Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Room of One's Own

Um, have I mentioned that we just moved? Oh, I did? 100 times? Sorry. Well, one of the many great things about the new house is that I HAVE MY OWN WRITING SPACE.

I was at a Michigan writers schmooze at the fabulous Shutta Crum's house this weekend and we talked about the ways in which we tell our brains it's time to leave the real world behind and begin writing. I use music. I choose an album or make a playlist for my iPod that reminds me of the tone of my book and I listen to it every time I write. I am very trainable in Pavlovian ways, so soon, whenever I hear that music, I get into my "writing space," even if I'm in the library or the kitchen or wherever.

But to have one's own room, like Virginia Woolf, in which to close the door on the chaos and the chores and to be a Writer. Yum. Check out Woolf's space.* Can't you just see her sitting there, scratching out bits of Orlando and gazing out the window?

Now, I too have a physical writing space. I can just open the door and step inside and be filled with creativity, inspiration, and focus. Come with me a minute. Here we go, I am opening the door and stepping inside. And I see this:

Okay, it may need some work.

How do you get in the mood?

* The Guardian's series on writers' rooms is great procrastination/inspiration.


Marcia said...

Great news about your own office! Mine has grown through the years and now takes up 1/4 of our lower level, and I think what puts me in the mood is a combination of writing regularly and being in "my room." I wish music did it for me, but I seem to need silence.

C.R. Evers said...

Congratulations on the new writing space! I finally got my own space about a year ago and it has helped my productivity a lot!

I decorated my room with the things that inspire me. Bright colors, beta fish, my childhood desk and some childhood toys, a cork board with pictures made by my kids among other things. Mostly stuff that helps me reconnect with my childhood or makes me wonder "what if . . . " My husband says it looks like a teenagers room. I say "good."

I also have some candles and sometimes light my candles and fix a nice cup of tea.

Unfortunatlely I tend to bring laundry and other housework things into my office, and it does tend to kill the mood. So, you need to put a sign on your door to remind you that no house work related items are allowed in your space! :0)

have fun in your room.

Angela Ackerman said...

Congrats on getting your own space! I share my office with hubby and the kids (who have a computer in here, too) but in a way I draw creativity from them, so it's all good.

Buy something special for your creative space and make it your own. :-)

Kristi Valiant said...

Hi Jacqui,
That's so nice that you'll have your own writing space now. I didn't realize you lived in Michigan. I'm in southern Indiana, but I'll be visiting Michigan this weekend. Too bad it's 2 hours away from you in Sturgis - it would have been fun to get together for coffee!
Have fun unpacking.

Elise Murphy said...

So lovely to have a room of one's own. I turned mine into a womb of my own and painted it dark red.

Um, getting in the mood to write?

Music from the era I'm writing about is always good . . .and truly, editing is my answer. If I'm feeling stalled . . .I edit and that gets me back into my story. Boring, I know.

Angela said...

We just moved too... my office looks a bit like your office ... boxes!

Congrats on the new writing space. I wander when I write and I still like pen and paper or taking my laptop outside.

Happy writing! (much more fun than unpacking!)

cindy said...

i go to starbucks. haha! i can't listen to music when i write, at least not anything with lyrics. i like to sing along too much. i do also write at the dining table--but the internet connection compels me to google for fotos of phelps. haha!

can't wait to see what you do with your new writing space!

Jacqui said...

thank you all. Now if I could just get Internet access I would have so many witty and poignant things to say in response. As it is I am typing one. Letter. At . A. Time. On The Mighty Thor's iPhone. Ugh. How do people do this fast?!

Unknown said...

Congrats on your new creative hub. Lucky you. I have to resort to hiding in my closet with my laptop if I want peace and quiet. Problem is, the kids ALWAYS find me.

Sara said...

Nothing like having your own space. Do you have a desk yet? That was hard for me, trying to find the perfect huge surface that wasn't $10,000.

I've got Raggedy Ann and Andy in my office, and juggling balls, and a three-headed dragon, and lots and lots of pictures and interesting postcards and even some albums framed from my childhood.

But...sometimes, I write on the couch downstairs instead.

Tabitha said...

Congratulations!! We just moved, and I got my own writing space too. Feels like christmas, doesn't it? :)

I get in the writing mood by simply sitting in front of my laptop. All those years of carving my space out of a corner of the couch taught me to block out everything else and focus on what's in front of me. :) Specific music can do it for me, too, which I'll use if I'm having a moment of ADD. :)

Amber Lough said...

Yay, a writing space! I have a tiny room at the moment, but in a month, I'll have a real bedroom all to myself in which to ponder fantastic plot lines and actually write them down.

J. Thorp said...

I have no space of my own. To get in the mood, I tell the kids I need to write; set up a card table in the bedroom; get Trevor a drink and ask him why he never wants anything to do with me until I need to write; fire up my laptop; ask Jodi if she'll remind the kids that when Puck barks, it means he wants to come in; pull up a chair; calmy remind the kids I need to write; answer a few emails; write a lame Facebook status update; visit Jacqui's Room and Hubba's House for half an hour; bark at the kids that, although I've yet to write anything, I am write-ING, and they need to play downstairs or outside if they are going to be loud; complain to myself that it's too quiet; build a custom playlist for the day's fiction; open a beer; and press play. Later I counteract the beer with a cup of green tea or black coffee.

Music is critical. For the kung-fu screenplay, it was indie hip-hop and traditional Chinese music on shuffle. For the fantasy novel, country/folky/bluesy stuff seems to work - She & Him, Neko Case, Carla Bruni (yes, the supermodel first lady of France sings) ...

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your space - you will be all set up and loving it in no time!

I have a space at the top of my house, with my desk in a dormer window. One wall is covered with homasote, and layered with years worth of pin-ups - stuff my kids have drawn, favorite illustrators illustrations, postcards, photos ...

I need total silence to write. To get inspired, I look at some of my favorite children's or art books. If I'm just producing art, THEN I love music, or NPR!

Good luck with your internet. So frustrating.

Jacqui said...

Thorp, that is hilarious. And embarrassingly familiar.

Everyone else, thanks so much for the smiles and I promise photos when the office is, um, not full of crap.