Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Writing Space

I'm currently halfway through my first draft and have set myself a target of completing it by mid July - with the help of the 80k in 80 days challenge. 

My problem with staying on target is, I don't have a proper writing space. I have a very narrow computer table downstairs that is not much wider than the keyboard that graces it so is hopeless for my need to spread out multiple notebooks. This computer is also shared by the family which isn't ideal if I decide creativity is kicking in as my little boy is sat using it. 

I tend to use my laptop but find the best place to use it is on my bed so I can spread out all my notes. As you can imagine, this isn't an ideal working space so I've decided that if I plan on sticking to the time scales I have set myself, I need a real writing space. A space that is mine where I can put notebooks, pencils and writing magazines in proper places and I can work in relative peace. 

We have a spare bedroom, but as with most spare bedrooms it is filled with "stuff". Stuff I'm sure can be found homes elsewhere, even if that new home is the bin.

I've ordered a desk from Ikea which is being delivered on Saturday. I just need to clear out our much needed (rolls eyes) worldly possessions, get myself a comfortable chair, at which point I will be all set and raring to go. 

With a desk, a chair and space to work I will positively steam through the rest of this first draft. (that's the plan anyway!) And I can't wait.

Where is your writing space and what makes you more productive? 


  1. I'm like you - I don't really have one. My most productive space used to be on my landlady's couch with the cat and the mayhem of the whole house going on around me. Alas, I moved 2 years ago to somewhere peaceful - and haven't really written since - oops!
    Good luck with your new space - I'm off to create one of my own!

  2. *Sigh*...

    I'm very jealous. I have a writing room of my own, complete with desk, shelves, filing cabinet... but I'm giving it up over the summer for my growing eldest child to have a room of his own... I'm moving into your world, please tell me it's not as bad as all that!

  3. I have a tiny computer desk too. My feet are constantly kicking my printer and all that fits on the desk is a small notebook - all my other papers are spread over the floor.

    We were going to clear out the spare room for me this summer but my two daughters who have always insisted on sharing a bedroom have now decided they want their own space.

    Oh well, I guess I won't miss what I never had.

  4. I have my own desk and computer (a laptop I chose specifically for writing -- I didn't want a regular computer, because I need it to be portable). However, my desk is housed in one corner of the room that serves as an entry room and dining room. My house is very small and I don't have any extra space. I have dreams about the writing room I'll have in my next house, but for now I manage to get a lot done here.

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  6. I understand your plight completely, Rebecca, and I would be completely unable to function. I have proven that in the past. These days (our move to Malaysia three months ago), even with ample space to write and no one else in it all day long except me and the dogs, it wasn't until I actually ordered an IKEA workdesk and put it in an empty room (a luxury, I know) and said "my study" that I actually went back to working on the novel. I'm trying for the same goal as you and about the same distance along so let's wish us BOTH success. Congratulations on your new desk. Light a candle and make it your own. cyn [earlier comment deleted for a typo--grrr]

  7. Your own room? I want one of them! :( But we have a 6 person family and a 3 bedroomed house, so it's never gonna happen! I don't need lots of notebooks, though, just the one I'm typing up from, so I have a small ikea laptop table squeezed into our tiny bedroom for my own space. Sometimes write on the bed or sofa, too. I do have my own laptop, now.

    What I really want, when I have a spare £20k, is one of these: http://bit.ly/j9q4p3

  8. It's funny, I have an "official" writing space, which I even call my "writing room." It's actually a small ante room to our powder room which also holds all my craft supplies and other junk. However, I never can seem to write there.

    I find myself most productive on one of the ends of the family dining table, or on the living room couch.

    I keep putting things back into the writing room after each session.

    Maybe I need a better chair in there. A candle? How about a crystal that boosts creativity. Oh and a lamp. A bill board, and... Sorry....

