Where I Write

I’ve spoken before about how you need space to write – both mental and physical. Having just moved interstate I’ve been working hard to carve out a new writing (and illustrating) space for myself. The mental space is tough, because in a way the stress needs to leech from my mind before that will really begin to happen, but the physical – now that’s something I can control. Wherever I am in the world, I have three favourite places to write:

1. My Office

Includes the following necessities:

  • Computer – place to put ideas
  • Art desk – place to put paint
  • Art shelves – place to put junk
  • Ergonomic chair – place to put butt

2. My Lounge

Must include:

  • Laptop for writing
  • Mug of hot chocolate (brain food)
  • Large squidgy couch for curling up on
  • Puppy for company and emotional support

3. My Cafe

Being new to Adelaide, I haven’t found one of these yet. But what I need from a cafe is the following:

  • Room to spread out my laptop and books (so I look sufficiently arty)
  • Staff I can get to know, so I don’t have to do small talk (“How hot is this weather?”)
  • Steady supply of hot chocolate (Jules – I’ll never find another like Litse!)

I don’t ask for much do I? But in reality I could and would write without any of these things. Because, like all writers, writing is just one of those things I must do. But I’m also human and I like my comforts, so I’ll work to get them if I can. How about you? If you want to blog about your own writing space, feel free to link to your post in the comments.

This post is part of the Queensland Writers Centre blog tour, hosted by the delightful Lisette Ogg over on The Empty Page Blog.

18 Responses to “Where I Write”

  1. 1 Tammy McLeod February 6, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Great post. I have read other articles about the importance of setting up a “place” to write. With kids and a home computer shortage, it’s challenging but your blog has reinspired me to find a quiet corner that I can claim. Thanks.

  2. 2 Katherine Battersby February 6, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Thanks Tammy. I know many writers who have to fight for space in amongst the chaos of running a family, so I certainly feel for you. Even, as you say, if it’s just a corner which you can make your own – I do think it’s important and you certainly deserve it! Good luck.

  3. 3 Raynor February 6, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Your first two places sound perfect and blissfully homey. I’ve been working to create my own space in this house, but it’s constantly changing because of project sizes, an upgrade in technology (iMac = <3)and the general mess that comes from fabric scraps and yarn snippets and all the rest of it. I've always said that I need more room. Really perhaps I need to just be tidier. Your super-neat spaces inspire me like crazy :D

    I'm sure you'll find a cafe soon; but just think of all the fun you'll have sampling cafes (and hot chocolates) until you do ;)

  4. 4 Lynne Green February 6, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Puppy powered writers. Hmmmm. What ever happened to the de rigueur author’s cat? Good thing I have both the pirate puppy and the fat cat on the mat, so writing supervisors are on board.

  5. 5 Karen Tyrrell February 6, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Hi Katherine, I love your beautifully neat and uncluttered writing spaces. I suppose that comes with having only just unpacked and rearranged them. LOL.
    Love your tips about writing in cafes. I’ve just received my first laptop so will have to check out the local cafes myself.
    Thanx Karen:))
    PS Check out my Inner WRITING Sanctums including … the Gallery of Dreams… the Third Eye and a Vision Board. http://www.karentyrrell.com

  6. 6 Julie Nickerson February 6, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    And Litse will never be the same without you. Sniff … :-(

    (is your office always that tidy? I’m very impressed)

  7. 8 Joanna Gaudry February 6, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Wonderful, Katherine. I enjoy reading your blog and have printed out some of your advice. Great to hear that you have things up and running in Adelaide. Love the photos!

    I have a nicely grained wooden writing desk. It’s a big solid desk with three bookshelves and four side drawers and it sits in the corner of my bedroom. I have another smaller bookshelf in my room. So long as I have my own little light, airy space, I’m happy. Sometimes I like to take my laptop out to the lounge room. When I want to work somewhere cooler, I go down to the old study room at the back of the garage. Joanna :))


  8. 9 Katherine Battersby February 6, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Raynor, I’m thrilled to find another mac groupie! I couldn’t survive without mine. It would be the first thing I’d grab in a fire, besides my puppy of course :) And I might take longer to find a cafe than usual, because it’s vital to try them ALL so I don’t miss out on finding the perfect one…

    Lynne – puppy powered? You crack me up! He is a little cat like though, as he loves to sleep on my lap. We should poll writers to see if the old adage still stands.

    Karen and Jules – I’m a little OCD. I can’t think unless my desk is clean, or at least has everything in neat piles. Makes it tough to be an artists, as art often requires a bit of mess and chaos.

    JJ, mine may look fancy compared, but what I would do for your view…

    Joanna, I’m absolutely with you on the light and airy bit. And your desk sounds stunning – so very writerly.

  9. 10 Lynn Priestley February 6, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Frank look so at HOME there. It’s nice to recreate positive energy in a writing space. I love moving my desk around periodically and gaining a different view of things. Change is as good as a holiday! And I see your puppy pic is on display! Bless you. Your set up looks fabulous and I have to agree – having a tidy desk helps the creativity find the right spot on the page.

  10. 11 Katherine Battersby February 7, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Lynn, little Moo Moo looks down on me while I paint. Frank looks up at him from his bed in the corner of the room, with sweet memories of running on the beach together :)

  11. 12 Angela Sunde February 7, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    Mr Bean, you are just too neat. :)


  12. 13 Gabrielle Bryden February 9, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Wow, looks like rooms straight out of a magazine (love your puppy – I have 2 labradoodles for company). I blogged ages ago about my writing space (I have kangaroos outside my window) so here’s the link: http://gabriellebryden.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/the-mess-i-call-my-office/

  13. 14 Katherine Battersby February 11, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Angela, I don’t think I’ll ever live that down, will I?

    Thanks Gabrielle! Labradoodles are gorgeous. My little guy is a cavoodle and quite the perfect writer’s companion. Your writing space looks lovely. I grew up in North QLD and we used to have wallabies on our lawn each morning, so your comment gave me a little pang of homesickness (but a good one). Enjoy the kangaroos.

  14. 15 Trisha Puddle February 17, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Wow! Your office is so neat and tidy, Katherine. My office is a big mess at the moment. You girls are inspiring me to tidy it up. I have a lovely office with a great view and I can just close the door and have peace to write. (That’s if I turn off the phone.)

  15. 16 Katherine Battersby February 18, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Sounds wonderful, Trisha. I miss having a view, but I do have a lovely private back garden to look onto, and there’s nothing that makes me happier than seeing my puppy rambling about in it (his favourite game at the moment is pigeon bowling)

  16. 17 Donna Munro February 27, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Katherine, your work space is organised but functional but I assume a lot of ideas flow on that lounge. I too have a canine companion to keep me company on the solo voyage of writing. She’s a Staffy and her name is Boss and believe me she is.

  17. 18 Katherine Battersby March 1, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Hi Donna. Thanks for stopping by. You’re right about my lounge – many stories have both started and finished there. Your Staffy sounds like the perfect writing companion (and as boss, probably keeps you from procrastinating too much)

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About this Blog…

A blog of ramblings about the world of writing and illustrating for children, by an author / illustrator who might just have a thing for rabbits.

Katherine's picture books, 'Squish Rabbit' and 'Brave Squish Rabbit', are out with Viking (Penguin, US) and UQP (Australia). Please e-mail if you would like her to blog about something in particular.

All text & images  Katherine Battersby

Released Sept 2012:


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