Where Do You Write?

I am like Virginia Woolf, I do not have “A Room of One’s Own.” As a Californian living in one of the priciest areas, real estate is expensive. Thus, I live in a modest three bedroom, two bath house with my husband and two kids. We don’t have a spare room that I can claim as my writing space. Hence, my computer sits atop the end of my dining room table and this is where I write.

Fortunately, I am a Type A. I can disappear into my story with kid’s running around, the television blaring from the next room, an African Grey squawking in my ear, and my two dogs lying at my feet. With my eldest daughter heading off to college in a few weeks, I will have the luxury of moving my laptop into her bedroom. For the first time in my life, I will be able to practice my craft in solitude.

As I stand on the cusp of that sought after “Room of One’s Own” I’ve dreamed of for years, I’m not so sure a quiet space is a prerequisite to good writing. Moments of inspiration that have shifted the plot of my young adult novel to a whole new direction have occurred because I was in the hub of family activity. Like most things in life, there are pluses and minuses to every situation. Maybe, it doesn’t matter where you write, only that you DO write.

Where do you write? Do sticky notes cover your computer monitor? Where do you find inspiration?

6 Responses to Where Do You Write?

  1. chs says:

    Congrats on succcessfully parenting a child into adulthood (Not an easy task). I hope you enjoy your new space.

    For me, inspiration comes at many times and places, but I need a quiet place to write. I have a desk in a little nook that leads to our bedroom. It’s not interruption-proof, but at least it’s out of the way.

  2. Susan McClurg Berman says:

    A Room of My Own without anyone else’s stuff in it, decorated the way I want (cross between Scarlett O’Hara’s bedroom and a French bawdy house) has been the heaven I knew it would be. I can be as neat as I want or a total slob. I get a “writer’s high” by just walking into my own office. I jot phrases and notes on 3X5 cards which I tape onto the credenza over my laptop. Years ago, Fran (one of our WOTJ founders) got me into the habit of carrying a small notebook in my purse in the event I should think of the right word combination at a stop light or in line at Trader Joe’s. I also keep pictures of places and people that mean a lot to me in my line of sight – Maracaibo, my kids, special Christmas cards, San Marcos Academy and Texas. Amazing how my brain flushes itself clear of writing constipation when I smile. When my Muse parks herself in my frilly office and cattle prods me with jolts of inspiration, I listen to my almost antique video of “The Godfather” in the background while I type. Getting up to change part one to part two keeps my back from hurting from sitting too long.

    I don’t know how you WOTJ-ers with children at home ever find the time, and the energy, to write. I tip my tiara to you!


  3. jackruss86 says:

    Guess I’m fortunate to have designated a room that would be mine when the blueprints for our home first appeared. I’ve held onto that claim throughout constructio and beyone. Of course, it might have been an extra bedroom had we needed one. Like Susan, it’s full of “junk”, mementos, books-too many perhaps-plus the requisite array of techno-junk. I, too, find it necessary to immerse myself in quiet without interruption (Mrs. Russ – please note!) Each day there’s a pile of mail and bills to be dealt with before I feel justified to step into my writing cocoon. To really be productive I need to be able to forecast a stretch of at least two hours or more. Once inside the cocoon, the primary question becomes which of the too-many projects should be tackled next.

    I’ve tried writing using my old laptop. Never did become accustomed to that keyboard. It’s now an emergency backup if my Mac has a hickup. I keep my stuff current on it anyway, just in case.

  4. David George says:

    My “room” is where ever my laptop happens to be. I do prefer a room in my house that is composed of glass windows on 3 sides that looks out over the brown hills and oak tree tops.

    Some of my most inspired writing though has happened propped up on a pillow on one of those dorm-style beds provided in cubby-hole European rooms. My wife is a researcher and educator and often drags me along to Chicago or New Orleans or Austria or Italy or Germany. While she teaches, I write.

    One requirement for me though are no distractions. It is rarely quiet while I write, but I can’t be interrupted or I lose my train of thought. Perhaps this is because I am older now. I remember having great concentration skills when I was younger like Jill. A fly landing on my arm now is enough to pull me out of my thoughts and my sentences.

    My last requirement for a rewarding writing experience is an inspired thought at 4 AM. I wake up many nights around 3 or 4 AM, thinking of my stories, how they could be improved – or completed. This 4 AM experience drives my thoughts, actions, and writing the rest of the day, and sometimes for many days. My tortured soul bubbling up to consciousness? Perhaps.

  5. David George says:

    Of all our great blogs, why is this the only one to pop up om a Google search for “Writers on the Journey”? This is an excellent blog with some excellent replies, but what of all our others? What or who determines that this is the ONE? I am desperate to hear the answer. – DG.

  6. David George says:

    And why has WordPress posted the previous message as “5:31 AM 12/17/2010”? It is really 9:31 PM 12/16/2010 PST. Does WordPress comply only with Greenwich Meridian (GMT) Time? these are the great mysteries of the New Age. – DG

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