  9. I actually have a giant oak desk with hutch that I'm going to get rid of. It's too big and cumbersome and I usually sit on a chair in the livingroom with my laptop either on a pillow on my lap or I stand up with my laptop on top of my printer, which is on top of a short shelf. It's the perfect height for a standing workstation, and I enjoy being able to fluctuate between standing and sitting. The chair I had at my desk was not comfortable and I just took that to the dumpster a couple of days ago. Once I get the desk out, I will probably get a more streamlined, smaller desk one day with a very comfy chair! :-)) I'm really happy for you getting your desk all sorted. It really helps when you enjoy your workspace!

  10. I've loved the responses to this post. Reading where people write. No matter where any of us are, it's the writing that matters. It's brilliant to see that. Thanks for talking about your space.

    Laura - I can't wait for my desk to arrive! Have you created that space yet? :)

    Annalisa - The bed makes quite a comfortable writing space. Good luck with the moving about, I'm sure your eldest will be very pleased with the arrangement. :)

    Sarah - Your daughters will love their own space. It's just a shame it means you don't get yours. We still manage to write and blog though don't we :)

    Ranae - I don't think it matter where our space is as long as we can sit and write. I just found my productivity was slowing and as I had the space, thought I'd use it. Apparently Stephen King wrote in a very tiny space.

    Cynthia - It's all in the title isn't it? "The Study" I can't wait! Wishing you lots of luck as you strive to complete your work. See you at the finishing line :)

    Clare- I'm lucky in that we have four beds and only two kids. I'm not sure I could cope if we were any larger! I want one of those as well!!

    Mieke - It's all about finding the space that's right for us isn't it, wherever that may be. Broom cupboard, table, large conservatory, outside in the garden. It's all about the writing.

    Jeannie - Thank you. I can't wait for it to be delivered. Though you've just reminded me, I need a chair to sit at now!

  11. As a student and professional nomad, I'm resigned to being spaceless for at least another year, if not longer. Moving every few months will do that to you.

    On the other hand, I feel it's a sort of boon- I've got the ability to sit down, close my ears to the outside world, and hammer out a couple k anywhere and any time. I wrote most of my current WIP in the dead of winter on a tiny footstool crammed against a blazing wood stove, three feet from a TV that was blaring reruns of Lost for the rest of the people in the room.

    After that, I'm pretty sure I'll never need a writing space. I'd kinda like to have one, though.

  12. I actually have a desk, with a work table, and all my reference books spread around me. I like order so having my own workspace is great for me. I sit on a balance ball. Have for three years. Talk about discipline. If I lean too far for a book, splat. So embarrassing. I write early every morning, go to my day job (from the same home office desk) and return to writing every evening for a few hundred words. I used to be a nomad, but no longer. Unless a Starbucks beckons and then I'm gone in 60 seconds.

  13. I have an area in my room that I use specifically for writing or painting. It's my little nook, and it makes me very happy. Everyone needs a little space of their own to use as inspiration. Good luck on making yours :)


  14. @Betsy- I sit on a balance ball too! It gives me a chance to fidget without getting up from the computer, and makes me actually keep an eye on my posture. Also, the dormitory chairs are designed to make your legs fall asleep. A nice bouncy ball is much better.

  15. I hope you like your desk, and your space! Maybe that is what I need, I'm terribly behind on the 80k challenge. I'm like you and stretch out with a laptop, but it's not ideal, and obviously isn't working too well since I'm so behind.

    Good luck with the new space!

  16. Now that the kids are growing up and moving out on their own, I finally have a entire room of my own to write. I've been gradually remodeling it to make it "my office," right down to repainting, new curtains, my favorite plants sprinkled throughout, etc.

    I can't tell you what a huge difference it has made in my writing life! I've turned the room into sort of my own personal sanctuary, so now I love to be in there. And since I'm in there, I might as well write, right? lol. I'm much less likely now to let a day go by without writing.

    However, the kids & hubby now joke that someday I'm going to get myself a fridge and a hotplate to put in there, and then they'll never see me again. ;)

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