I love those articles in magazines where writers take you into their inner sanctum to show you where their creativity happens. Partly because I’m a nosy parker and like looking at other people’s houses and partly because it makes me so envious. Their spaces are always beautifully laid out with desks and bookshelves and such like.
Shall I show you my writing space? Ok, here goes….
No, you’re not seeing that wrongly – that’s my seat (most days) on the left by the window. I do most of my work squashed into the corner seat of a commuter train. It’s not massively comfortable but since I always do my first drafts by hand it’s incredibly convenient.
It gives me a dedicated period of about 40 minutes every morning in which to make an assault on my weekly word count. I’m usually relatively fresh – for all I’m not a morning person – and I know that if I leave it ‘til later in the day something will come up to prevent me from writing. So this is my time to get some scribbles on the page.
It’s not ideal. Trains are usually noisy, very crowded and unpleasant but it’s more or less the only chance I get to write. It’s difficult to think and plan under those conditions so my planning tends to take place elsewhere. Often I’ll start turning the story over in my head as I walk to the station so I’m ready to go when the train arrives. I could get the train before mine but there are no seats on that one so I compromise to get my writing space.
This is why when I hear about writers who can write a thousand words a day I turn slightly green with envy. I just don’t have time in my 40 minutes to have that kind of output. But I’m always very proud when I arrive at my destination and realise I’ve written a good few pages that day. And since I started writing my novella I’ve barely had a week where I’ve missed my word target. So clearly this works for me.
Over to you – what does your writing space look like? Do you have a cupboard, a shelf or a whole room to yourself? Share your thoughts about writing spaces in the comment section below.