To write or illustrate, you need two kinds of space. Head space and physical space.
Way back when I first decided to pursue writing and illustrating seriously, my partner and I sat down to figure out how to make me some physical space for it. Some might think this isn’t as important – that it should be something you can do anywhere. But I’m a big believer in having a dedicated space. Somewhere you have that feels creative. Somewhere to create a writing / illustrating rhythm around. Yes, I’m all about routine. When I’m in my office, I know it’s time to write, and I think this is important when we’re creatures of many different lives. We all have many roles to move in and out of each day – writing is just one of them – and my dedicated space helps me to quickly get into my writing / illustrating mode.
I’ve been thinking about this recently after reading what some other writers have to say about their writing space. Michael Bauer has posted on Inside a Dog about his office (I’m in love with a big curved wooden desk he found), and Sheryl Gywther has also been talking over on her blog about the music people listen to while writing.
So, my space? I’m lucky enough to have room for both an art desk and a desk for my computer (which is essentially my writing desk). At my writing desk I have a quote from Hemmingway (which helps me on bad days to fight the writing critic that sits on my shoulder). I also have a cork board, which I use to pin up notes on whatever novel I’m working on at any one time – this helps me to move in and out of that world on a daily basis. I’m also a big subscriber to sticky notes and coloured pens, for keeping track of different characters and plot points. My most treasured writing companion is my mac. He’s my ‘other’ man (I spend so much time with him). I also have a big window with lots of greenery outside (great for people watching and procrastination). And unlike Sheryl, I can’t listen to music while writing because the words of a song intrude too much, but I often listen to music while drawing. For illustrating I also have lots of reference books close to hand on my shelf – favourite illustrated books and whatnot.
So, do others have a dedicated space? Or a space that you’ve taken over?