Where do you like to write? What kind of place is the best to get work done, to focus your thoughts on writing? What kind of environment do you need to write? And do you have that space already or are there improvements you’d like to make to the one you’ve got?
All writers have special places they like to go and write. Some like coffee shops and cafes with the background noise of other people while some prefer to hide at a desk in their attic or basement. Me, I’ve always been a fan of sitting alone at a computer in a homey office.
In my house, there is one room that serves as my creative space. It’s my office/library/art room. I generally refer to it as “the Blue Room” or “the Computer Room,” although I’ve taken a liking to “the NaNo Sanctum” because it sounds all cool and space-age and mysterious. The Blue Room isn’t very big by most standards and I have it crammed full of bookshelves, desks, chairs, and artwork. My computer sits on an L-shaped metal desk with three shelves of my favorite paperbacks beside it and various pens, papers, notes, and other writing paraphernalia scattered across every square inch of horizontal surface. I have another desk, this one of heavy wood, with a cork board tacked above it that serves as my drawing/bill-paying/place-for-guests-to write table. The cork board is covered in newspaper clippings, Post-It notes, and other interesting scraps. Three bookcases (plus the one on my desk) are bursting with fantasy novels and I’ve started another stack on the floor by the window. There are a total of three chairs, one at the wooden desk, a low rotating black one in front of the two tallest bookcases, and my high-backed comfy grey writing chair in front of my computer. Various drawings and posters that I’ve bought from anime conventions and DeviantART grace the walls.
I love this room. I really do. It’s the only room besides the bathroom I can actually lock, so when I want to escape from the cats (or if I have guests over who are still snoozing on the couch) I can go hide in the Blue Room and not be disturbed. With the blinds down, the door shut, and the lights kept low, I am inside this little world that revolves around books. There are no clocks besides the one on the computer itself, so there is a sense of timelessness that appeals to me. I spend so much time running from one place to another that having a spot that is…outside of time is necessary for my creative process. With a cup of hot chocolate and some classical music I am in heaven.
I usually don’t get distracted by the numerous books around me and rarely give into the desire to read them instead of writing. Being surrounded by books reminds me of being in a library, which is a place of quiet joy. That hush helps me focus and having some soft music helps me get inspired, although I have been experimenting lately with having all of my music on shuffle rather than just my classical pieces. I’m not quite sure yet if that is helping my focus or being more distracting at this point. In the winter time, I also enjoy turning on my little space heater, which warms the room nicely. Sometimes my cats will come and sleep on my lap or the desk next to me, which always improves my mood.
The only thing that would make my little sanctum perfect is if I had a mini-fridge and hotplate to hold food and drinks so I wouldn’t have to leave the room. Of course, I’d probably be as big as a house from eating constantly while writing…but hey, that’s why it’s a little dream of mine and not a reality.
So, my requirements for a creative space are quiet, warmth, books, chocolate, and no clocks. Cats and classical music are a plus. How about you?