Wednesday, January 7, 2015

IWSG: A Room of One's Own


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Since it's the first IWSG post of 2015, we're introducing ourselves - briefly! - for all new members: I read, write and breathe fiction in all its forms, from flash to novels. My work tends to be dark, often with a horror bent, but I do write a "nice" story now and then. I say this is my blog but everyone around here knows the tortoises are really in charge.  

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My husband and I - and the tortoises, of course! - will be moving this spring. We're not going far - just down the road - and while a lot will stay the same for the us - the grocery store, the library, the beach, our favorite restaurants, etc - it still feels like a new beginning, one full of hopes and dreams . . . and the chance to set up my writing space from scratch. 

As amazing as that opportunity is, it's freaking me out a little. I don't know where to begin. The color of the walls? Where I put my desk? Do I even take my desk or do I search for something different, like a table? Do I use this opportunity for a totally fresh start or do I keep everything I have and just move it all into the new space? Is this my chance to shake up my writing, my creativity, my imagination? Or is it better to keep as much familiar stuff around me so my muse doesn't run away and hide?

What do you all think? Any advice would be appreciated! Do you have any decorating suggestions? What do you wish you had in your writing space? What do you love about where you create?

62 comments:

  1. Exciting times. My suggestion would be new pictures for the walls!

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    1. Do you know I rarely ever think about putting art or pics up on the walls?! I'll put framed photos and display other odds and ends on bookshelves and tables etc but not walls. Is that weird?

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  2. Any move means there will be a transition and settling period. As long as you're expecting that, no worries. I believe all the answers will come as you get settled in your new place--so take it easy. Worry about packing and let the rest come. Good luck with the change! (And congrats on the new house!)

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    1. Thanks so much, Crystal! And I know you are going through/went through a move recently. I hope it all worked out well for you and your family. :)

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  3. Setting up a writing space from scratch sounds exciting!
    I would say, your writing space should stimulate your creativity... and inspire you!

    Maybe include a small all-purpose notice board, where you can pin snippets of favourite quotes/rejection letters/notes/a pic of your book cover/print-out of a review of your book... like a collage of 'writerly-related-odds-and-ends'...
    Have fun!

    Writer In Transit
    January IWSG co-hostess.

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    1. I do have a small bulletin board like that now. Maybe I'll just take the whole thing with me, maybe change out some of the things on it. Hmm....

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  4. Oh, I'm so jealous! I would kill to have a writing space (I just live in a studio apartment right now). I'd put pictures up of things that inspire you, and if you're inspired by any particular color or find one soothing, I'd go with that. I know I would want a desk but probably also a comfy chair to just sit and read or think.

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    1. I kind of want one of those fainting couch type things, even though I don't know if I'll have room. Not that I do a lot of fainting or anything. I just like the idea of it. :)

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  5. That sounds like an ideal move - keeping the best of the familiar, but seeing it from a new view. :) My writing space is mobile, but I do write mostly at our dining room table because it has a huge window view of the backyard (huge cedar tree, evergreens with deciduous bare branches in the winter mixed among them, birds, rain drops, and my cat looking at me from her "porch perch," along with an old play structure and some blackberry brambles). I'm a fan of natural light in writing spaces (even when I'm running my kids from place to place) so my suggestion is to think about what you like best about your writing space now - the one, integral "thing" - and keep it where you write next. :)
    Best wishes with packing, moving, transitioning, and writing!!!

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    1. The view from your window sounds so nice! I like the idea of figuring out what I like best about my writing space now then taking it to the next one or creating it anew there.

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  6. My suggestion would be to write your writing goals for 2015 in large letters and paste that paper near your work-station, so that it constantly inspires you to strive towards your goals. And report for work (read writing) everyday, on time. The muse will follow suit.

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    1. I do like the idea of having inspirational items around me, things that make me want to do the work.

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  7. Ooh, a project! So much depends on what personally inspires you and helps you focus. I personally prefer small, cozy nooks, even if its located in a larger space.. For color, pick something you love that you know you won't get sick of. I'd think keeping some familiarity around you would be good, but definitely take the opportunity to add a pop of something new.

