Writing Spaces

Seems like such an obvious thing, but the longer I write, the more I realize how important our writing environment really is.

Maddie is illustrating where I wrote my last book:

As you can probably tell, she approves of this spot on the sofa. It seems like a perfect idea, right? Problem is, I've found a few things happen when I write here. For starters, the position of the television directly in front is all-too-tempting... just ask my crit partner, Angie--I text message her every time I get sucked into TLC. Speaking of which, have you all seen their show Brides of Beverly Hills Weddings? Completely bizarre and addictive to watch! The other problem with this spot is that I end up hunching over my laptop, and I've actually developed neck pain from it. Not a good long-term strategy.

But a regular desk feels blah to me, you know?

So here's what I'm thinking. We just got some patio furniture (after being married 3 and 1/2 years-ha!), and the weather is cooling off gloriously. I'm hoping to take advantage of the cool temps and butterflies out here. By the way, yes, I'm totally and unabashedly copying Deb Raney's patio space! :) She was my inspiration. Have you seen the photos of her garden? Incredible. You should check out her gardening blog, The Plot Thickens. It's all about writers and their outdoor writing spaces and will definitely inspire you!

We also got another table that's a bit larger I can put my laptop on, and I'm planning to get some more flowers. Pretty stoked about how it's turning out!

To me, writing environment is so important because it shapes the kind of thoughts I have. Ever noticed you write differently in a coffee shop than you do in your office? Suddenly you start paying much more attention to smells, and before you know it, your heroine has got a cup of coffee in her hand in every scene! I know other authors will even make display boards with pictures of how they envision their heroine and setting. Deb Raney is actually one author who does this. I usually light soy candles around the house and listen to a particular kind of music on Pandora. For this last book, it was Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. Some people prefer silence. Find what gets you in a particular writing groove, and go with that.

I'm hoping I can manage to write outside for longer than five seconds before a bee flies straight into my face... better be careful I don't put too many flowers out there, I guess!

I also sometimes write late at night in bed. Actually, some of my best writing happens then, once the rest of the day has stilled. I don't usually plan to write then, but just get an idea and get motivated. I think that's why my late-night writing often turns out better than my "scheduled" writing times-- it just flows from the heart, you know? Some people feel like that about the morning. My morning thoughts, on the other hand, are usually fairly consumed with the question of how many more seconds of sleep I could possibly fit in before getting up out of bed. Probably as a result of the late-night writing sessions!

Moral of the story is, doesn't matter where I write, so long as there is chocolate nearby. And I'm just going to pretend I'm kidding when I say that.

Where do you write? Have you found that a particular kind of environment works best for you? Perhaps a particular time?

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