A Writer’s Space…Ideal vs. Reality

When I was young I pictured the location where authors/writers did their work. It was always some variation of the following…

The recently showered and fully dressed writer pads down a long hallway and opens a door to their own private writing space. Clutching a mug of tea/coffee, the writer sits down at  a comfortable chair located behind a highly polished, very organized mahogany desk. There is a wall of books on one wall and a window with a completely astounding view of a lake, a mountain, or a field of wildflowers.

Selecting a full pen from a drawer, the writer/author thinks for a long moment and at the precise moment inspiration hits, leans over a clean piece of paper and the words begin to flow.

Then I became a writer. Here is the reality.

On a typical day, when I’ve begged and pleaded for time to write, I can count on a minimum of five interruptions per hour. Last time I reserved a block of time to write I kept track of said interruptions for my own amusement (and for this blog)

6:30am    Hubby wants to know where the flea powder–dog is scratching

6:41am     Hubby comes in room for some clothes

7:01am    Hubby brings me breakfast (OK-this one is great! Love him!)

7:09am    Powdered, yet still scratching, dog is let into the room

7:25am    Kids come in to see if I have any bacon left and can they have it

7:36am    Boy twin comes in for a hug 

7:42am    Hubby needs toilet paper….where are extra rolls kept?

8:08 am   Girl twin needs me to fix her hair

8:25am     Knock at window reveals family showing ripened tomatoes  

8:26am     Boy twin can’t find toy army men…do I know where they are?

8:50 am    Girl twin wants to weigh herself

9:01am     Hubby needs jersey to watch upcoming football game

9:17 am    Hubby wants to know if he can pull bread from freezer          

And so on….   

So, that is a typical block of “writing time” for me. Now, lets move on to the instruments for said writing.     

My computer is ten years old, shuts off at will (usually when I haven’t saved in a while or I’m in the middle of a fantastic run of words), and is located in a peeling wood veneer cabinet that is shoved in the corner of my bedroom.  My kids find everything in the cabinet fascinating and things disappear at will. (4-year-old twins find calculators, screen cleaners, coasters, my drafts, and notecards to be much fun to play with).

Sometimes I don’t use the computer. When inspiration strikes I use anything that is at hand. Some examples…

Sticky notes (they paste so nicely to the computer monitor don’t they?)

Backs of envelopes

Any kind of paper with a blank space on it anywhere.

You get the drift. As for writing utensils…

Our pens never have ink in them (my fault since I leave them clicked open all the time) so I’ve had to improvise at times.

Crayons

Lipstick

Dry erase markers

And my personal favorite–using the tip of an empty pen to gouge the words into the paper. Trust me, if you’ve got a great flow of words coming to you this will work!

It is during these times that I try to remember it all comes down to this…

How you write doesn’t matter, as long as you’re writing!

Happy Friday everybody.

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2 thoughts on “A Writer’s Space…Ideal vs. Reality

  1. I totally get you! I wonder, if we blocked off between 2 to 4 am, would it be easier?

    Seriously, I’m spoiled with a quiet home through the day now, but there are always interruptions for my dogs needed potty breaks, laundry chores, snack prep, vaccuuming, dusting, …. the list goes on and on. We just need to learn to adjust to the interruptions, I think. Maybe it’s God’s way of bringing us back to reality!!!

    • Eileen,
      Thanks for the comment and for stopping by my site.

      With my background working in the television industry I think I do better than most with the interupptions since I got used to working in absolute bedlam on a daily basis. (Nothing says “start up the crazy” like a breaking news story or an angry television show producer breaking down the door to your office).

      Now that my twins are in preschool I do get a two hour window of free (quiet) time which I’ve definately learned to put to good use.

      Be sure to check out my blog tomorrow–I will be doing a post of what my family has to put up with me being a writer. (One point…how “Just ten more minutes” can easily turn into two hours!)

      Thanks again,
      Christi

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