It’s interesting to see people’s work spaces.
In fact, it seems to be a trend for vloggers to share theirs (and some of those vids, people? waay too long for me! i don’t need to see the placement of every plant. but it’s exciting when it’s yours, I guess).
So I’ll keep this short and sweet — (maybe that term is relative?) ;).
How and where I work varies.
Here’s a picture of my ‘home office’ assistant making sure that my current draft doesn’t get out of hand.
He likes to provide support where he can.
As I write this, we’ve been living in an apartment-slash-house-in-a-different-state for the past year and a half. We’re still in the apartment but have sold the house, have rental spaces full of storage, and a contract on a new, smallish house.
I don’t have a separate desk or office. Even when I did, I never typed or worked at a desk or even at the kitchen table. I guess that’s not my style.
What I do instead is a hybrid of comfy chairs at home and rooms at the local library that can be reserved for two-hour blocks per day.
Here’s “Tweety” our car, next to “Flower” her much fancier friend, parked at Library 21c. Most study rooms at this library come with white boards and large tables. I actually do sit at those tables and spread out my books and papers and laptop. It’s a wonderful, multi-use place.
I love coffee shops, but there I get too interested in people’s conversations to do much good composing or revising. At the beginning I did mix it up and go to some of these – just to have different surroundings – and to keep the flow of words coming. I’m grateful there are several good ones to choose from around here.
In the heat of a stretch of creating the first draft from scratch, I would spend the morning at one library, come home for lunch, and then head back out to another library for the afternoon. I got good at packing up my stuff and knowing what I needed, and I have a nifty little rolling suitcase/backpack that I love.
Basically, I’m a bag lady of a different, literary kind. :]
A misty view from the library at the USAFA.
Driving from one place to another also gave my brain time to fit things together or make new connections.
Back at the apartment I made an inspiration wall. Let me explain a few of its items.
Regarding the paper in the top left: “Women Do
n’t Do Things Like that!”
I’ve read like a bullet train since I was a teeny girl. When I was maybe nine or so I remember going through a stage where I was fascinated with biographies. I’d ride my bike to the library and I can still picture the section where the biographies were on the top shelf against the wall. Out of the maybe twenty of them there for kids, perhaps there were three about women. I seem to remember Marie Curie, Florence Nightingale … and that’s it. So I think this lack of representation of females’ contributions to history — is one reason I’m currently finding I need that reminder and motivation on my wall.
The princess sheet below says,
“Sometimes, on dark days, I think…”nobody cares and nobody’s coming.” Then I remember who sends thoughts like that…and I straighten my crown.
~ attribution unknown
I like that because I feel like that sometimes, and it’s important to slay those lies.
The partial white sheet is a quote from The War of Art, by Stephen Pressfield. It says:
“The professional self-validates. She is tough-minded. In the face of indifference or adulation, she assesses her stuff coldly and objectively. Where it fell short, she’ll improve it. Where it triumphed, she’ll make it better still. She’ll work harder. She’ll be back tomorrow.”
*keep those huskies mushing*
I just needed to keep telling myself this. Especially at a certain point.
Below that is a quote from Jerome Jarre‘s excellent video (<– click on the link to watch it), saying:
Be Brave. Believe in yourself. Do what you think is right. Take risks. You have this one life.
I found it important to get out of the apartment every day, even though sometimes I wouldn’t technically have to.
The local library here in Monument, Colorado is also a good place to work.
They have a gorgeous, inspirational quilt display annually.
And they have, “Daisy Quackers” who lives at the front desk and wears holiday-themed attire year-round.
Little kids love to feed the geese at the pond at the back of this library. I love to watch them. Many times I like to work in an area which has a low level of activity. The buzz is inspirational. Sometimes though, more quiet, concentrated work needs a quieter space.
As I’ve mentioned already, driving — long distances (or even short) can be a very, very good time for writing, and thinking about different aspects of characters, letting the story develop and show itself, letting your mind drift creatively.
I did a lot of driving when we were living in the two states. Here’s a shot of an amazing cloud formation from one of those trips. I think we were still in Texas at that point. Lots of composing mentally and ideas developed on those miles of highway.
Lastly, I carry these two items in my purse. Somehow, this is part of my work space, too. I like the thought that they’re in there. (: Plus, if I’m seated behind a crying baby on a plane I might be able to use the hedgie finger puppet as entertainment over the seats.
Working. And Space to do that. What a gift.
How and where do you work?