Monday, 31 January 2011

A place to write

Last week I was saying how important it is to find a place to write, a place where whenever you sit down and switch on your computer you’re in writing mode.  I’m lucky that I have my own study, but this is what my desk looks like at the moment! 

On the wall as I go into the study is a poster from an exhibition of paintings showing writers’ rooms – I love the calmness and lack of clutter in this picture, but never seem to be able to manage it in my own room. I am otherwise a rather tidy and organised person, and the rest of the house is fine, but my desk is always a tip when I’m working. 

It’s particularly bad at the moment as I’m writing a history that involves some research, but even when I’m in romance writing mode the papers pile up.  I hate the mess, but until I get to the end of a project I don’t seem to be able to do anything about it.   At that point it all gets swept off the desk.  The books and files go back on the shelves, the nail polishes are gathered up and I find all the pens and emery boards I’ve been scrabbling around for over the last couple of months.  There’s always a credit card bill lurking in there too. 

Every time I start a new project I vow I’m going to keep my desk clear so that I can write in a serene space that will calm my mind and set my inspiration soaring, but every time it ends up like this.  I’d really like to be one of those people who can write in a café or isolated in a cottage overlooking the sea, but the fact is, the only place I can words down on screen is right here in the middle of all this muddle.

Do you have a special place where you write?


  1. When I was in the journalism biz and had to take a pic of someone behind a desk, he/she always wanted to clean it off. I always told them that a messy desk proved that you were actually working!

  2. Well your desk does show you work hard!

  3. Jessica,

    If you really feel bad about the mess, try writing at a tidy desk - I betcha the creative juices will just not flow!

  4. I hadn't thought of it like that, Heidi - that makes me feel better!

  5. I write sitting on my living room sofa. I have a dining room table I could use and a computer desk upstairs but prefer my sofa and snuggly pink blanket! Am actually afraid to try to write anywhere else in case I can't!!

  6. I used to have the perfect writing room but we've just moved and there's very little space. My jobs today is to find a tiny corner to make my own!

  7. I sit bolt upright at my computer, and can't cope with any other angle (yes, deeply repressed) so v envious of people like Joanne who can relax and write at the same time. If it works for you, Joanne, I'd stick with it!

    Good luck with finding your writing space, Rachael - sometimes it's good to be forced to change!

  8. You're definitely not alone :o) My desk looks very like yours (and I sent my revisions in ten minutes ago, so I have NO excuse for it any more).

    I have discovered that revisions are better done with a pen and a hard copy, at the dining room table (only possible distraction there is the piano).

    And the iPad is always within reach when I'm not at my desk, because it's brilliant for immediate notes - back of an envelope tended to get lost on the desk, and back of my hand meant I couldn't read it later!