Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Writing Challenge

Everyone, especially writers it seems, needs a challenge once in a while. Something to stir the creative juices so to speak. The weekly challenges I vow to post are meant to do just that. I hope the challenges will not only lead to inspired writing but to joyful writing.

Let's take a trip to your favorite writing space. Stand back, look at your space with a critical eye. Is it conducive to productivity? Is it comfortable? Are there things that help open your heart and mind? Are there things that put a screeching halt to your creativity? What defines the space as yours?

My desk faces a half wall. I can see over the ledge down the hall and into the den. My writing space sits in what is supposed to be the living area of what is meant to be a formal living/dining area. To the left of my chair is my printer and bulletin board. Favorite quotes, short articles from writing journals, a couple of poems, and a small oil painting of a young woman looking over a hill to the west are on the bulletin board . This girl represents my main character, Rebecca, from my work in progress. A palm sized labryinth hangs at eye level over my desk. It is my spiritual reminder.

I have a comfortable sofa to retreat to when I need to think or review research. It sits in front of a bay window. The window coverings are sheers so I can see the squirrels, watch the neighborhood, and daydream.

I don't do most of my true writing at my desk. It is done in my recliner with my laptop. When I need to simply answer e-mails, use the printer, or organize notebooks I sit at my desk. It is my space. It is, sometimes, my refuge.

This first promised challenge is to look at your own writing space. Remove distractions. If necessary organize your bulletin board. Make your space your space. Then, write.

Tell me about your writing space. What inspires you? What distracts you?

15 comments:

Maeve said...

Ugh! Nona - I SO need this challenge. I do most of my writing from my laptop while perched on the couch or in the bed. Why? Because there's not an inch of space on my desk. But I will attempt to hire a bulldozer this weekend and see if it's still there. Thank you for the nudge!

Jan Rider Newman said...

Wonderful challenge Nona. Gulp. I'll see if I am up to it.

Janet K Brown said...

First of the year, work on your space. I'm busy (in between writing) clearing off my overloaded bookshelf to the right of my desk. Good challenge.

Judie Brunson said...

Wow! I looked at my writing space as a critical observer. Too cluttered, too much "stuff" and way tooo many papers laying around. The great thing is that I can look out a large window and see my beautiful long ears and my baby colt. They are a joy. Thus, clutter and papers have to go, but my view stays. Love your challenge, Nona. Sure needed it. I will be working on clutter "after" I do my daily writing. Really trying hard to making my writing priority over other things as I have a big problem making my writing a priority.

Calisa Lewis said...

I found you! And what a wonderful challenge. My space is cluttered currently with books upon books for the NRCA. But my desk faces the horse pasture and a small creek. At night I listen to the coyotes yip and howl while daylight I see my horse when he's out. To my left is a shelf, my printer and desktop computer for 'serious' writing (when not blocked beyond use by NRCA entry books), and a bank of windows to more pasture. To my right is my tv (which rarely comes on, and when it does, plays country videos as a background noise) and more shelves (with more NRCA books) and file cabinet.

I will be doing a huge spring cleaning project once the books are gone.

Alexa said...

I've been writing by laptop while on the couch like Maeve, but today I'm feeling inspired (thank you!) to put "my writing space" back together and USE it! When I work at my desktop, I feel more professional. Since I hope to one day make this my full-time profession, I SHOULD work here, huh?

marybethlee said...

My writing space is wherever I sit with my laptop. I've come to realize this a gigantic VBT .
Used to I had a desk and a desktop computer and I wrote constantly. Of course, back then I also didn't have cable Internet and a Facebook account. Internet games are killing my writing time. Great challenge. Thanks, Nona.

careann said...

Nona, I wandered over from Christi's blog to say hello. I had to laugh since I posted on a related clutter topic yesterday. It must have something to do with starting out fresh in the new year.

My writing space is the office leftover when I sold my home business a few years ago. It has a view out over the back deck to the woods beyond. One wall is taken up by my desks, a ceiling-high bookshelf is on the wall next to the window, and, where my rocking chair usually sits, a long work table is against another wall. (I also use my office for scrapbooking and sorting my photographs so the table is still there from a pre-Christmas project.) A large bulletin board holds calendar, favourite cards and sayings, the latest dog show rosettes, and the very necessary list of family birthdays. There are lots of mementos and writing talismen in the room for inspiration and encouragement. At this moment, however, as my blog post says, there's also lots of paper... stacks of old manuscripts and research stuff... that is cluttering both the room and my mind! This weekend I'm doing some decluttering and organizing in preparation for a new writing project. In the meantime, like you, I've been writing on the couch with my laptop. In some ways there are more distractions out here, but they aren't the kind of clutter that drives me crazy.

Carol Garvin
http://careann.wordpress.com

Moonine Sue Watson said...

My writing space is a mess and not very inspirational as my computer room is the catch all for everything. I have all my projects for different things in that room because there isn't another place. So at this point it isn't the greatest place to retreat to. I am trying slowly to weed out things so it will be the place I want it to be.

Winona said...

My dream office is surrounded by windows. Each with a stunning view. One, the main one, looks out over a pasture full of horses. One looks out over a New Mexico high desert. One looks out over a flower garden with trees, squirrels, hummingbird feeders, regular bird feeders, and a swing.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I am lucky to have two writing spaces. The one downstairs is my favorite because it is in front of the woodstove and my hubby made a comfy table I can pull up to my waist and sit on the sofa.

My office is a loft that over looks the living area and fireplace with two huge windows, one on each side of the fireplace. This room has more distractions because I have photos of Gerard Butler everywhere intermixed with photos of country singing artist Kevin Sharp. I ran his fan club for thirteen years and have photos around from the years we spent together at venues. I seem to thrive with my guys to 'talk' to and probably get more done having them around to talk to. :) That's my story and I am sticking to it.

Alicia Dean said...

Great challenge, Winona. My writing space is in my bedroom and it feels cramped and cluttered. Sometimes I write in my recliner in front of the tv, but that's not very productive. I would love a nice office with a nice view. One very good thing about my writing space now is that, for Christmas, my daughter made me a beautiful wall hanging with photos from Vampire Diaries characters, mostly of Ian Somerhalder...the hottie bad guy vampire that I'm currently obsessed with. So...looking at him is pretty inspiring actually. :-) I do need to work on carving out and cleaning up a space that's more conducive to productive writing. Thanks for the nudge.

De'on Miller said...

Good challenge and the post is wonderful to read. Description is vivid and I want a squirrel! Of course, my two dogs and two cats would love one too!

Do you remember our courthouse with its squirrels? When I worked there, I loved my breaks outside with them.

I think I'll pick you up on the assignment. Writing I mean. I've pretty much done all I can to ensure that it's user friendly, except to grow longer legs to fit into my chair better! :)

Lizzie Walker said...

HA! Nona I wish I had a writing space. My writing space is my bed. LOL no kidding or the couch, sometimes the dining room table. Every now and then I go in the office to writer but that is more my husband's domain because of his job. So yah...clean my space. There is nothing to clean! But what a great suggestion. :-)

jean burgin said...

Well, Nona, as you know I am new at writing. Because I am a live in Nanny, my work space is confined to my bedroom- so spreading out over the rest of the house is out of the question. I do have a desk top computer, small file cabnet, bookcase, numerous books and writing supplies.(and a bed) I have to stay somewhat organized-there is no room to otherwise move about. Keeping research materials filed where I can put my hands on what I need is the challenge of the day. Thank you for all your help LOL Jean