By now, if you’ve been reading the blog, you probably can tell what my writing looks like: printed draft on white paper and a yellow lined legal pad in a red binder, always accompanied by a black pen and a red pen. Every writer has his or her set up that works–this is mine.
And if you follow the blog, you’ve probably also seen my set up on a green and brown bedspread–that’s my bed. I work in bed a lot, just because of when I typically have time to write:just before bed.
But actually, the picture above is where my writing usually lives–on my counter (I know–white counter tops. Whose brilliant idea was that? Certainly not a person who cooks.). The reality of being a writer with small children, and one who doesn’t make enough to justify paying for childcare for the sake of writing, is that you have to steal every single second that you write. Those few minutes when the tub is filling and the kids are getting undressed? Rewrite a sentence. Dinner is simmering and the kids are watching an episode of Curious George? Spend a minute writing an extra paragraph.
It sounds like the world’s worst writing advice. “Having trouble finding time to write? Just stop taking any time where you’re not actively doing work!”. It’s not quite that, I promise. Instead, it’s about keeping your writing where you are. For me, separating writing from my “regular life” and carving out a time where I am Writing (capitalization intentional) would mean that it never got done. Instead, keeping writing where I am, enmeshing it fully in the rest of my life means that I am always writing. I am always just a moment away from reworking a problematic phrase or coming up with a delightful bon mot for one of my characters.
Everybody’s got their own flow. This is mine. Honestly, even if I fulfill my dreams and writing becomes a full time career, I’m not sure I’ll change it.
What’s your preferred set up?