some of The Write Romantics write:
I write on the PC in the tiny third bedroom which we’ve turned into an office and have to share it with himself occasionally, which is very annoying! There’s a good view of the street and all that’s going on which can be distracting but I quite like that. Behind the desk is a wall of bookshelves – my library. I’ve got Hilary Mantel’s and Deborah Moggach’s rules for writers on the noticeboard. I don’t really go for rules but I like these as they are fun and sensible and quite inspirational when I’m stuck! There is always a cat calendar too. If pushed I can write on the laptop at the kitchen table but only if there’s nobody in the house as I need virtual silence when I’m writing and that’s easier to achieve up in my little room. I do have a back-up plan, though. If ever this starts to get serious and I need a long run at it with no interruptions like ‘It’s raining, shall I get the washing in?’ or ‘What shall I have for my lunch?’ (Oh, pleeease!) I can always bale out and take the laptop to my son’s cosy little flat which is only ten minutes away and really quiet and peaceful.
When I first started writing seriously I cleared myself a space in the office. A room in our house which is overflowing with cattle passports, cows to calve lists, accounts and other tedious stuff. Writing here became harder and harder as the paperwork I should kept dragging my attention from writing, as if it was calling me.
So along with my laptop I decamped to the dining room for some peace from the nagging paperwork. I know it’s my day job, but it doesn’t have to be my all night and all day job!
As you can see from the photo, it didn’t take me long to take over a room that was only used at Christmas. That was a few years ago and my family confessed to preferring to eat Christmas dinner at the kitchen table, so I have now changed it all permanently. Bookcases line one wall, the sofa bed (rarely used by guests) makes a nice place to read through hard copies of my work. My faithful companion, Tara, is usually found lying in the middle of the floor.
I can also write just about anywhere I find myself, either on my laptop or just with a pencil and paper. I have done this waiting for the car to be serviced, whilst kids are at hockey or rugby practise, in one of our fields with cows watching over the hedge, but I love to sit beside a river and write. There is something quite magical about that.
I used to live in a big 3-storey 5-bed townhouse and I had my very own office on the top floor. We downsized to move out of town so now I share an office with my husband. He works from home and I’m currently job-hunting but we do manage to share quite well as he’s not too noisy! It’s the smallest bedroom in the house although it does manage to just fit two desks and chairs in it. My desk would not be my choice of desk if I had the money or space but it serves a purpose well; especially when we bought the ‘hutch’ – the little shelving unit round my screen. I do, however, adore my sets of wooden drawers. These were from Wilkinson years ago. I have a bit of a thing for drawers.
I had to tidy my desk before this photo although it still looks messy! It has my writing essentials on it for my current work in progress (WIP) – the gorgeous PaperBlank notepad with the chapter plans, a blank notepad where I scribble down questions or potential inconsistencies to resolve later and a diary so I can keep track of where in the year we are (don’t want to talk about the crisp autumn leaves only to realise later that it should be Christmas!) As I’m currently sending my first novel out to agents, I have a copy of The Writer’s Handbook, the Directory of Publishing and another notepad to scribble down what each agent wants.
On the top of mu hutch I have a stack of “how to” books about writing and, to the left on top of the drawers, I have other writing essentials – my dictionary, thesaurus and a baby names book which I bought when I was pregnant but has been invaluable for writing! Plus lots of photos, teddies, notepads, pens and, perhaps a bit randomly, a bottle of air freshener for those moments when one of my house cats, Pixie, decides to use the litter tray. She’s never quite sussed how to cover her business and it can be very grim! If I’m mid-flow with my writing, I don’t want to have to dash downstairs to cover things up so a quick spray of the freshener holds it off … for a short while!
I write in this green chair with my laptop on my knee. Before I bought my laptop I wrote at the desk in my spare room. I was astounded by how much more creative I felt when I sat in a comfy chair next to a big window. All my books for writing (dictionary, thesaurus and the book of spells and magic) and my files of research are in the blue box so that they’re close at hand. The other essential piece of equipment is, of course, a cup of tea!
Since I started taking my writing seriously I’ve gone from the kitchen table, to the dining table, to the back room of the garage and finally to my walk in wardrobe! The room at the back of the garage had its advantages: completely separate from the house and therefore quiet with no risk of interruptions. But those pesky cockroaches paid me a visit on two occasions and also I didn’t want to leave the laptop out there so it meant packing everything up at the end of each writing session. It also got pretty hot in summer and freezing cold in winter. The walk in wardrobe works well…it means I’m at the opposite end of the house to everyone else, there are two sets of doors to block out noise, and I can also spy cold callers coming down the driveway and so I know whether to avoid answering the door or not. One day I really hope to have a dedicated study once again…with a view would be awesome 🙂
Truth is that I write anywhere and everywhere, from the car (not while I’m driving, obviously!) to the beach on holiday. However, at this time of year, my favourite writing spot is in the alcove of the sitting room, next to the wood burning stove and not in my study, which is nowhere near as cosy!
This is the tip – I mean room where I write. Not allowed past the door or else I’d have to kill you.
This is where I do most of my writing. It’s an antique bureau I picked up in brilliant shop in Bowness for £46. It’s tucked into the corner of the living room. Right next to the 50″ television. Thankfully I have the ability to switch off to the noise from the tele, kids, husband, dogs and can lose myself into my writing world.
Over to you. If you’re a writer, where do you write? If you’re a reader, where do you enjoy to read instead? We’d love to hear your thoughts.