"And above all watch with glittering eyes the world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." - Roald Dahl

20 February 2014

What is the Ideal Writing Space?

Sometimes it's easy to underestimate the importance of a good writing space. Some people are flexible and are able to write in any setting and on any device. Others are more reluctant to change places and prefer familiar surroundings and devices. I'm somewhere in-between.

When my husband and I relocated to Gauteng, for a long time I actually wrote while sitting on top of / in bed, my laptop perched on a square wooden board - we were scared that it would overheat. I would write for a bit, then inevitably either start watching TV absently, or fall asleep, with the bed being so cosy and all. Needless to say, I didn't get very far.


My modest writing desk
Then I bought myself a little table and fold-out chair. At first I left it in our bedroom, but there were just too many distractions. I decided to move it to our guest bedroom, which was not very large and had a double-bed standing in it. But my table and chair just about squeezed in, and I made myself comfortable. This is actually where I wrote and completed my first full-length novel, The Kindling. (You'll hear more about that soon!) I think my husband felt sorry for me, though, sitting as cramped up as I was. Often he'd tell me to sit in the study and work on the home pc when he wasn't in there studying. I tried this once or twice, but I just wasn't comfortable. I couldn't concentrate. The chair wasn't high enough, then it was too high. The screen was too big. I got distracted by his academic posters on the walls. I gave up and moved back to my cramped space and was much happier - squashed, but happier.

Last week, my husband surprised me. He said that we could move the bed out of the guest bedroom (we don't get sleep-over visitors that often) and just bring it in when we needed it. He also bought me a brand new bookshelf (the old one was literally falling apart) and has basically turned the spare room into my very own writing room!

Truth be told, I would have been happy to continue with things as they were, but in my new writing space I feel like I actually have enough space to keep all my ideas in. I feel so much more organised and motivated. I suppose, in a way, I feel like I now have no more excuses for not writing.

I understand that not many people have this luxury. We don't have any kids yet, so we have a bit more space to play around with. But even in limited spaces, find a little nook where you feel comfortable and make it your own. You need a place where you can be alone with just your thoughts and the characters in your novel.

What is your ideal writing space?

Carmen
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