Posts Tagged 'writing space'

The Writer’s Studio – Guest Post

Tristan Bancks (author, actor, filmmaker, bloggerworld changer and general nice guy) is currently doing a “Writer’s Studio” special on his blog. Each week he’s profiling a guest author, having them speak about their writing space: how important it is to them, how it’s evolved and even making them provide photo evidence (suddenly writers around Australia have much cleaner offices).

This week I’ve appeared on his blog. Click here to hop on over for a peek into the decorated interior of my writerly habits.

Here’s a sneaky rabbit peek at the interview:

I wrote my latest book in a number of different places – in my mind, my office, my living room, my local coffee shop, my car. It’s a picture book, so I often write little bits on scraps of paper and scribble images on napkins, but then I do more formal work in my office at home. The space I write in is incredibly important to me – I believe physical space is as important in writing as mental space.

He’s already profiled a number of fabulous authors. Make sure to check out:

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.

Overflow

Rabbit - lookNon-writers often ask where my ideas come from.  As a follow-up I’m sometimes also asked if I ever run out of ideas, or fear that I someday might.  This is possibly the easiest answer ever.

No.

I don’t.  Know why?  Because every time I finish writing a novel, in the next few days / weeks I have at least two completely new ideas for novels.  Most of these ideas develop into fully fledged stories with characters and plots I’m passionate about.  I’m not entirely sure why this happens.  Maybe it’s because, suddenly, a significant amount of room has been freed up in my head which is allowed to be filled with new thoughts and ideas.  Maybe it’s because writing a novel requires a lot of creative energy, yet when the story is done it’s impossible to just turn it off, so the energy flows straight into something else.  Maybe it’s because I’m a little bit manic.  Either way, it means my ideas are growing exponentially, in a way that I’ll never be able to keep up with.  That notion kind of thrills me, but also kind of terrifies me.  It also makes me wish I didn’t need to sleep so many hours a day.

It also reminds me of a wonderful quote, by Gabriel Zaid that goes something like:

Books are published at such a rapid rate that they make us exponentially more ignorant.

Exponentially ignorant.  Love it.  I’m fighting that losing battle by reading several books a week.  Why not join me?

Space

Rabbit - lookTo 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?


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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