When I decided to really focus on writing last year, I found that my spaces for writing were, for the most part, doing double duty. I wrote in my office (for my day job). I wrote in my bedroom. I sometimes wrote at the usual coffee places, any place I could make room for this art, this craft. These locations all served me, but they lacked... something, maybe privacy or intimacy or just the sense that the spaces were not controlled. A ringing phone, a loud television or snore, a shouted order could instantly extinguish a flash of brilliance, smother a spark of inspiration.
I think I began feeling that sense of dread when I realized how many years I spent sleeping with my laptop in my bed... just in case I woke up in the middle of the night with an idea or maybe I could fill my hours of insomnia. I think I only partially slept during those years. All the while a part of me was awake or conscious of the fact that if I turned over wrong or my husband woke up to head to the bathroom those movements could send the computer and all the work on it crashing to the floor, breaking into thousands of fragments and whisking my psyche along with it. This nocturnal practice allowed me to get words on the page but just as much resulted in losing works by groggily naming a story or notes the same as some other piece or forgetting where or sometimes IF I even saved it at all, consigning all my midnight musings to the aether or eliminating work I had toiled over for weeks... months... years.
I watched as colleagues published and published while I stagnated.
I wish I could recall what it was that flipped the switch in my head but it wasn't until last year that I decided to have a space that was dedicated purely to my writing... no, not dedicated purely to my writing... dedicated to me. In a small corner of my house - a 14' x 12' room - I decided to create my writer's studio. Granted my office space (day job) is half this size. But I don't need a whole lot of room for imagination there. It doesn't have to be beautiful or more correctly it doesn't have to reflect my sense of beauty or comfort.
The first step was basic, getting a rug. (Yes. That is not carpeting. It is a 12' X 14' area rug).
I decided not to put one item in the room until I purchased the rug. I know me. If I moved ahead without one, chances are I never would have gotten one, and for my comfort in the winter a thick wool rug on those hardwood floors was a must. So I waited and was rewarded for my patience with this glorious, like new bargain whose color and pattern at first made me wince. Now however it is the relaxing and welcoming foundation of my personal fortress of solitude.
The other thing that was a must was my desk. I have had this one for over twenty years. It is 4'10" x 3' 2". It is my jewel in the crown. It is the home for my computers, monitors, tablets, lamp, art supplies, speakers, a few toys & minor distractions and my coffee/tea mug. Everything I need for my work can realistically fit on this lovely monster and I don't have to care if anyone else likes it.
The room in many ways is my reflection. It changes based upon how I feel, what I am working on, how I am processing things. Nonessential items move in, then out. But probably the most important thing is that it keeps my priorities in place. When I am in my writing studio, no one enters without knocking and being given leave to enter. Unless I decide to share it, the time in the writing room is mine. By the same token when I leave the room, my laptop generally stays behind. I am weaning myself from being joined at the hip with my computer self. This, I have found makes the time I spend in front of the keyboard, special. I am writing, publishing or marketing, taking a class to hone my skills. When I am done, I leave. I am cooking, eating spending family time or working my day job. I no longer anxiously attempt to make room for my writing. My writing has its own room. #WhereIWrite #WhatIWrite #WriterRoom #WriterStudio