Ramblings on Writing Spaces

Growing up, all my stories and poems and songs and plays – even my first couple of books – went into spiral notebooks. They were badly smudged, with that pesky left-hander pencil smear across most of the pages. I can still remember the smell of pencil shavings and the satisfying rustle of pages turning.

I toted my notebooks and a fistful of sharpened pencils with me just about everywhere. Everywhere is the key word here. Because I wrote. Absolutely. Everywhere.

At the little desk overlooking our front yard in my teenage bedroom, in the closet under our back staircase, in the field behind our house while leaning against a hay bale (with my dog’s head in my lap, as often as not, and my horse grazing nearby), in the dusky, dusty barn loft with kittens playing around me, at family reunions, in the car on the way to piano lessons, sitting in the waiting room at the dentist …

Yeah. You get the point. Everywhere.

Years later, I still don’t have a particular place I write. Many timesΒ it’s in the chair in my living room, sometimes at the desk (the same desk I used growing up!) in my bedroom or at the dining room window. Now and then I lug my laptop to the back patio or even out to the park so I can sit in the shade while my son plays. Several times I’ve taken it, along with a blanket, to sit on the bank of a pond while my son and husband fish. Once in a while I write while waiting in the parking lot to pick up my son from school.

But sometimes I find myself wondering: What would my true preference be, if I had the choice? Do I like still writing just about everywhere, likeΒ I did as a teen? Or do I want to grow up at last, and have an office or writing workspace like the “professional” writers do? Would it help me concentrate? Or would it merely restrain my creativity?

The answer? I don’t really know. I’ve always been a strange mixture (thanks in part to two very extreme parents) of rigid control and organization, and get-me-out-of-here-I-need-to-breathe free spiritedness. I get inspired by new locations and fresh points-of-view. But sometimes I do long for the solidarity of a permanent writing location, even if I can see myself abandoning it on a whim for other writing spaces on a fairly regular basis …

Either way, I’ve always been fascinated with the places in which other artists choose to do their work, writers in particular. I’ll share a few pictures of my favorite writers in their work spaces, just for fun.

Charlotte Bronte's writing space. Just think, Mr. Rochester may have been "born" right here! *sigh*
Charlotte Bronte’s writing space. Just think, Mr. Rochester may have been “born” right here! *sigh*
Well, you knew I wouldn't leave C.S. Lewis out. I've heard his house was rather a mess ... something he has in common with me, then! ;)
Well, you knew I wouldn’t leave C.S. Lewis out. I’ve heard his house was rather a mess … something he has in common with me, then! πŸ˜‰
Jane Austen's humble yet famous writing table. I WILL see it someday ...
Jane Austen’s humble yet famous writing table. I WILL see it someday …
Joan Aiken with her typewriter. Her Wolves Chronicles will always have a special place in my heart. When you love something that much as a child, it just never goes away.
Joan Aiken with her typewriter. Her Wolves Chronicles will always have a special place in my heart. When you love something that much as a child, it just never goes away.
Elizabeth Peters, creator of one of my favorite sleuths of all time: Amelia Peabody!
Elizabeth Peters, creator of one of my favorite sleuths of all time: Amelia Peabody!
Charles Dickens, a total classic and a definite favorite.
Charles Dickens, a total classic and a definite favorite.

So interesting to see the wide variety of places these authors worked! Rather inspiring in and of itself, really …

Do you have a favorite place to create things, write, craft, or even just daydream? Or are you a bit of a free spirit like I am?

