It’s difficult to write a book. Seriously. But sometimes I think it’s not just the putting the words down on the paper that’s the toughest. (Although a first draft, for me, is akin to doing the splits on a crate of dynamite. Thank you, Lorelai Gilmore for that one.) Often it’s finding a comfortable space to write or becoming inspired or finding time to write and read all the fabulous books on that TBR mountain. So, I thought I’d share a little about my own process and writing space.
Where I Write
Have you ever seen those offices in the Pottery Barn catalog? I sure wish that was my writing space. My dream is that one day I will take all my millions in royalties and create one of those Pottery Barn offices where I will write my way into people’s hearts, with a messy bun atop my head and a pair of hipster glasses. In red.
But until then, I write mostly on my laptop at the kitchen table. I have a wonderful non-Pottery Barn office, but I don’t write there. In fact, I don’t always write at the kitchen table. And I don’t always write on the computer. *Gasp!* Yes, it’s true. I handwrite much of my stories. As you can see in the picture, I adore yellow legal tablets, and I’m engaged in a lifelong love affair with Post-its. I outline each chapter on a Post-it (and I check off each scene when I’m done. Geek much? Why, yes!). So, wherever my legal tablet and Post-its can go, so goes my writing. Sometimes I write on the couch. Sometimes out on my deck. Sometimes at a coffee shop. And once, even during an assembly at school. (I am a teacher.)
I wish I had a cool artsy space to call my Writer’s Room, but really, I just write wherever and in whatever position I can fold myself to let the story flow.
Where I’m Inspired
I live blocks away from the beach. And I run long distances. So, I am definitely inspired by the beautiful ocean view, and the miles I travel alongside it give me plenty of time to create characters and plots and to live in the world of those characters. I’m also inspired in my car. Though I don’t have a long commute, the time spent alone with just an iPod full of songs transports me to a world of possible storylines and characters. Luckily I’m a good driver.
But really, I just shared those two inspiring places to distract you while I reveal the (slightly embarrassing) location of the majority of my inspiration. I guess there’s no spoiler alert since you can see the photo. The shower is my true inspiration. Anytime I need a new idea or to flesh out (pun sort of intended!) a current idea, I hit the shower. I’m not sure if it’s the extremely hot water igniting the blood vessels in my skin or the rhythmic pounding of the water on the shower glass. Or maybe it’s the fragrant citrus of my soap. But something about the shower always takes the seed of an idea and turns it into a blooming garden.
To Be Read
I love reading, don’t get me wrong. But I think that I might enjoy buying books just the teensiest bit more. I have “buffet syndrome” when it comes to buying books. I tend to think I can read more and read faster than I actually can. So the books pile up. There’s no order to this line-up. I’m crazy like that. Just pull one out and read it!
If the stack gets whittled down to one or two books, I make a desperate dash to the bookstore. What if I read those two books tonight? And on trips, I take at least three or four books. What if I read the entire book on the first day? * Having extra books is like a safety blanket. If there were a natural disaster, I might starve to death, but at least I’d have enough to read.
(*I suppose you’re thinking a Kindle would solve that problem? I handwrite novels. I’d rather pay $75 and carry an extra suitcase to accommodate my books than read electronically. 🙂 )