To begin with, you should be able to write anywhere. You don’t need a sacred space to make the work happen. You don’t need any special hoodoo or a shaman to come and bless the chair you put your ass into. All these things are nice, but unnecessary. Ultimately, all you really need is your brain and a whichever implement of destruction you use to destroy your characters. You don’t even need a pen. There’s efficient enough dictation software out there if you want to bark your manuscript into your computer.
I’ve spent the last five years writing on my chaise lounge in the living room with the television on pause, and the five years prior to that writing in bed propped up on a bunch of pillows because my posture — when sitting at my desk — was terrible enough to turn me into a pretzel. I got the work done anyway. I did significant damage to my back that’s required much yoga to fix too, but that’s besides the point.
I’ve trained myself to write on a computer, on a tablet, and if I’m super desperate, on my iPhone. I’ve written on planes and trains and in cars and on busses and in the metro (but never on a horse. I intend to never get on a horse again after Costa Rica, kay thanks: the horse’s name was Burrito and we had a disagreement about a steep, muddy hill and how I wanted him to go down and he was like, naw. Or, more like, hee haw naw.)
Having said all that, however, it’s still very nice to have a place to dedicate to the business of getting dirty with the art and craft of writing books, a place where you can stick your research on the walls and nerd about about the stuff you can’t yet share with anyone, and as I mentioned earlier this month, I gots one.
Maker Space: My Writing Room
Tibbs and I moved into a condo that had enough space to allow us each an office. I’ve had desk space before, you know — because I’m a graphic designer by trade and I’ve freelanced for years so I needed the surface area to make stuff.
While I can write in odd spaces, it seems that if I actually want to be productive while doing design stuff, I actually need to be at a desk and sitting upright or standing. I had an “office” attached to my living room for years, facing away from the television, and it worked for me, but it still wasn’t a room. I’d take a cabana or a book nook too, for that matter, but since we had the space and it meant I could fill it with all my nerdy, occult, weird, and bizarre stuff I’ve accumulated over the years, I did so happily.
My writing room is a haven: it’s quiet, full of sunshine, and the internet is strong back there now that we have a repeater in place. I’ve got a little entertainment unit set up, and a place where I can think about things in comfort and while surrounded by the stuff that inspires me.
That’s the point, right? Sure you should be able to write anywhere, but you ultimately want to write a place where you feel the good juju and you can hit that zen state where the creativity flows: a place that teems with all your brilliant ideas and nurtures new ones.
I walk into my writing room, and I feel like I want to get to work. I want to make things. I want to destroy worlds with my naked fingers and build new ones.
You read that right. The room is called The Burrow because it’s where this bunny goes to hide. Have you seen a bunny eating raspberries? It’s simultaneously adorable and terrifying. (I’m dancing around this fact a bit, because it’s only a slightly embarrassing confession: it’s my nickname. I’m the bunny rabbit of the house. I know. Shut up. Stop laughing.)
I have a collection of skulls.
I hope that compensates for the obnoxiously cute admission.
Adorable and grim, guys. That’s what I’m angling for.
You know what I need? More coffins. Obvi.
* The featured image is a painting by Pieter Claeszoon, Still Life – Vanitas.