Amused Authors

The Workplace by Kathleen
October 24, 2008, 5:12 pm
Filed under: writing | Tags:

Where do you work on writing?

Many professional authors (and they should know) say that you need a specific place and time of day when you do your writing, if you are to build up a good daily habit, which is almost a must for having anything more than a hobby. Some have a whole room set aside, some only a desk. But the point is, to train your mind to become ready to get into the creative state, you need to have some things that lead into it, a ritual that brings you to that place. Setting aside a room and going into it at the same time every day is part of the ritual.

For myself, I leave the house. There are simply too many distractions and responsibilities there. Instead of a room of my own, I do my work at the local coffee shop with my trusty laptop. It’s a good place for me. There are people wandering around, yet nobody needs anything from me. There’s an endless supply of drink refills, an inexpensive but good breakfast, and a bathroom.

Where’s your workplace?


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Right now I have a room of one’s own, but I’ve worked in notebooks at the beach, on my laptop in coffee shops, and laying in bed in the morning with nothing but the spinning wheels of my mind. I think having a set time and place to write is helpful at first, but once it really gets its hooks into you, a story will bug you until you finish it. I remember once working at my magazine job, walking back and forth from the warehouse all day stocking mags and plotting in my head. I went home that night and in three hours write 11 pages. My husband doesn’t even flinch anymore when he asks me what I’m thinking about and I say, “plotting.”

Comment by charlottemcclain

I envy you your writing place, Kathleen. *Sigh* I have two toddlers so I don’t get out much. My writing ritual has changed recently. I used to sit on my bed with the lights dimmed and type away on my laptop. Then the laptop broke down. đŸ˜¦

These days I do all my work at the desk in the dining room. At first it slowed me down but now I’m getting used to it. I write in the mornings before the kids get up, in the afternoons while they’re napping, and in the evenings after they go to bed. My writing life revolves around my girls’ sleeping schedule.

Comment by Dara

43 years ago I was a beginning copywriter/voice over talent/receptionist FOR KRZY COUNTRY WESTERN AM – KRST GROCERY STORE MUZAK FM/secretary to FM Station Manager AND the engineer/TRAFFIC COORDINATOR FOR BOTH AM-FM STATIONS. all at one desk. all for one low, low, low price. My first job out of High School with my straights A’s in CreativeWriting/Drama/Debate/Theatre/Student Council/Science Fairs/1st Runner-Up in Voice Of Democracy Contest got me the job. The fact That I could do all that, and write the Lost Pet Patrol PSA’s, fend of the ticky tacky record salesmen who came thru hawking RCA And Nashville labels (“OH girl you could be a double for Rachel Welch!”) ….my desk stayed clear.
I was promised I NEVER EVER had to make coffee by the owner, former Governor John Burroughs which explains the “clear desk” mandate. But my head was swirling with copy, and identifying promotions that were running from speakers on both sides of my desk of both stations. The DJ’s would be conned by salesmen to slip in a competitors’ car ad right behind another CarDealership, which back then was against FAA rules. I would be the one fined. Not them. So I kept it all IN MY HEAD.
When I left 2 years later, married 6 months to my own cowboy he really anticipated a clean and clear little desk at home. Oh silly man. Just cuz he was a AirForce neatnik he assumed we had lots in common. Hah.
Now 41 years, 9 children, 15 rooms that are now all mine, mine, mine later, he chokes back tears when friends ask how we are enjoying our “empty nest years.”
Our baby, 18, just left for college with my Jeep Cherokee in tow. Only after I emptied it of all my “notes, files, works in progress.”
He can not argue or complain because I put him through college when he was 37, when we had just 7 kids, and a used electric typewriter and a remade closet for me to type his homework. It took 8 1/2 years of his going to nites and weekends to get two BA’s and two MA’s. He Magna Cum, I got B’s for typing. As his jobs improved, the closet gave way to an old kitchen/bedroom/ell in the den with gasp…a computer! within a roll top desk.
I know, I know what he was dreamin. But no way could I get that thing closed, given allllllllll the stuff it had to hold. I shan’t take you down memory lane of the MANY years changes in remodeling, multiple “dates” to Home Depot/garage Sales/Goodwill and Savers for organizers, file cabinets, armoires, bookcases, AND under the bed “concealers.” That last one I had to explain to the accountant who did my tax returns from the receipts saved in a shoe box for my blooming hobby/avocation. I wrote a monthly column for a regional newspaper. So I could write-it-off.
Yeah. So no one dared complain of my filing/piling procedures. My creative mind could percolate several projects with several piles and a variety of color coded folders/boxes/baskets/shoe boxes/bassinets/trunks.
Now after the 39 year old has come to claim the last of his Eagle Scout Memorabilia to store in HIS garage, I get the last room. My spouse says I should just color code the room doors to signify what project in progress each holds. He has no idea that today the Home Depot dude signed me up for a free charge card. And there is a wonderful TuffShed that will just fit IN THE SIDE YARD where all the kids old trikes/bikes were rusting. I will buy it, delivery and instalation is Free. He get 2/3rd’s for his woodworking hobby. I get 1/3rd and THE LOFT for treadmill/storage and the exercise bicycle and recliner and more storage.
Now if I can figure out what to make of the room where his hobby junk is now? Maybe I’ll make IT into a RADIO ROOM and start my own PODcasts. Hey, it would use up some of those old articles/files…and mt old journal entries of years gone by of my wish lists of what I would be doing when all the kids were gone and I didn’t have anything to do….but write…and sort…and catorgorize…and write.
When my 9th child started first grade I started back to school. I was 48 years old. Took me 8 years to get a BAFA (a loft for painting had to be built) and then 4 years of MA for degrees and certificates in Counselling/Journal to the Self Instructor, Thanantology, Educating Physicians On End Of Life Care, Clinical Hypntherapy, and Music for Transitions (I’m a Hospice Harpist so there are bookcases for sheet music/poetry/lyrics mine and others) …and ….
(sorry, that was oldest son wanting to know IF I could use a paper shredder, brand new, still in the box that he gave his wife (whom I turned on to writing children’s books, tee ee) and she has taken over one side of their two car garage. He was getting rained on as he spoke. Poor baby, I didn’t have the heart to tell him that it would all be all write.
Betty Butler, MA
Healers Of The Heart Outreach
Cancer Survivor/Thriver Author of Survivor’s Handbook, (31 years July 21, 1979-July 21,2008)
Former Director of New Mexico Missing Children’s Clearinghouse,
Mother of 9, 39 years to 18
Grandmother of 20 and 2/3, ages 16 to newborn/dot
Artist, Author, ‘arpist, Activist, Advocate
Collector of kids, and all things wonderful to keep in files, boxes, and heartclosets. IT IS ALL TOO WONDERFUL TO KEEP, it doesn’t get worser, it just gets fluffier.
and then there is scrapbooking…tomorrow

Comment by Betty Butler

I write at home (and now that my laptop is back, oh heavenly bliss!) I can get back to work. I use noise canceling headphones and evil looks to keep my husband and son at bay. Because of my back I work at the kitchen table, the sofa, or the bed depending on how I feel.


Comment by Lesli Richardson

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: