Monday Musings: What makes a Writing Space?

writingspace
The words ‘organised chaos’ may spring to mind…

So today, as I try to muster up the motivation to write, I find myself thinking about the space that surrounds me; the space where I flex my creative muscles, where the work (sometimes) is done; whenever I can find a few spare hours in the day. For me, this space is the spare bedroom in the house that me and my boyfriend have now been living in for almost a year. This room, however, also functions as my ‘games room’ – that is, where another television and all of my game consoles live, as that is a passion of mine not shared by my understanding spouse; so distraction is always lying in wait. Somehow I am able to resist most of the time, however. What I find a more dangerous distraction is simply the deadly trap of the world wide web (although I hear there are programs you can download to keep you more focused, and options in browsers that limit your use of social media sites; this may be something I will investigate); my laptop sits upon the desk (well, originally a dining table), fetched from downstairs where it is generally used for idle internet browsing and my daily dose of YouTube, with the intention being for it to transform into a productive writing tool once it has entered the sanctity of the spare room. This does not always go entirely according to plan, though I do give myself a firm slap on the wrist every time I inadvertently find myself opening Facebook on one of my Firefox tabs (and again for even opening an internet browser at all) – so I can usually keep myself disciplined this way. I will, however, generally have my headphones on and have some sort of music playing as background noise – trying to stick to either a simple shuffle of my collection on Media Player or to one of my playlists – rather than constantly chopping and changing, as this does not exactly breed productivity. I’ve spoken to some people who either don’t understand how I can possibly work and concentrate while listening to music at the same time, or other writers who don’t share the compulsion to. For me, however, I find it a necessity. It’s often the only way for me to get lost in what I’m doing – illogically, I find silence distracting. Sometimes the music may even inspire what I’m writing. I have to have something going on in the ears in order for my eyes and fingers to focus on the task at hand, it would seem.

So, going back to my writing space itself. What do I have around me as I sit here writing this post at this very moment? Well;

  • Coffee (possibly a writer’s best friend or simply a very suggestive placebo – it works well either way).
  • Two notebooks full of random jottings and ideas, some of which may even take form on the computer screen someday.
  • A few books: The Roget’s Thesaurus, 642 Things to Write About by the San Francisco’s Writer’s Grotto (recommended to me when I attended a writer’s group session where local writer Laura May was a guest, full of weird and wonderful writing prompts for those irksome times when you’re a bit stuck), a book about Van Gogh which I realise has been sitting here since I wrote this poem a while back, the idea springing from one of his paintings, and also No Plot? No Problem! A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days, which I may or may not attempt when November, aka NaNoWriMo rolls around.
  • My printer, whose primary function is to print pages of a few days ago, to look over and mercilessly dissect with my trusty red pen.
  • My Writing Timetable which looms over me on the wall, which is followed most of the time. Again, wrist-slapping may prove to be a good motivator if I fail to meet my scheduled time.

I find this space serves me well most of time, though the desk may need to be cleared of all the miscellaneous clutter I have conveniently not mentioned in the above list. Where do you sit down to write? Has it been crafted specifically to be your writing space, or do you find you can adapt to whatever surrounding is convenient at the time? A few people have said to me that they can often quite happily sit down at a Starbucks, or a similarly overpriced coffee chain, and type merrily away on their laptops while sipping at their lattes – not something I have attempted, though according to my brother, if I did do this I would officially be ‘one of those coffee shop douchebags’. Maybe so. In truth, I would rather be huddled up in the solitude of my spare room, where I don’t feel like I have to constantly look busy, or indeed ‘like a writer’.

Where do you flex your writing muscles?

Check out my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, available NOW for download as an eBook on Amazon. Check it out here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M

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The ‘To Read’ List (updated 1/5/2016)

toreadpile

EDIT: Updated 1st May 2016

…As for the subject of this post; yes, it is the dreaded ‘To Read’ pile that, for those like me who enjoy a good book, seems to grow ever bigger due to the heavy demands and committments of our everyday lives. It became a bit of a problem for me last year, as I was constantly buying books from second-hand bookshops/charity shops, thinking ‘I’ll get to all these someday’, only to find I had so many building up in my room, still unread. It was at that point I literally sorted them into a ‘To Read’ pile, and began, you know, actually reading the blasted things, further vowing to not buy anymore until I had finished them. I’ll admit I make the occassional exception – if there is a new Margaret Atwood coming out I will either buy it or ask for it as a gift, for example – but I’ve generally managed to keep to this pretty well. So, in order to keep an actual list for myself, here are all of the books that have amassed in the pile, with links to their Goodreads pages (I will give my account on there some attention as I work through all of these as well!). Click to read on…

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Weds poetry prompt: ‘Excavation’ (‘Hiding’ poem prompt)

hiding

Today’s prompt: Write a ‘Hiding’ poem.

So many things can be hiding, or hidden – and not necessarily physical things either. This is the poem I will now reveal to you…

Excavation

So many things shirk and hide
In the deepest darkest corners,
Away from the searing obviousness
That stifles our sense of wonder.

These are the truths lurking behind
All of those cold, stony faces
That suffer those who show so freely
Not gladly, but with icy tolerance.

They shoulder the weight of secrets
And share not the slightest clue.
They’ll only bear to share their time
With quiet souls, the great discoverers.

They’ll be the ones with the patience
To chip away at the stone slowly
And find that naked, honest face
That the rest can’t understand.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, available NOW for download as an eBook on Amazon. Check it out here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M

Monday Musings: The Darkness Within Writing

xfiles-want-to-believe

SCULLY: I’m asking you to look at yourself.

MULDER: Why? I don’t think I’m the one who’s changed.

SCULLY: We’re not FBI any more, Mulder. We are two people who come home at night, to a home now. I don’t want that darkness in my home.

MULDER: Scully, this is who I am. It’s who I’ve always been. This is who I was before I met you. It’s what I do, it’s everything I know.

SCULLY: Write it down. Put it in a book.

MULDER: You’re asking me to give up?

SCULLY: No. I can’t tell you to do that, Mulder. But I can tell you that I won’t be coming home.

The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008)

So I was re-watching The X-Files: I Want to Believe the other night, after I’d spent the past few months re-watching the entire series in preparation for the new mini-series. And while the film is just as mediocre as I remember, this scene and discussion stood out to me, being a writer myself. ‘Write it down’, Scully says. And indeed, writing can be a great outlet for the emotion and pain felt through our lives; and from this I was inspired to write about the subject myself – do all writers in fact, have an inherent darkness within themselves? Continue reading

Weds poetry prompt: ‘To See the Stars Again’ (‘At Last’ poem prompt)

starrysky
Credit to ‘The-Paranormal-sheep’ for the image (original image here)

Today’s prompt: Write an ‘At Last’/’Finally’ poem.

This sort of turned into a ‘Stop and smell the roses’ poem as well, but hopefully it still fits the theme! Enjoy…

To See the Stars Again

And now at long last,
After so much time spent
And sanity spilled like seeds,
Our toil turns to flowers
That show our arduous efforts
In a more alluring light.

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