Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Finding A Place To Write

Where you write is important but not life-threatening. If at all possible, find somewhere that you can spend some time alone during your writing sessions. A computer at your kitchen desk isn't going to be the best place to concentrate with kids and husbands running through the kitchen to get snacks, put dirty dishes on the counter, bringing friends in through the back door. With all those distractions, your powers of concentration are going to suffer.

If you're lucky enough to have a home office, savor the amenities it offers. You'll have your own place, quiet, a spot for your files and a bookshelf for your professional books about the writing world. You can leave notes to yourself stuck up here and there and no one cares. It's your space. It's the best of all choices. I have a writer friend who has her own office in her home where she works on a nonfiction book. Perfection? No, because her retired husband pops in and out to tell her something or ask where this or that is. She finally put a sign on the door that stated in big letters WRITER WORKING. It helped but didn't eliminate the problem.

But not everyone is fortunate enough to have that extra room. Walk around your home and see if there might be even a corner you can claim for your own. Maybe it's a corner in your bedroom. That works if you aren't sharing a room with a spouse or partner. If you do, you can still call a corner your own, but you might not be able to use it late at night or very early in the morning for fear of disturbing someone else.

The family room and living room have almost the same problem as the kitchen--too many distractions. A TV blaring in the background doesn't help make the creative juices flow. If you have a large laundry room, you might be able to set up your writing world in there. Fine when the machines aren't running.

I know people who take their laptop to the local library or a coffeeshop where they can work. Quiet reigns in the library, but coffeeshops can offer their own distractions. If you have the ability to tune out the things going on around you, try it.

There are mothers who write in longhand while waiting for their children in front of school. Professional people sit on park benches at lunchtime to write during those precious moments.

Your place to write will change as your family life changes. Children grow up and leave home. The empty nest may be a bit sad in some respects, but it gives the older writer a place she can call her own for writing.

The point here is that you can find all kinds of places to write. Find a place where you are comfortable and , can be productive and change it if you like as your life situation changes.

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