    Have fun and good luck with the move!

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    1. I like the idea of keeping the familiar but adding the pop of new. I worry about getting sick of a color, but I suppose I could always repaint if I needed to - it's only one room and it's not huge.

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  8. I think you should take your desk. You've already written so many amazing stories on it! :)

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    1. Aw, thanks, Julie. But what if I could/would write better on a new desk? What if I now need a desk to help me write novels? :)

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  9. I often think of getting a new desk instead of the two old cheap ones I have in an 'L' shape. If I had a totally new space, I think I would wait until I could sit in it and get a good idea for what fits the space. Sounds very exciting.

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    1. Sitting in the space and getting a feel for it is a good idea. I wanted to be able to have everything set so I could just jump in and start working, but that might not be the best way to go about it.

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  10. I'll be moving this spring too! I'll be moving to another city, my hometown, though so everything will be changing. But I'm looking forward to decorating a new place, especially since I'll be going from an apartment to a house.

    I wish you all the best with your move!

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    1. There seems to be a number of us in our blogging community making moves lately. Glad you're looking forward to yours. Good luck! :)

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  11. Too many decisions!!
    That's cool you'll be able to set up a new writing space and customize it from the beginning.

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    1. It's cool yet it's paralyzing me with indecision! :o

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    2. In all the times I've moved, only special items came with me. Some clothes, books, furniture. It is important to hold on to whatever has special meaning but moving means opening up to new experiences also. You don't want any albatrosses hanging around your neck.
      Happy New Year.

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    3. My husband and I really like the idea of simplifying. I'm hoping that when it comes time to actually pack, we'll be able to do it. I tend to be overly sentimental. :)

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  12. I wish I had a writing space. lol I still live in the tiny bedroom I basically grew up in (renting my mom's house with sister & cousin), so I have NO space to put anything writerly in it.

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    1. If you're writing in it, then it's a writerly space. :)

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  13. I agree with Alex...too many decisions. Take your time. My office used to be my treatment room (I'm a massage therapist). I have 2 large bulletin boards in front of me with push pins for lining up projects. To the left I have framed story boards of my characters from my 2 books and everything else is tagged with signs, pictures, and a framed piece of paper that says in my own handwriting, "I'm going to write a novel and get it published. I have stories to tell and nothing is going to get in my way." Signed and dated 4-10-11. Oh yeah, forgot about the sign on the door "The witch is in...(in can be flipped over to read out:)

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Terry! I don't think I'll tell my husband about that door sign - don't want to give him any ideas. :)

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  14. I'd take your old furniture...because replacing it could cost money...and spruce up the new space with a new color of paint that you haven't had before, along with some pictures and decorations. That will make it feel new while repurposing the old stuff, as well. Congrats on your upcoming move. How exciting!

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    1. I have a deep, bright blue on my walls now. Hmm, maybe something softer?

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  15. So fun that you're moving! I would say it's time to shake things up and see where your creativity takes you. I write in a comfy spot with my laptop on my lap, so a cozy chair with an ottoman would be my must-have in a new space. Ooh, the very idea of decorating a writing space gets me excited for you! :)

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    1. You all have such good ideas that I'm getting more excited than anxious now! :)

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  16. I think a mix of old and new is good. You've got your sense of comfort, plus a spike in creativity. You'll already be in a new space, so old furniture, plus a couple new extras wouldn't be a bad idea. Either way, good luck with your move!

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    1. Thanks, Shannon! A new space might be enough, like a lit stage for the old things. :)

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  17. I'm too lazy to move, though the idea of having a cool new writing space might lure me out.

    I'm a total decorating fail, so no help from me there!

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    1. Well, I am only moving down the road so I'm not sure where that falls on the lazy scale. :)

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  18. I recently moved my desk from one wall to another in the same room and it's made a huge difference to my creativity and productivity. I don't think the colour of the walls matter. Change is what makes the difference. That fresh new start.

