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Posts Tagged ‘creative space’

Writing room makeover

In creative spaces on April 19, 2012 at 9:01 am

Where I bang the keys . . .

Every writer dreams of having that perfect creative space, a place where they can retreat from the stresses of the real world and work in relative peace. The reality, of course, is many of us can’t afford a little studio out back or a separate office somewhere. The next best thing is a room in the house you can claim as your own. My hideaway is a bedroom upstairs I requisitioned as an office. The above picture is what the room currently looks like. I have long been threatening to do something with this space—to make it more of a writer’s retreat.

My dream involves installing a recliner, mini-bar, and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves—none of which will actually happen. If I really had my way—and the necessary cash to pull it off—I’d live and work in the English countryside. I’d own some quaint cottage with an appropriately English name, something along the lines of “Inkwell” or “Quill House,” on a wooded acre or two. It wouldn’t be far from a proper country pub. By proper, I mean stone fireplace, beamed ceilings, and no flashing fruit machines. The mornings would start with an early walk in the country—coffee mug in hand and dog at my side—followed by breakfast with the family. I’d then retire to my writing shed out back and get my daily quota of 1,000 words down on paper. With the writing finally out of the way, my wife and I would head to the pub for an evening drink and be home in time to catch the latest “Downton Abbey.” Yes, life would be grand.

Since I live in a suburban town in Northern California and not my native UK, I’ve had to amend my vision somewhat. I’ve started work on the project, though I’m not entirely sure what the end result will look like. Regardless, I’ll eventually post a picture of the great “Home Office Makeover.”

‘The Writer’s Weirdness’

In writers, Writing on January 27, 2012 at 10:25 am

Browsing other book-related blogs this morning, I came across the following video on Wragsthinks. Always interesting to hear writers discussing their habits.

A place to write

In creative spaces, writing rooms on January 24, 2012 at 10:19 am

As stated in a previous post last year, my wife and I use one of the bedrooms in our house as an office. Our desks are pushed against opposite walls. My side of the room is dominated by three overflowing bookshelves; her side is pretty sparse. To be honest, I’ve sort of annexed her desk and now use it as a repository for random odds and ends.

While I someday hope to have a writing room that’s completely my own, what I’d really like is a writing hut. Roald Dahl had one. Dahl’s recent biographer, Donald Sturrock, described the author’s shed in the brilliant Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl:

Roald now found that he wrote best when he was undisturbed in his hut. It was built out of a single layer of bricks, insulated with polystyrene and divided into two rooms, neither more than six feet wide. In the front room he stored his files, letters and manuscripts in two ancient wooden cabinets, on top of which were perched two tiny model aeroplanes with oak propellers and long slender wings covered in varnished silk. In the opposite corner lay a rubber exercise mat and several sets of barbells. The backroom was his writing space. There, for four hours a day, he could separate himself from the main house and cut himself off from the world of nannies, nurses, schools and shopping. Seated in a soft leather chair—which he replaced with a chair of his mother’s after her death—with his legs up and covered in a warm blanket, he created a world where his imagination could run free. It was not dissimilar to the cockpit of a plane. With the curtains drawn, and only the occasional sound of Claud’s cattle chomping the grasses outside to disturb him, his green baize writing board and yellow U.S. legal pads in front of him, his sharpened Dixon Ticonderoga in hand, and a tableful of little treasures at his side, he could escape into an alternative existence and become a “truant boy” once more.

I researched the matter this past weekend and stumbled across the following slideshow, featuring the writing huts of famous authors. And from the Scottish Book Trust, here’s how to transform that empty garden shed into your own writing retreat.

Writers and their creative spaces

In author, creative spaces, publishing, Uncategorized, writers, Writing, writing rooms on August 11, 2010 at 12:08 am

Every writer wants a dedicated space where they can pursue “the Craft.” My wife and I use one of the bedrooms in our house as an office. I have my desk against one wall; she has hers against the wall opposite. Naturally, I don’t mind sharing a creative space with my wonderful better half, but I do dream of the day—if it ever arrives—when I can have a writing room of my own.

I envision it has having floor-to-ceiling bookshelves made of dark wood and stacked to capacity with an impressive collection of history, biographies and thrillers. Several shelves would be reserved for research books and other such materials. In one corner, I’d have a worn-in recliner where I could sit, read my page proofs and edit manuscripts. Maybe I’d have a couple of framed book covers on the wall. Would it be cliché to have a bottle of scotch nearby?

For a look at the writing rooms of more established authors, check out this great series that ran a while back in the (London) Guardian.

My wife, by the way, would kill for her own Yoga studio and meditation room . . .

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