I'm undergoing a makeover of my writing area/ home office at the moment, and the process has made me think - what makes for a great writing space?
Is it about creating an organized and efficient work area with everything you need at your fingertips?
Perhaps you're more interested in displaying images and words that inspire you, and picking a color scheme that makes you happy to sit down and dig into your work?
Is it about investing in an ergonomic desk chair, and positioning your computer screen at the right height to minimize eye strain - or settling wherever you're comfortable, even if that's the corner of the couch?
Separation from the rest of the family so you can concentrate, or the ability to be right in the middle of the action?
Clearly there's no one right answer to any of these questions. Our writing spaces are as different as our temperaments and writing styles. Some people prefer a more structured set-up with a desk, chair and writing books within easy reach; others are happiest to snuggle under their bedcovers with their laptop.
Of course, there's usually a gap between our ideals and the constraints of reality, as well. Some writers would love a dedicated area to work in, but it's just not feasible given their current living arrangements. I mean, how many of us would love a desk with a sea view like in this gorgeous picture above - right?? Can't you just feel the inspiration flowing in on that ocean breeze?
But this is real life, and writing happens wherever we can make the time and space for it.
With that in mind, I thought it might be fun today to offer a personal glimpse of where we write.
So kick off your shoes and come on in. The Alleycats welcome you into our homes to share our real-life writing spaces.
Ang loves to settle in for a writing session on a comfy armchair with a chunky knit throw and her laptop:
This is Sherrinda's brand-new writing space. She's always written on the couch, but her son just moved out last week and she decided to turn his room into a guest/ writing/ art room. I love Sherrinda's inspiration board and that gorgeous whimsical chair - would you believe she picked it up off the side of the road and gave it a complete makeover with paint? (You can read all about that DIY project on her personal blog here!)
I love that Pepper has a beautiful artwork hanging over her desk, and a bookshelf within easy reach. What better inspiration than to be surrounded by books!
... but that's only one of Pepper's writing spaces! She also uses a treadmill desk. How cool is this??! What a great idea - as simple as installing a shelf to hold the laptop, so she can burn calories while racking up her word count.
Mary was so inspired by Pepper's awesome treadmill desk, that hubby made her one of her own!
Mary also uses a desk by the window when she's not sweating it out on the treadmill. I love all that natural light - a real mood-lifter.
All this talk of exercise is making me tired. Krista has the right idea... her writing retreat is right here in bed, snuggled under the covers with her laptop! How cosy does that look?!
Julia's writing space is on the couch - and she's hung some pictures nearby that have very special meaning for her as a writer. I love what she has to say about this: "My inspiration is more what's on my walls. A picture of my daddy when he was young. He always told me to dream big and I'd like to hope he'd be proud of me. And a picture of Henry Wordsworth Longfellow with a signed nameplate! I feel like with those two men behind my desk I can achieve my best." So meaningful and so inspiring.
Our resident animal-lover finds inspiration curled up next to her beloved dog Schroeder (how cute is he?!):
This gorgeous writing corner has it all - a roll-top desk with plenty of little drawers and cubby-holes for writing supplies; inspiring photos on the walls; and a whiteboard within easy reach to jot notes and brainstorm ideas.
This divine lamplit corner just beckons me in. With a wedding photo for romantic inspiration, natural light and an ottoman pulled up to the couch, is it any wonder our Amy is so prolific at the keyboard? What a charming and inviting spot!
If you're wondering where my contribution is, you'll have to wait for Part Two of this post in two weeks' time. Meanwhile, I'll be busy finishing off some painting, installing shelves and completing the makeover of my writing space. It's already shaping up to be my favorite writing zone of any house I've lived in - I can't wait to share!
Where do you usually choose to write? Couch? Coffee shop? Desk? Anyone else rocking the treadmill desk like Pepper and Mary? Do you pull inspiration from your surroundings, or are you happy to write anywhere you can perch a laptop?
Karen Schravemade lives in Australia, where she juggles writing with being a SAHM to three small kids. She's had short stories published in two literary journals and is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such. Find her on her website, Twitter, and getting creative on her home-making blog, A house full of sunshine.