Monday, May 21, 2012

Wishes Come True: The Writer's Office

Something essential to writing is carving out a space or place to work on your craft, especially if you're trying to take it professionally. Some people steal their kitchen table and let the kids run around. Some people have an expensive habit of going to coffee shops. Most of us take what we can get. The lucky ones get her own office.

I live in a house of people coming and going. There's usually three to five people (residents or otherwise) and a puppy in my house at any given minute. It's a buzz of activity and creativity. Sometimes, this can be really frustrating to certain creative processes, such as. oh, writing.

It's not so much the noise, but rather, space. For a long while, I had a mini-writing desk/bookshelf/cheap piece of old furniture about three feet in length that was designated "Shannon's writing area." It was a sweet gesture by my husband to carve out a piece of the chaotic filmmaking/arting/writing/editing/acting world that is our house. It worked wonderfully for about...a month. Then it became the place to put all of Shannon's stuff/books/papers/jewelry, and it didn't take long before it was a piece of furniture piled under (more or less) important things of Shannon's.

At the beginning of the year I asked to have the unused upstairs bedroom/unofficially Max's room during the semister. I wanted to make it an office - a place for me to write when the chaos of the house got to be too much. And a place to put my shoes/jewelry/papers/books/craft supplies. I made the request that what I really wanted for my birthday was to have my office set up so I had a place to work on my novel revisions and a place to write for Script Frenzy. My mom came over on weekend to clear out the remaining estate crap in the room (I'm sharing my house with the remaining stuff of my grandmother's - 2.5 rooms of junque). Then, eventually, I bought a can of paint and started painting.

Color Choice: Cheap 80s Sea Foam Green to Plum
So, I offered beer, and many helped pitch in to paint the room and start the journey to having a writing space.

Huzzah! New Color, and all crap in the center of the room!
Next was a new desk and to move the bed out of the room and the futon back up. Then it fell into a lull. I started working up here around the piles of crap that needed to be moved/sorted/put away. I struggled to find time between finishing Script Frenzy and editing my library videos to finish straightening up my new office space. So I made a wish to twitter:

"@Secretly_Samus: Can magical office faires and/or elves come and make my office pretty?? #iflifewereafairytale"

Turns out, they were listening.

I come home after a very long day at the 9 to 5 and find this:

And this

Very excitedly, I called all my friends to gush about my awesome new office, which everyone answered with: "About time."

Has having an office been good for my writing? Absolutely. Having my own space (even if it resembles my high school bedroom) has given me a place to focus, to build a routine, and to inform everyone to leave me alone. I've written over 4,000 words in my new space, done a read through of Tails, and created a timeline for my WIP.

Having a space to be yourself and just create is invaluable to any writer, something I knew, but didn't realize until I finally had it. For me, this space is a room dedicated to corkboards and mermaids...

Awesome Mermaid #1 by Jessica Cox

...has really made a difference in my work, my happiness, and my sanity.

So, every writer out there, carve out your writing space and make it yours, wherever that may be. It really makes a difference. And to all of you that already knew this, take a moment to realize how awesome it is to have your own space.

So, I'm going to finish this with some more mermaid painting from my new office:

Jessica Cox Mermaid Number 2 (had to have, cuz I love Angler Fishes so much)

 Painting I bough from a friend of the family upon completion of Tails in 2009


  1. Way jealous of your amazing writing space. I'm still living among boxes from a recent move, and even when I'm all unpacked I won't have a desk or anything. But your room looks beautiful and amazing. Congrats on all the work you've gotten done.

  2. I love the new space and I enjoyed the blog.