Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The truth about writers' spaces

Last night, I was tooling around online and came across this article about "writers spaces." It talked about where writers write - and all of them wrote in these lovely, inspired, Pottery-Barn-would-be-jealous spaces that no mortal could design. Seriously. We're talking interior decorator spaces. I know I should have been impressed, but instead, I had to snarf out loud. Several times. Are these people writing or dickering around with their writers spaces?

The article talked about this being the way to find your muse and "pour out your genius." And I'm not saying it doesn't work for some people. Obviously, I'm not a genius. But I will tell you this. Brainiac or not, you're not writing if you're busy picking out drapes. And worse, it occurred to me that unpubbed writers might think that a fancy office is necessary in order to lock in that first sale.

But here's the truth: It's not about the color of your computer or what's on the walls. It doesn't matter if you have the most gorgeous office ever if you're not inspired by your work. I have an office, but I've written every single one of my novels while sitting on the green couch in the family room. I like it. It's comfortable. And it's close to the refrigerator.

In short (too late), I think the danger in making things "perfect" before you get to work is that you'll never get there. In the end, writers write. Even when it's not pretty. Especially when it's not pretty. Because if your story is gripping you so hard that you have to get back to the keyboard every day, chances are, it'll move you readers as well.


Matt said...

Exactly. My only hang up is clutter. I don't mind a little bit of it in my work space, but too much just throws me off and I have to clean it up. Otherwise, I'm good with my old beat up chair and mismatched desk, down in my little cave of a basement office!

Cornabys said...

Hah...my writing space all depends on comfort. Sometimes that means I'm flopped out on the floor, or on the couch or at the desk. Anywhere the cat can come purr and the laptop won't fall over.

So I do think folks can get too tied up in the where when they should be doing the what.


Moonsanity said...

Well, I for one am relieved to here this because I'm sitting at my dining room table on my laptop. Until my teens hit the road to their own adode I have no room to call "my room". I do have a favorite chair I move to with my laptop though. Hey, is this like the garden shows that have the people in those cute, clean clothes? When I garden I am a complete slob with dirt all over me. BAHAHAHAHAHa

Angie Fox said...

Hey, that's a good way to look at it. I never thought about the clean-clothed gardening shows. Or what about cooking shows with perfect stove and counter tops? Not a drip in sight. Doesn't happen in real life. At least not in my kitchen. I'm not that neat.

I'm all for organized writing when it's on the page. But I think the danger is that people make aspiring writers think they need to have a perfect spot or a certain way of doing things and that's just not true.

Casey said...

Great post, Angie, and so true! Another thing that makes me crazy is wannabe writers who think that word should just flow from their fingertips and never need revising/slapping, deleting. They think that's the way it works for "real" writers.

As far as room to write...I have an office, and I'm grateful for it. Right now, my daughter just got a job back in town and all her stuff (and I do mean all!) is in here with me. Perfect? Far from it! And none of us can let that search for perfect stop us. If we do, you're right, we're not writers.