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    1. Good point, Lynda. Sometimes it's about shaking things up in small ways - a slight shift can give us a whole different view, a new perspective.

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  19. We moved last spring, and we're still getting settled in. So my advice to you would be to not be so hard on yourself about getting settled in right away. I'm also very picky about furniture, so it's taking me forever to find the right pieces. But rather than going with just anything, I'm waiting until I find the right stuff.

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    1. Thanks! I like the idea of waiting until I find just the right pieces, but I'm afraid I'll get lazy and decide the other is too much trouble and stay with what I have. :)

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  20. I really do envy you the opportunity to re-invent your writing space. Mine is such a mess; stuff everywhere: a PC with two monitors, a MacBook and not enough actual desk space to write an address on an envelope. And need I mention the pile of filing that has been growing for so long now that it is, itself, a Random-Access filing system?
    Have a splendid, productive, creative, successful and above all happy and healthy 2015

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    1. Ha! I have one of those Random Access filing systems, too, believe me. I like to think a new space would make me more organized but I'm not holding my breath. :)

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  21. I love moving! But if you haven't moved in a while, it's a lot of work to go through your things and see how much junk you have (and by you, I mean me). I moved last summer, and the whole time I kept thinking, "I have so much STUFF. Why do I think I need MORE?"
    I hope your move goes as smoothly as possible!

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    1. My husband and I do try to declutter periodically but I think we still have more stuff than we really need or want. We'll see if we can simplify even more when packing and/or unpacking. :)

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  22. I'm just jealous you've had spaces! All I've ever had is a kitchen to write in, so it's not like I've added any writerly touches. I think if you just start working in your new space, it'll soon feel familiar. Hope your move is stress-free all around.

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    1. Thanks, Nick! I hope it's as stress free as possible, too. :)

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  23. I'm not going to lie, the idea of moving wears me out. Probably because I've done it so freaking much these past 6 years. My advice, go into a room and see what inspiration hits you. =D

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    1. It wears me out, too, and the last time I moved was about ten years ago. :)

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  24. i don't like to move, but i sure like decorating and organizing my workspace! give me a gift card to office depot for my birthday! whoopie! take advantage of this clean slate. Pick out a new pencil cup that's all you, a calendar for adding events to look forward to, stackable trays or a file cabinet for all your awesome ideas to wait their turn to be written! woo hoo!

    and a happy new year - hope your transition is smooth and a little exciting!

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    1. Thanks, Tara! I'm more excited about it now, hearing everyone's great ideas and thoughts here. :)

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  25. You've gotten lots of good advice! Me, I like calming colors and I have two windows high on one wall so I can occasionally look out at the treetops and the weather. A speaker for my ipod, a chair to relax in when I need a break, and lots of surface area to make piles for various projects.

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    1. I think I'll go for more calming colors this time around. And I like the idea of lots of surface area - I'll just have to make sure it doesn't get all covered in papers. Or dust. :)

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  26. I'd love a new writing spot. Mine is so cluttered. Mostly my fault because I'm the one who (doesn't) keep it organized. :) But I sometimes move around the house to write. I don't have one of those big post-it planners or anything on the wall that I need to be close to, so I can go anywhere.

    Good luck with the move.

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    1. I'm a little concerned that my new writing spot will end up being just cluttered as this one. :)

      It's funny but I don't really move around the house to write - I tend to stay in my office. I do take notebooks around with me to jot things down, etc.

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  27. We moved in mid-November, but ours was a 200-mile move. We've just completed the bathroom - our first fully-finished room. My supposed office is still packed to the door with boxes and furniture. I have no advice, I can only wish you luck and happiness in your new home!

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  28. Moving can be a very exciting time; enjoy it. I don't know what it's like to have a writing space, but it sounds very cool!

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    1. I alternate between excited and anxious - hopefully, excited wins out. :)

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  29. Hi Madeline
    If I had money I have a professional organizer set up my office space. If you paint, choose colors that inspire you.
    Good luck.
    Nancy

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