Monday 8 August 2011

A Writer's Space - Chapter 1 - Thinking about your writing space

So stumbled across a book a few months ago called ‘A Writer’s Space.” The idea behind the book being that it helps you to create both a mental and physical space to write.  If you’ve watched the little video I shot of my room you will know that the physical space needs a lot of work.  I can also assure you that the mental headspace needs work as well.  I’m easily distractible by pretty much anything shiny. 

So the plan is to work through this book at a nice slow and steady pace.  At the same time will be sharing my progress through the blog.  Hopefully something rings true in the process for you and helps as well.  As always comments, encouragement, and suggestions are always welcome.

Just to give everyone a sense of the space I am working with her is a video I shot with my iPhone before I started the process.  Sorry for the quality of it.

Chapter 1 – Thinking About your Writing Space

This first chapter focuses on the physical space in which you write.  The author, Eric Maisel, is careful never to say exactly what you need in your physical writing space.  Noting really that everyone requirements will be somewhat personal. He does however offer an interesting example that goes something along these lines.  If you are having surgery would you rather the doctor work in a sealed room with no windows or would you rather he has a magnificent view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the harbour. It really brings home the importance of removing distractions. 

Each chapter ends with a short lesson and a few questions to go along with it.


Moving words from your brain to the page is a prolonged act of thinking and feeling that requires that inhabit a physical space.  Any given physical space will do a better or poorer job of serving this process: How good a job does yours do?

 Right now my space does a piss poor job of this.  More often than not I take my laptop to another place in the house and work there instead.  It just isn’t conducive to writing at the moment. It feels cramped, messy, disorganized.  All of which leads to frustration when I do go into that room to write.

To Do:
1.       Assess your current physical space.

As things stand right now the space is less then useless as a writing space.  It has a desk in it which I imagine would be a good start, if it were not always covered in a mountain of other things.  Perhaps it would also be more helpful if the drawers were not filled with a variety of random crap that had been tossed in haphazardly. 

The physical space itself is barely large enough for me to fit a chair into.  I am forced to sit in an oddly uncomfortable position with my legs spread much wider then I comfortable in spreading them when I’m alone.  More often than not I just pulled the desk away from the wall and sit on the bed.  Of course that creates problems of its own since the bed is too high for the desk.

My writing space also lacks in any that would help with organization or to track characters and locations.  There is also nowhere to store works in progress.  Over all it needs a lot of work and a lot of care in order to make the space I have more author friendly.

2.        Describe your ideal Writing space.  What can you do to transform your current space into something more like your ideal?

My ideal writing space would be well organized, with lots of storage and places that I could use to display picture and other story. There would be enough space that I could sit down and start working right away without having to fight access to the power cord or move anything up. It would just be ready to go.

3.        What is the biggest problem with your current space? Identify 3 possible solutions, decide which most feasible to implement, and make those changes.

The biggest problem I have right now with my writing space is the complete lack of space.   Everything is so crowded in my wrong that I barely have room to even put in a chair to sit on to write.  The problem is that the room is duel propose.  It is both a writing space and a bedroom. So there is only a certain amount of changes I can make.     The first change I plan the removal of the headboard that should give almost a full extra foot of space right in front of the desk.  I’m also looking at a few other small changes as well.
4.        Is your space private? If it isn’t, can you make it more private or even completely private?

My space has a nice door that can be closed if needed.  So honestly I think it has all the privacy it needs.  Thankfully this isn’t that much of an issue for me.

1 comment:

Randilin Trouple said...

Well chapter 1 is done and up on the blog and I was able to get the head board out on the same day. I'm impressed with the start of the project.