I think I figured out what my problem is.

Stop right there.  Don’t ask- “which problem?  Don’t’ exclaim- “wow- she finally gets it”.  Just listen (read) for a second before you make any snide comments Jay readers….

The specific problem to which I refer is:

My inability to “edit” my “novel” properly.

I spent the last year working on a “novel”.  I love my idea, love my characters.  Love them so much, that I’ve made the conflict in the novel ridiculously light, because I don’t want to see them hurt or have pain.

Yeah.  I know.  Tough problem to face.  War, homelessness, inability to have characters feel bad.  It’s my cross to bare.

But I finally figured out why I can’t fix my “novel”.

I don’t have a “Writer’s Shack”.

When I was at the beach, I would pass a little house every day.  To the side of this house was a littler house- and the plaque outside of it simply said “Writer’s Shack”.

As you may know- my three person, two pet family lives in a luxurious 800 square foot apartment.  We barely have room to breath.  I have a tiny desk, which is where I tend to work on my “novel”, yet I blog at my dining room table.  Which venue is more successful is yet to be seen.

So I began to think about if a writer needs a dedicated space in which to work.  Would having four walls, a desk, a chair and a window that were only used for writing be answer that I was looking for?

I quickly realized that I would be unable to build a shack off the side of my apartment.  So I started to think about other options.

  1. Renting office space.  Sure- because with college looming on the horizon we have the extra money to do that.
  2. Taking a space in a building that has studios for artists and writers.  While these are slightly more affordable, I once had a friend who used one of these.  Though she found it incredibly helpful, I thought it was dark and dreary.
  3. Writing in my favorite coffee shop.  There are myriad thoughts about doing this.  During the school year my daughter does her homework at her desk in her room.  Since returning from vacation, she has been spending about 7 hours a day at one of the 97 Starbucks that are located within 3 blocks of my house, working on summer homework and PSAT prep.  She feels that working in her room highlights the fact that it is summer, and that her mind keeps wanting to do other things- like literally anything other than AP work, such as laying on her bed and staring at the ceiling.  In order for her to actually accomplish anything- she needs to be in another setting.  This is a plus for writing in a coffee shop.  The other thing about writing in a coffee shop is being surrounded by “writers”.  I was once shushed by someone in a coffee shop because she was “working” while I was just “having coffee”.  (Yes- I tend to be a bit loud and animated- but I really thought it was OK to talk and have a beverage in a coffee shop- my bad….)  When I walk by a coffee shop- all I see are laptops- and people banging away at laptop keys- Apparently, “Starbucks”=”Writer’s Shack”

So- should I set up shop at my favorite coffee hole?  Should the hours I dedicate to working on my novel be done in a setting of not so comfortable chairs and harsh lighting?  Will they let my bring in my own chair and desk light?  Will working outside my home be productive?

To be continued……………..

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39 thoughts on “The Write Place

  1. I’m so glad you are working on a novel. I love your writing. I think you should try a couple of different places to see what works best for you. Sometimes I go to the library. Sometimes I go to a greasy spoon restaurant to eat and write. Sometimes I sit in my husband’s recliner, Could you share the expense of
    a writing space with another writer and use it a different times? Just a thought Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the romantic image of a writer in a shack . . . but I also love the idea of writing in a coffee shop. Imagine the ideas for character and plot twists you’d get when you look up from your laptop. While a novel feels too ambitious for me — I am anxious to follow your journey. Maybe you’ll inspire me! (And a thought about putting your characters through too much: imagine how you might help them build resilience, strength, and courage. I say throw stuff at them and see how amazing they are!)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Isn’t that the point of novel writing? To be really involved in it? I think it must be a little like parenting — you hate to see your kid go through hard stuff, but oh the pride when they come out the other side so much better for it! Grit your teeth . . . your characters will probably thank you for it. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  3. lol at someone shushing you for actually having coffee and conversation at a Starbucks. It’s true. Those of use who “work” there feel as if it’s our own, inexpensive office space. To answer your question, I do think most writers have a dedicated work space that prepares the mind for the task at hand. I’m just not sure it has to be away from home. I do think it has to be quiet (which I’ve learned to use headphones for) and part of a regiment.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Aha! I’d start there first and then move on to thinking about spaces 😉 One of the first things I read was to stop calling myself an “aspiring writer.” It went on to explain that if you’re writing, then…you’re a writer 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  4. That is great you have been working on a Novel!!! 🙂 I was thinking about this myself lately. Instead of sitting at the dining room table, and writing my recipes…maybe come September I should try somewhere NOT inside the house. So, I decided that I will go to a lovely coffee shop I have in my neighborhood…I would suggest outside 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Maybe applying for a writer’s residency: they have a couple in the Catskill Mountains I read about. Our home is 1800 sq. ft. for 2 people and a pug in Florida. We actually have rooms we don’t use which is where my writer’s room is but I tend to use the same place.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The same place is just outside the kitchen and behind my husband’s desk with a view of our entry way. This is where I grade papers, blog, and write but I have the option of a whole room to myself but it is not as air conditioned as I would like it to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 1. You know it’s bad when you are specifically called out in a friend’s post as being someone to say all the things everyone else is thinking. I mean all the things no one else is thinking. Not even this Jay character.

    2. I’m certain someone before me has suggested it, but I was considering the library at one point. There are so many rooms available. You might just find the best one and take a few hours a few times a week out of your schedule for dedicated editing time.

    3. Coffee shops don’t seem like the best place, you could be easily distracted!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve thought about the big library. I’ve also thought about joining writing center. My library is somewhat loud…..I’m trying to think of someplAce busy enough so it won’t go out of business but not so busy as being distracting…..I knew what you’d be thinking!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I have a little desk in the corner of the family room I use for writing. I think each of us has to find our own space. As for not wanting to inflict too much conflict on the characters you create, I can completely relate! It takes a while to learn to leave it in, and not “rescue” your character too soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ohhhh my gosh I have so been there. What I’ve actually found is I can only write when I am in the writing moment. It doesn’t matter where or why or how. I can sit at the best desk in the best chair… nothing. Completely blank. But I can be on the subway. Or beside the ocean. Or in that perfect chair… in writer mood and oh my god look out. Doesn’t matter what time it is. Doesn’t matter what day it is. Maybe there’s wine. Maybe water. Maybe cotton friggin candy. I never know.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I run into a similar issue on days I don’t work. I have gardening and preserving to do, but my Netflix account and my couch serenade me with love songs that make it hard to leave the couch cushions loving embrace to sweat over a hot stove canning tomatoes and such

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My husband loves working and writing at coffee shops for many of the same reasons as your daughter does. However, when in the U.S. he tries to choose small “mom and pop” owned coffee shops over starbucks when possible, or “Toms” because of the positive social impact they have. He would rather support small business and socially conscious businesses than starbucks.

    Now when I write I do my best writing ( of our blog) while sitting on my bed!! I like the comfort of home and hate being upright in a chair!

    So I think it is about trying different settings and seeing what works for you! It really is about the head space though I think, which when there IS that space, allows for creativity to glow more easily.

    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

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