Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Writers Space

The key to the act of writing is simply the ability to focus in an area where you feel comfortable letting your creativity soar.  Some feel comfortable writing in coffee shops because the chaos and warm atmosphere is ideal for them to disappear into the background.  Also being away from home is a great way to dissolve the distractions of housework.  In a public setting the people around them can be a source of inspiration when one is feeling empty, but for me it’s all too distracting.  I love to people watch, eavesdrop (I think that’s why I love reading blogs so much), and I find my mind goes in so many directions when people are around.

Example: The other day I showed up to work a half hour too early and my boss sent me next door to Starbucks to wait it out until I could clock on.  So I ordered a soy chai and took a seat by the window. Window watching is my favorite, because you can watch people in the reflection without them knowing because they just think you are looking outside.  Anyway, two women were sitting across from each other at a small table, their body language screamed ambiguous, but their dialog was all about a mutual friends problems with her son.  The words were harsh, and if I hadn’t noticed their body language I would think the conversation was definitely not one for a public atmosphere.  It got me thinking, who was this woman they were talking about? Why was her son acting out? Did her son act out a lot? Did he have a father? Who were these women? Did they have children? Did their children act out in school? Were their children grown? What were they like as children? One of the women was wearing pants when it was clearly a hot day.  Did she grow up in a strict household? Did her mother subject her to body shaming at a young age? Did either of them ever suffer from an eating disorder? Did either of them have health issues? Does one of them have cancer and she only has one more month to live??
…See what I mean? I cannot focus around people. 

For me, I do the majority of my writing in bed.  As I write this I am lying on my freshly made bed, propped up on some comfy pillows, my legs are mostly bent, and my computer is resting on my thighs.  I write in this position a lot because it is comfortable and forces me to hold still.  The problem with writing in bed is that I do everything in bed.  Since I'm living at my dad’s house right now, I basically live my whole life in my bedroom.  This is where I watch TV, eat, do projects, read,  workout, etc. I have a hard time getting focused so the idea of having a place to go to write would be so amazing.  I wanted to create a space where every time I sit down to it, I train my brain to go into writer mode.

With the semester coming to an end, and the summer promising to deliver lazy days full of free time, I decided it was time to make my dream a reality.  I cleared off a little desk just big enough for my project.  This is important because I have had large desks before and they all end up as large tables to hold my mail, magazines, and anything that doesn’t have a specific place to go.  You can’t do that on a small surface without quickly needed to fix it.  Ergo, perfect writing space.  I like things clean, a clean space is a clear mind, and so I like to keep my laptop, note pad, and something beautiful on the surface, while keeping everything else in drawers.  These two small drawers hold pencils, pens, stapler, note cards, snacks, and miscellaneous pieces of inspiration. 

Natural light shining through large windows is one of the most beautiful auras and instantly put me in a great mood.  I write better when I feel great! Setting up my little space surrounded by three large windows is ideal.  If you are thinking of setting up a writing space, I sincerely suggest doing so by a window.
The chair is important.  You don’t want your chair to be too comfortable, as you don’t want to lose focus and end up falling asleep.  But you don’t want a super uncomfortable chair either because then you would never sit in it.  And if you did then writing becomes uncomfortable and that is just no fun.  I chose a simple wooden chair that fits perfectly under the little desk, but I put a pillow on it so it’s a bit more comfortable then it should be.  I like to binge write, and I don’t like my bum going numb!
The best part is the bed is literally 2 ½ feet away, so If I'm tired of sitting upright and want to continue a project lying back on my comfy pillows, I don’t have to skip too many beats to accommodate my mood. 

Everyone’s ideal writing space is different, but if you love to write and you find yourself having a difficult time focusing, I encourage you to imagine your perfect space, and then try to create it!  Unlike an artists studio, you don't need a lot of space, as your tools are simply your notebook and a pen (or a computer), you just need to imagine a place that feels great to you!  A productive space.  Please let me know what your writing space looks like!


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