Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Constructing an influential writing space

This weekend during a writing break I tackled the very needed task of cleaning my office. I know some of us (writers) don’t have an actual office but wherever you work, you should take it as seriously as you take your writing.

Before I had a spare bedroom I use to write from our kitchen table. For the record, I DO NOT recommend this! Every time we ate all of my notes had to be moved and things always got out of order. I spent the most of my time trying to make sense of my stuff. You really need to have a space of your own to devote to your craft.

But this space should not be just about writing. While cleaning this week, I noticed and smiled at the picture of on my desk of my daughter playing on the beach of Lake Michigan. I laughed at the picture of snowflakes on my dog, Oscar’s nose on the very picture that was published in my first book. Now yes, the last picture ended up being career related. I have no intentions of writing about my daughter and the fun we had at Lake Michigan but whenever I hit a snag in a scene it makes me smile and takes some of the stress away when I see her trying to figure out how that sand toy works.

I also incorporate quotes around my office to inspire me like, “I’m convinced fear is at the root of most bad writing,” said by Stephen King. New York Times bestselling author Bob Mayer recently mentioned that quote on his Write It Forward Blog and I loved it.

We are so easily influenced by our surrounding so construct an influential and inspirational workspace for your writing. Incorporate craft, humor and family. What do you have around your writing space that keeps you going during a rough day?


I will be hosting a live webinar on September 26 6:30-8 PDT with Farm Dogs USA titled ‘Caring for Special Needs Dogs.’ My lecture will be based off my book, ‘Caring for Your Special Needs Dog’ along with new research. Click here for more information.

I’m teaching a Write It Forward Workshop titled, ‘Writing Moms: How to do it all without losing your mind’ online in October. Click here for more information and to sign-up.

If you are a writing mom I encourage you to visit the #WriteMom community of Twitter. Share your joys, successes and stress with others writing moms. Learn more here.


  1. I have a spare bedroom for an office as well. I recently turned my desk and now I have a view of the window. You'd be surprised at the difference that has made. I crack the blinds and now and then peek out at the blue sky, the tall trees, and the sunlight. The natural light is also energy-inducing. I do have a painting from my grandmother, silhouettes of my sons, quotes, and a PRAY sign: Maybe as in PRAY I finish this manuscript!

  2. LOL! That does sound tranquil. My window looks out into my Arkansas forest. During the winter time sometimes it looks like a winter wonderland, which can get distracting at times. Windows are sometimes better then any painting or picture, the beauty of nature is refreshing and relaxing for all writers.

  3. Hi Natalie,

    I write in a spare bedroom over the garage that's hot in the summer and downright frigid during our long Colorado winters. But I love it because it's "my space."

    I have a wall covered with notes, two cork boards and a white board. The cork boards hold semi-permanent items like timelines, character sketches, and plot points on index cards. The white board is for brainstorming and mind-mapping.

    BTW, I love the Ozarks!