Friday, February 8, 2019

Writing Space...Ideal vs. Reality

Hello everyone! I'm Christi Corbett, one of the contributing authors to this blog. Because I'm still new to this site and figuring out all the buttons to push I'm going to share an oldie but a goodie...a blog post I wrote when my twins were four-years-old. (They're now thirteen and have new ways to distract me, but that's another post entirely)


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 author/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 author/writer 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.
6:30 AM Hubby wants to know where the flea powder is—dog is scratching
6:41 AM Hubby comes in room for some clothes 7:01 AM Hubby brings me breakfast (OK—this one is great! Love him!) 7:09 AM Powdered, yet still scratching, dog is let into the room 7:25 AM Kids come in to see if I have any bacon left and can they have it 7:36 AM Boy twin comes in for a hug 7:42 AM Hubby needs toilet paper, where are extra rolls kept? 8:08 AM Girl twin needs me to fix her hair 8:25 AM Knock at window reveals family showing ripened tomatoes 8:26 AM Boy twin can’t find toy army men… do I know where they are? 8:50 AM Girl twin wants to weigh herself 9:01 AM 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, let’s 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 note cards 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!

What about you? What is something that turned out to be different in reality?

1 comment:

  1. I had the same image of a writer's work space. I took a community ed on writing fiction to sell and the instructor said one of his students set her computer on her ironing board and wrote in her closet. He said the important thing is to have a great chair that supports you and is comfortable since you'll be in it for hours. I do have an office, be it ever so tiny (7 x 10), with a wall of bookcases and a lovely computer desk and a chair that is wearing out. Nice post even though it's not about the West.


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