18 thoughts on “Ramblings on Writing Spaces

  1. I’m kind of like you. I have trouble writing at my desk, because… well, my computer is just a teensy bit distracting. πŸ˜‰ I have a spot in my room where I write. I also really like writing outside or in the car. That’s where I get the most done, except when I’m driving. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love my little desk, but I have trouble writing at it because … well, my poor backside doesn’t like the chair I’ve got 😦 I’m considering asking for a new one for my upcoming birthday …. πŸ˜‰

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  2. I either write on the couch, on my bed, on the floor, and sometimes (but mostly for school) I write on my desk or on a table. I don’t really write anywhere else . . . except a couple times in the car (which never resulted successfully; I get mild cases of carsickness), and a couple times while I was waiting for choir practice to begin at a church. So I would say that I mostly prefer a specific place, but am learning to write in other locations too. πŸ˜‰

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    1. Yes, I can jot down ideas and things in the car, but I get rather violently carsick if I am looking down for more than about 5 minutes. I’ve always been envious of people (like my husband!) who can read or write for hours on end in the car and never be bothered.


  3. I do have two favorite places to write. One is a particular chair in our living room- comfy, but solid, with space to curl up and rest a notebook and lapboard on my knees. The other is the desk in my room. And when it’s nice out, I like to write outside on our back deck.
    I can and will write just about anywhere, though. Like younger you, I carry my notebooks just about everywhere I go- even if I’m 99% sure I won’t actually write, I take them, just in case.

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  4. You’re a lefty, too? Huzzah!

    I’m like you, pretty much all over the place. Mixing it up helps whenever the insidious writer’s block prowls near. For the most part because of having a small house and 3 rambunctious children, I can usually be found writing on my bed or on my couch… but I will sometimes go out on the deck, or go sit in the grass in the front yard, or take my laptop, or a notebook, with me wherever I happen to be going. This past week found me writing while sitting up in my in-laws’ tree house, because it was too nice outside to sit and write inside… πŸ™‚

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  5. I find that I get my best writing done at home, in my bedroom or my parents’ bedroom. Anywhere else, and I’m a bit too distracted; I can’t quite get into the “mode.” But other than that, it really depends on what I feel like that day. Sometimes I will sit in my reading chair to write, other times on my bed leaning against the wall, other times on the floor, and also sometimes on my parents’ bed leaning against the wall. Or on the floor. Haha It really all varies. πŸ˜‰

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  6. I usually hole myself up with my laptop in the guinea pig room (we only have two, but that’s the room they stay in, so… πŸ˜› ). But that has to change because I spend WAY too much time on my laptop and my wrist is starting to act up… 😦
    So now I’m carrying at least *one* notebook and several pens with me whenever we go out. πŸ™‚
    It’s kind of hard for me to write in the car. Not because of motion sickness, but because I find that my mind is going several thousand miles faster than my hands do. πŸ˜‰ I usually just end up daydreaming and jotting down little prompts.

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  7. Reblogged this on tina7serrano's Blog and commented:
    As I write, I find myself searching for that special place. Restlessness seems to be a problem right now.
    Its as if you’re inner thoughts will burst if you don’t start writing down what comes to thought.
    Breaking old habits are what comes to my mind, so I’m looking for that special writing place once again….
    I enjoyed this post. Great job Ashlee…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. good post… I write at my little desk on a computer…I love the feel, smell of pencil/paper…but, my mind goes too fast sometimes…My husband keeps wanting me to get a different table/desk…bigger…He just doesn’t understand “my space” is where I am happy…No need for that!


    1. I definitely understand a mind that goes faster than a hand can write! I was sad to do it, but that’s the reason I had to switch to a laptop versus handwriting in my notebooks. Still, a lot of story outlines and ideas go into my notebooks, so that keeps me happy πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You could be describing me in this… I, too, change where I write – and also what I use to write (notebook, laptop, or typewriter). I’ve tried setting up a specific writing space (I even have a small table like Austen’s, since I’m a big fan of hers), but once I’ve been in a place for a few days, I start getting distracted by my surroundings and have to move. I think writing outside is my favorite, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Outside is definitely my favorite, when the weather is nice. Sometimes even if it’s not so nice, I like to write in my car, so that I at least feel a bit closer to the outdoors πŸ˜‰

      And I do understand needing to change locations now and then. I used to do it simply for fun, but nowadays I actually NEED to once in a while. My eyes need to see different things in order for my mind to stay stimulated, somehow …!

      Liked by 1 person

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