Monday Musings: What makes a Writing Space?

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?

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3 thoughts on “Monday Musings: What makes a Writing Space?

  1. Coffee shop douchebags–that is freaking hilarious! I love sitting in Starbucks–you are privy to some interesting conversations–but then you have to buy so etching, so I usually go to Barnes and Noble with my free coffee and sit in their cafe. It is harder to write at home because of the tv.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to admit, I’ve never really tried the writing out in public thing…I’m mostly free of the distraction of TV at home, as we don’t have a working aerial – you’d be surprised how liberating it is just to watch stuff streaming/on catch up services 🙂


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