Creative Spaces

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?

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2 responses to “Creative Spaces

  1. Ah, that is an interesting topic. (NaNo Sanctum, lol.)I'm surprised that you like the lights low when you write. I generally like to be in a bright, open environment!I've often thought that I would like some kind of a Minority-Report style, wall-sized computer display… reminiscent of doing math on a blackboard. I like to be moving when I'm thinking and writing – maybe even outdoors – but that clashes with my need to have the full editing capacity of a computer.I also think the coffee shop environment would be nice, but writing on a laptop annoys me because I'm spoiled by having two screens on my desktop computer, and I miss the full keyboard. I still can't decide if I want a tiny laptop, that can go anywhere with me, so that I'm able to write all the time… or a huge workstation laptop that offers almost every benefit of being at home.Anyway, props for painting such a warm and inviting picture. It sounds like a really nice place to be. I especially identify with the way that you need to be relaxed and unhurried to really enjoy the writing process. It's such a wonderful feeling to do something fulfilling without any pressure to do it quickly.Ooh. And I like music when I write as well.

  2. Thanks! I felt like I was running low on topics, so I searched for possible topics that other writers talk about and there was one that suggested talking about work spaces. I thought that would be a nice one to describe, especially since it seems like I'm always writing these entries the day they are "due!"Low lights make me think of candles and reading under the covers with a flashlight. The former makes me feel calm, relaxed, and pampered while the latter makes me feel childishly gleeful. I prefer small, warm pools of light to harsh overheads. (That's why at night my living room has three or four of the smaller lights on around the room rather than turning on the overheads on the fan.)Yes, writing outside is great when the weather is good. That's why I got my Dana so I can type outside when I want, but then can bring it back inside to the computer for final editing and printing. Fewer distractions than a laptop, and far lighter. Yep, two screens have spoiled you.Thanks! Rereading my description actually is making me want to write…although I'm currently torn between a desire to write and a desire to sleep. Not sure which is going to win…Hooray for music! And thanks for reading. ^_^

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