My writing place(s) and habits have changed drastically over the past few years.
Before I retired from teaching high school, I would write late at night or, if ideas were coming at me, at work when my students were completing an assignment or taking a test. In many cases, my writing would interrupt my job. I would rather be writing than grading papers.
Before my divorce, my writing was long hand and in secret. I wrote in special spirals, regular spirals, on loose paper, anywhere. Before I was married to my first husband, I kept these journals secret because I didn’t want my mother to read them. (As I have been cleaning out her house and the boxes I inherited, I found that they were never really secret. I found an envelop with several papers in it and a letter stating that my mother had copied the enclosed poems down because she feared I would throw them out and she thought they were too beautiful to destroy.) Then, when I got married to my first husband, I never wanted him to know I was writing or read what I had written. Don’t ask me why because I have no idea.
Up until four months ago, my writing studio was the bedroom my son had lived in. When he moved in with his father as a high school junior, I took over the room.
Initially, my desk faced the wall. My desk it the one that my grandfather had in his home office. It’s huge and heavy, but when I sit at it I feel inspired. I am also surrounded by my favorite writing partner, Snoopy, and several of his pals from the Peanuts cartoon.
After my second husband (who also loves to write) started over-the-road truck driving, the entire office became mine. This allowed me to move my desk under the window.
But in September of 2015, we moved. My writing studio is now on the second floor of our house, but my desk still faces the window so that I can look out and be inspired.
Although I have a writing studio, I love to get out and write at restaurants, coffee shops, and libraries.
I was well disciplined at writing for at least 10 minutes each and every day while I was teaching because I would write the daily prompt I gave my high school students. However, when I retired, I found that I lacked the personal discipline to write daily. Some of the blame goes to the sudden elimination of the stress of teaching, some to the aspect of being overwhelmed from going through my mother’s belongings, and some to the idea that there was so much work in the house that hadn’t gotten done while I was teaching.
Now that I have moved and made what I consider to be my last trip home to rent a trailer and cart more stuff to our new home, I am working on developing a consistent writing schedule.
MY TOP 10 THINGS TO BUILD
A BETTER WRITING HABIT
- Check email quickly with my morning coffee. (NO TELEVISION)
- Plan my day.
- Write for at least one blog each day. (30 minutes)
- Work on my NaNoWriMo piece each day. (minimum of 2,000 words)
- NO TELEVISION until writing is done.
- NO GAMES ON PHONE until writing is done.
- Read for at least 30 minutes each day.
- DO NOT think I can sit and write in the recliner and watch television.
- Write on weekends as well even though hubby is home.
- Share my writing with people.
Although the only two actually tools a writer needs to possess at any given point are a pen/pencil and paper, I have things that I just can’t live without. Some of them I haven’t realized until lately.
- Access to research materials. Whether it is on my phone or on my computer, I need to be able to look things up.
- Books on writing. I now have two bookshelves that are devoted to books on writing. In October, as NaNo drew closer, I found myself frustrated because one of the writing books I have one writing novels was missing. I had unpacked every box for my office and it still wasn’t there. Imagine my surprise when I found it it the dining room back home. It immediately went into my computer bag so I wouldn’t lose it.
- Spiral notebooks.
- Pens, pencils, colored pencils, colored markers, colored pens. I am such a color coded person. When I was teaching, writing, raising kids, and working on my master’s degree, my daily task notebook and calendar were all color coded.
How about you? Where do you write? What are your writing habits? What do you need in your writing space?
Hop over to my CONTACT PAGE and let me know where you like to write, what your writing habits are, and what you need in your writing space.