July 31st, 2009 by LViehl
Writing Room

Since May I’ve been writing in a three-foot by two-foot corner of my bedroom, mainly so we could convert my writing room into a guest room for family and friends who came to visit over the summer. Now that everyone has gone back home, I’m moving back in for the fall, and then I’ll move upstairs to my book room for winter. I like to be mobile, and everything I write with is on wheels or very portable so I can easily move around the house.

But for all intents and purposes, this is my primary writing space:

I chose to keep the room as minimal and utilitarian as possible because I don’t like a lot of clutter around me when I work. The choice of colors (primarily sand and sea glass) are also deliberate; to me they’re muted and soothing while still reminding me of the beach, which is the one place in the world where I always relax.

My computer station is black because it was cheap and so am I. I keep my work area clean at all times; nothing goes on the station except the computer. I face a blank wall, and while I’ve tried hanging things there from time to time I find a blank wall is best (or I end up staring at the stuff on the wall instead of working.) Having my back to the only window in to room is important, too; otherwise it would be too tempting to open the blinds and look outside at the trees and horses and stuff on our neighbor’s property. (My work printer is currently perched on a cardboard box because I can’t find a printer stand small enough to suit me and my abbreviated work space.)

I’ve spent a lot of evenings on this couch editing from a hard copy of whatever new material I wrote that day. The quilt is for the floor, sometimes I like to throw all the pillows down and stretch out while I review and mark pages (again, just like at the beach.) The couch also folds out into a queen-size bed, which I have slept on when I work late so I don’t disturb anyone else in the house.

This is actually a spare folding sewing table I have that I can pull out and use as a worktable. I also keep a couple of non-writing projects on it (at the moment, two pictures I’m going to frame and a couple of books I’m reading) so I have something to do when I need a break.

This is my reading/worry chair. It’s a bit like a security blanket; when I feel like everything is going straight to hell I sit in it for a few minutes and either read a book or just brood until I work out whatever is bothering me.

It’s not a fancy room, and I really need to hang some pictures and things on the walls I can’t see from the computer station to make it a little more homey. The main thing is that the room works with me instead of against me, and often fades away while I’m writing so I’m not distracted from the work. That makes it the ideal writing space for me.

Do you guys have a favorite writing space at home or elsewhere? How have you arranged it to work better for you? Let us know in comments.

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25 comments to “Writing Room”

  1. Bethany
     · July 31st, 2009 at 7:35 am · Link

    How I WISH I had a writing room. Right now, my desk is shoved in one corner of my living room/dining room and my writing manages to creeps across the whole room. Of course, it doesn’t help that two of my walls are old chalkboards (I live in a converted 1890’s elementary school) and I make outlines and notes all over them!

  2. Darlene
     · July 31st, 2009 at 7:43 am · Link

    I like your sewing table. Do you remember where it came from?

  3. EoW
     · July 31st, 2009 at 8:00 am · Link

    Funny, mine is similar, but with darker paint for a more cavelike feel.

    A note on the printer stand – my husband built me one out of plywood the exact size that was needed, with caster wheels on the bottom. I keep my printer paper stashed in it.

    If you don’t have an available woodshop, check with the local voc-ed school to see if you can arrange to pay a student to make one for you. (That’s what I did back in my apartment days.)

  4. Maria
     · July 31st, 2009 at 8:48 am · Link

    My room has to do double duty, serving as a writing space and a studio. While my counters aren’t always clear depending on what project I’m working on, I make sure my computer desk is clutter free. I can’t write in a messy place.

    There are three floor to ceiling windows in front of my computer with a view of the woods. I don’t know if it’s conducive to better writing, but I know it helps me de-stress. And that’s always a good thing.

  5. Jess
     · July 31st, 2009 at 9:05 am · Link

    your room looks peaceful and inviting! I currently write in a corner of the bedroom and I need to CLEAN the bedroom. There’s clutter all over which is distracting. Well, when I’m at home it’s where I write. I mostly write in my cube at work. Sigh. :)

  6. theo
     · July 31st, 2009 at 9:46 am · Link

    I have a den. It’s a really nice den. It’s a rather small den but not too small. Until I shove three bookcases, my huge corner computer desk, a filing cabinet, my printer and my baby grand in it, not to mention that every available workspace is covered with books, books and did I mention books?


    I really like your writing room…

  7. Nina Paules
     · July 31st, 2009 at 12:30 pm · Link

    Thank you for sharing pics of your personal writing space, Lynn. It’s neat to see the world from which Midnight Blues arose. Excellent short. You have me seriously hooked.

