The Perfect Writing Space

The Perfect Writing Space

By Natalie Bright

The second blog post I did for WordsmithSix Blog, I talked about my perfect writing space: our lovely home office. It should have been the perfect place to dream, imagine, explore words, and create. When it came to the work in progress, I couldn’t write a darn thing in that room. Instead, the kitchen table called out to me. I watched my world as I wrote: the kids were much younger, food simmered on the stove, and the dogs peered at me through the window.

Years later WordsmithSix has grown to almost 500 subscribers (thanks everybody!), and I’m writing in a new space.

Luckily, I’ve been able to cut my day job hours which allows me more time to write. In the office space that we share with my in-laws, I’ve taken over my mother-in-law’s office. It hardly seems possible that she’s been gone almost ten years. She was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever known. Material wealth had absolutely no meaning to her. She was never interested in fancy clothes, shoes, or filling her home with stuff. Instead, her collection of Stephen King and Dean Koontz hardbacks were her pride and joy. She loved a good horror story. Cooking a huge meal for her family or proudly showing me the first prefect rose on the bush that she had grown from a dead twig where her rewards. This was where she did the books for their real estate business, and where my kids sat on her lap to play computer games. She kept a pile of trucks and legos in the corner.

The memory of her quiet presence reminds me that this was always her office, which is why we haven’t used it until now. It has been transformed into my ordered chaos. Stacks of edited manuscripts, research notes, and books that cover every available space. I don’t have to be orderly or put anything away, and it’s wonderful. I look forward to work every morning and can hardly wait until my hands are on the keyboard.

As for the kitchen table, it’s back to being a table in the kitchen. The home office has been taken over by our high school aged son who has embraced the online gaming community.

I guess the point of this blog is this: be YOU, create when and where you can, and realize that crafting words is a complicated, joyous process that we shall never understand.

What about you – has your perfect writing space changed from time to time?

A Perfect Writing Space

A Perfect Writing Space 

By Natalie Bright

We have a lovely home office. Oak bookcases span one entire wall from floor to ceiling and a leafy plant engulfs a huge picture window, with two comfy chairs – one for typing at the desk and one for reading. It is the perfect place to dream, imagine, explore words, and create. When it came to the work in progress, I couldn’t write a darn thing in that room.

Instead, the kitchen table called out to me. Smack in the middle of an open floor plan, I watched television, the kids, the dogs in the backyard, and the pot bubbling on the stove. Kitty watches the world from the window sill, and even though my mother has been gone eight years now, I have her aloe vera just behind me and the lively family of chickens she painted. I feel like I can create in this spot.

The topic of my story was a difficult one. For fifteen years the story of our first son has been on my heart and mind. Finally, in the middle of today’s chaos notes on loose papers, partial outlines, and journal entries came together. GONE NEVER FORGOTTEN is an eBook about hope and healing for families who have suffered the loss of a baby.

What surprised me was that my productive home office had abandoned me. So beware, fellow writers, the perfect writing space may relocate without giving notice.

What about you – have you found your perfect writing space?

Natalie Bright

I Prayed for Rain, But…

I Prayed for Rain, But…

I hate moving, but I finally got around to looking for a new apartment and changing my address.  The apartment’s great.  It has everything one could want:  good square footage, tons of storage, private patio, fireplace, laundry room, covered parking, two pools, and a workout room. I hired the fire department’s moving service to load and transport my belongings and proceeded to set up my new home. Unfortunately, my upstairs neighbor’s washing machine malfunctioned and my apartment flooded. So here I sit, watching the ceiling over my breakfast bar buckle and sag while I make bets with myself on how long it will take for the sheet rock to fall to the floor. (I’ve settled on 10 AM Tuesday morning.)

No, this is not a joke. Less than one week in my new place and I feel like the movers just unloaded everything. Unexpected, yes, but then again, that’s life. As we are well aware, stuff happens. Wise ones prepare for it and use it to their advantage. As writers, we must view the unplanned as a tool to make our work stronger and more real.

Let’s address the practical first. Back-up your work. My office was in the path of the flood. The complex’s maintenance team handed my computers to my sister and me. I was nearly in tears as we dried them off and checked them out. You see, three hundred pages of my four hundred page novel were on one of the units. “Did you back this up?”  Of course I had backed it up, but my external hard drive was in the office and I didn’t know how much of the room was under water.  My new plan is back everything up on the external hard drive and on a disk or flash drive.

As for the creative side, use an unexpected turn in your work as an opportunity to explore subplots in your storyline. You may first think “Where did that come from?” but do not delete it. You may not have planned the romance or the death, but what if the event is the catalyst that moves your story to a higher level? Why not explore the possibilities? Should you decide not to use the event in the current work, save it in your “unplanned and unexplainable file” for a future project. Never, never, never toss out your outtakes. They could be a goldmine later.

Cait Collins