Monday, October 5, 2015

The Importance of a Writer's Space

the importance of a writer's space #write31days

My little 9x7 writing room has been an inspiring motivator and the best decision I've made in regards to honoring my heart with a space in which to spill it.

It's often hard to separate being a wife, a mother, and a writer. These four walls allow within them a space for me to claim my true nature; to create; to breathe beauty into words with nothing but my own imagination.

Artists have their studios; musicians have their garage; it only makes sense that a writer would carve our their own little plot and make claim on their vision.

This is not to speak against finding your voice at a dining room table in the midst of the rest of your families living. Actually, that's a lie. There's much to say against it. I understand that most people may not have an extra room, misused and begging to be converted into your creative cave BUT without a dedicated physical space in front of you, how can you find the dedicated mental/emotional space to bleed out your heart?

I spent years at my dining room table and while I was able to produce some writing that didn't completely suck, I found it close to impossible to shut out the life-chaos that surrounded me. Dining-room-table-writing is breeding ground for excuses. It's all there in front of you no matter how badly you want to focus on your work: dishes, sticky floors, laundry piles, stacks of bills...

If you can work in such conditions, I commend you - you are incredible and amazing and I envy your brilliance and you should come to one of my Writer's Jams and deliver a workshop titled Blinders for Glory or something equally exciting {to which I'll charge a $20 cover and put the funds towards professional editing}.

One year ago, I made the decision to claim the little room off our back entrance. It had a history that appealed to my sentimental soul having been my room as a child {we bought my childhood home from my parents four years ago}. In our early days within these walls, I had visions of creating a gorgeous guest room.

There were two problems with this:
  1. We rarely, if ever, had overnight guests.
  2. It would be a lot of work for little reward.

Last October, when I decided I would face the dragon that is NaNoWriMo, I knew I could never accomplish that at a dining room table where the stack of dirty dishes would taunt me from the kitchen as I struggled to reach my 1600+ words-a-day quota. needed a space.

I needed to let go of the gorgeous guest room dream.

I needed a writing room.

It took nearly a month to pull it together - beginning with an IKEA dream board and ending with a mishmash version of pieces I found for {almost} free.

ikea writing room wish list

There has not been one second that I've regretted taking the time to honor my dreams by giving them a home of their own and I want to encourage you to do the same - perhaps that's not by taking over a whole room - perhaps it's only claiming a corner in a space free from most distractions where you can focus on what really matters to your soul.

Writer's Space Must-Haves

  • A window. Natural light is important to the creative process. {Unless you're a vampire; in which case, enjoy the dark and write something scary!}
  • A desk. Sure, maybe you're twenty-two and your body thinks it's okay to curl up on a couch for hours and type away at your computer but heed my wisdom: YOUR BODY WILL TURN ON YOU AND COUCH-WRITING WILL MAKE IT GROAN FOR DAYS!
  • A comfy chair. Because long sessions of sitting should be experienced in comfort.
  • Good lighting options. Natural + overhead + lamp light. Every mood/day requires something different. {Unless you're a vampire; in which case, enjoy the dark and write something scary!}


Writer's Space Nice-To-Haves

  • A door. You know why.
  • A single purpose. Because excuses are too easy when there are other things in front of you.
  • A music/white noise option. Because you need to drown out the outer chaos to be able to focus on your inner voice. {I adore Coffitivity and use it often if the children are playing in the next room}


Writer's Space Dream Addition

  • An endless supply of chocolate that heightens my senses but never ends up on my thighs.
  • A claw-foot bathtub in which to read my pages.
  • A British man named Giles who brings me tea and says, "Well done, love" as I finish up my work each day.

All in all, it's about honoring yourself. It's about accepting what's important and celebrating that with a space of your own.

I hope you find it. And if you don't, call me - I'll consider renting you mine while I'm out grocery shopping... {click the image above to see all the #write31days posts}

Sunday, October 4, 2015

A Recipe For Writer's Jam

A recipe for writer's jam #write31days Alanna Rusnak

As we gathered around the table for our very first meeting, one of the girls told us how she had tried to explain What In The World A Writing Group Is to her husband.

"I told him it was like when he goes to jam with his band..."

"That's it!" I interrupted her. "This is a Writer's Jam!"

And it makes perfect sense because it's about people coming together to do something they love... together. To "jam".

Writer's Jam noun. a sweet and savory treat; resulting from the simmering of diverse genres,
best served warm with creative highs and poetic word porn.


Writer's Jam verb. creatives actively pursuing support and relationship
through a common adoration of story-telling.

writer's jamIngredients: 

  • 3+ human-sized containers of diverse 'fruit' {weirdos}
  • A distraction-free zone
  • 1 large table with enough chairs to accommodate everyone
  • Drinks: both hot and cold
  • Snacks: if you're a better person {and more prepared} than I usually am
  • 1 'reliable' WiFi connection
  • 2 lbs of open-mindedness
  • 3 lbs of vulnerability
  • One ton of motivation

Combine all ingredients in a house-sized pot and simmer over the supportive warmth of people who 'get you'.

Mix. Enjoy. Repeat.

Want to know how to harvest the 'fruit'? Check out yesterday's post: How To Start A Writer's Group. {click the image above to see all the #write31days posts}


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