    Nina, beginnig to understand the Power of Free.

  8. Lynn
     · July 31st, 2009 at 1:37 pm · Link

    Wall-size chalkboards? Now I’m turning a lovely shade of green. :) I’d love to have walls I could write on.

  9. Lynn
     · July 31st, 2009 at 1:54 pm · Link

    That one I think we got from JoAnn’s. Let me see if I can chase down a link….nope, they don’t have it on their web site. It was a no-name brand that you had to assemble yourself, and if I remember correctly it cost about $99.00 on sale.

  10. Lynn
     · July 31st, 2009 at 1:55 pm · Link

    What a great idea, EoW, thanks. My guy is a pretty decent carpenter, and he’s always looking for an excuse to use his power tools. :)

  11. Lynn
     · July 31st, 2009 at 1:57 pm · Link

    In my last house I sat facing a window with a view of a valley which was just green and full of trees and clouds and sky. It was lovely but I spent way too much time cloud-watching. :)

  12. Lynn
     · July 31st, 2009 at 1:58 pm · Link

    I decided a couple of years ago to separate my books from my writing space because it was too easy to get up and grab something to look up a reference, and I stopped jotting down my resource notes properly. I miss the books but not the temptation to stop writing and start reading. :)

  13. Lynn
     · July 31st, 2009 at 1:59 pm · Link

    Lol. Yes, do come to the Free side, Nina. We have better cookies. :)

  14. Lynn
     · July 31st, 2009 at 2:00 pm · Link

    Hey, I wrote ten books mostly during my lunch hours at work (I had a fabulous boss who would let me come in and use the office computer on weekends, too.)

  15. Sasha White
     · July 31st, 2009 at 3:06 pm · Link

    I use the extra bedroom in my condo as a writing room, and it work for the most part. However, when I get in a deadline crunch,- which I usually do, I leave my computer and the room and take my Neo to the sofa, or the kitchen table, or the patio outside. I like to move around with it because I don’t want to stop writing, but sitting at a desk for more than 8 hours kills my neck, back, and sanity. 😆

    However, I do need to clean up the office right now. Too much junk has built up. Ideally I’d like it to look clean and organized like yours, but It tends to only last for a day.

  16. Babette James
     · July 31st, 2009 at 4:15 pm · Link

    Your space looks comfortable and peaceful.

    Free and cheap is good. :smile: I’m lucky to have a small room just for my writing space. My desk faces the window and gives me a lovely view of the sky and maple tree out front. I’ve four hand-me-down bookcases and two I bought on sale. My huge wooden desk and file cabinet were clearance from a used-office furniture store. There’s a soft upholstered chair from my grandmother in one corner that the dog and two of my cats squabble over (The third cat has decided that under my chair is her place :roll: ). My desk chair was the only splurge since I have a cranky back.

  17. Dawn Montgomery
     · July 31st, 2009 at 4:49 pm · Link

    I do the same thing, write during my lunch hours at work. I’m currently without a writing space so I make do where I can. Your writing room is wonderful! Did you make the quilt and pillow cover? The colors are gorgeous.

  18. Lynn
     · July 31st, 2009 at 9:43 pm · Link

    The quilt and pillow were a gift from my stepdaughter last Mother’s day. She doesn’t quilt (sigh) but she does know my favorite colors. As I recall the tags on them said Coldwater Creek.

  19. Lynn
     · July 31st, 2009 at 9:54 pm · Link

    Keep in mind that I’m a mildly obsessive neat freak, and (when I’m not writing) only really happy when I’m cleaning something. :)

  20. Lynn
     · July 31st, 2009 at 9:56 pm · Link

    My two cats like my worry chair (they always nap curled up together) but under my feet is his lordship the dog’s spot. I’m trying to work him out from under my legs and to the side where I can reach down and give him a scratch behind the ears now and then.

  21. Dawn Montgomery
     · July 31st, 2009 at 11:01 pm · Link

    Gorgeous selection, anyway. I’ll have to check out Coldwater Creek. Thank you!

  22. RKCharron
     · August 1st, 2009 at 7:14 am · Link

    Hi :)
    I love your writing room.
    Thanks for the pictures.
    Everything looks so clean.
    All the best,

  23. LViehl
     · August 1st, 2009 at 9:33 am · Link

    Thanks, RK. :)

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