Here’s another question I get sometimes and one that I love chatting about:
“Do you have a ‘sacred’ writing space?”
It is so important for writers to think about their ‘environment’ and the place that will get their creative juices flowing. It’s just as important as a workbench for a carpenter, or a laboratory for a chemist, or a studio for a painter!
I know plenty of people who can work in coffee shops and get a lot of great work done there. They love hearing the steamer at Starbucks and the gentle hum of conversation. They thrive off of listening to the acoustic guitar player in the corner. They get a “creative buzz” off the “caffeine buzz.” For me? This doesn’t always work. Sometimes I’ll get the urge to take my laptop and go sit in a coffee shop, but I know that I get my best writing done at home and at my desk. It’s a space that I “curate” over time and it’s always in flux depending on what I need, but there are always a few things in the atmosphere that I keep close by.
I try to keep my writing space practical, so I want to make sure that everything I need is close. The laptop is a given, but it’s also important for me to have my earbuds there, because I know music is usually going to stimulate the creative juices for me. I also know I may want to reach for a book on the craft every now and then, so I keep a shelf full of those nearby. Oh, and every now and then I need a little nudge to get off Facebook and write. That’s why you see the great Brett Dalton offering his encouragement on top, and the more recent additions: Victoria Schwab suggesting that I should probably be writing, and my baby niece looking sweet and innocent and asking me to please write her a story 🙂 because how could I say no to any of them?
See those white coiled books stacked in the middle? Those are my original manuscripts for The Carver, The Unseen, and The Hummingbird! Whenever I complete the first draft of any project, I print and bind it, destroy it with red pen and highlights and sticky notes, and then I keep it so I can look back on the evolution of my writing. It encourages me to have a reminder of how far I’ve come! I usually keep my vision board at the top, and I’ll move pieces of it down to my whiteboards and clip them up with magnets. Right now, there’s not a whole lot of relevant book stuff on the whiteboards. (But I DO love the Egyptian blessing I received from Katherine Blakeney and her mom!) I also keep my goals dangling from the top shelf. Right now, the bigger sheet on the left is all my revision goals for The Hummingbird, and the smaller sheet on the right is a word count goal I update every week for my next novel!
Books! Books! Books! Everything on the bottom shelf has been signed by the author, from James Dashner to Victoria Schwab, Pierce Brown to Katie Salidas, Krystal Wade to Isaac Marion, Aaron Galvin to Audrey Grey, and a few others! I keep a lot of those close to remind me of the amazing people I’ve met along my journey. I’ve learned something from each and every one of the writers on this shelf, and their accomplishments inspire me! Below my favorite coffee mug and that old family photo, I keep An Ember in the Ashes and Stardust for no other reason than the fact that I absolutely love those two books and often find myself opening them up to random passages to admire the way the words are strung together. And the candle next to them smells like oakmoss and cedar, which is how I imagine Enzo, Pino, and the DiLegno home smell when Carla’s not making her famous cobbler 🙂 scent is a very powerful way to put yourself in another world!
My writing desk is very organic and always evolving, but it’s where I work best because it’s uniquely me! It’s my portal, the same way the wardrobe is a portal to Narnia.
If you’re a writer, where do you do your best writing? If you’re a reader, do you have a special place where you do your reading? I love hearing about other people’s “happy places”!
Wishing you a phenomenal week!