Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Writing Spaces

My years of a being a writer have taught me many things and one of those is that the best part of doing this job is that I can do it anywhere. Working as a novelist, magazine writer, short story author, script writer, fiction, non-fiction…doesn’t matter what type of writing you do, it can be done any place as long as you have the minimal requirements of pencil and paper. 

Most of us dream of having an office where we can go everyday to write our bestselling novels. And some writers are lucky to have such a writing space. Others, like myself, don’t have such luxuries. I have a three-bedroom house and I’m also the mother of 3 small children. The rooms in this house are all occupied! So, I have to carve out a space elsewhere, and since I haven’t the income to rent an outside office (that’s another nice little writer dream!) I have to get creative with the sources available to me. 

Like the sofa.

Yes, the majority of my writing takes place in the living room while sitting on the sofa. I have my laptop (a step up from pencil and paper), earphones (to block out the combined noises of my husband watching TV and the kids playing on the floor), and the ability to absorb myself in my writing world. I’ve also taken full advantage of our kitchen table and I have a desk in the dining room, though both of those areas get chilly in the winter months. I’ve also had the opportunity to hide away in my bedroom while my husband watches our children. That never seems to work out. One of them always claims the need to ‘go potty’ and inevitably wanders into my secluded space breaking my concentration.

In the summer time, I take my writing utensils (paper, pen or laptop; whatever suits me that day) to write outside. Our back porch is a lovely spot, secluded from most of the neighbors prying eyes and yet with a nice view of the backyard so I can watch my children at play.

In the past, I’ve written in numerous locations. My earliest days of writing began in my childhood bedroom, sitting by the window overlooking the mountain by the house. I’ve taken my writing with me to work. When I worked at the bookstore, I took advantage of having the back storage room entirely to myself for a full half hour. I’d quickly eat and write for the remainder of my time. Or on the days when the back room was being used, I’d eat my lunch and then sit on one of the mall benches. 

There were several years where I had no real home (the definition of ‘home’ is not always the same as ‘house’) so I spent a lot of time in my car. I’d travel to different locations, parks, secluded wooded areas, lakes, alongside rivers, or even just the mall parking lot and sit in my car to write. I’ve written in cafĂ©’s and coffee shops, restaurants and pizza shops, mall’s and bookstore’s (I do miss Borders), in my friend’s and family member’s houses. I’ve taken my writing with me on vacations, too. I’ve written in the car (while someone else was driving! Geesh!), in other states and countries, in airplanes, in hotels and motels, poolside and on the beach. I’ve even written in a graveyard.   

Now that I have a real home and children, most of my writing is done at night, after the little ones are fast asleep. My sofa might not be as glamorous as an office, but as long as you have pen, paper and motivation, a writer can write anywhere!  


  1. I have 3 children too. Ages 6, 5, and 18 months. It's very hard to get enough space or time to write. I am lucky enough to have my desk but it seems to have lost it's magical powers lately. As soon as I get my laptop battery fixed, I'll be mobile again. Boy am I looking forward to those days!

  2. Wow, Sara, our kids ages are so close! Mine are 5, 4 and 16 months. It's incredible how they simply take over the house. My desk used to be for writing; is now being used for crayons and puzzles. lol I hope your laptop gets fixed soon!