Writing space

Joe’s Post #109 — I’m in the process of moving and have the opportunity to set-up a new writing space. In the next few hours, I’ll be dismantling my desk, packing up my computer and filing my files. I’m not the only one of the 5/5/5 to be moving. 3 of 5 of us decided to add this to our complex lives.

deskBut for some reason, the whole idea of setting up a new space is very exciting. Yes, I’m that lame. I get excited by things like new books by my favourite authors, a lovely place to sit and read, and (apparently) a new writing room.

So what will I do to make the new space awesome.

Here’s Joe’s top 5 things he needs in a writing room.

  • I need a table to create maps, to colour them and to spread them out. I can also use this table for my complex (some say insane) outlines.
  • my publicationI need wall space to hang maps, pictures of the subject I’m writing about and a place for my one small publication. I have it framed. It reminds me that I can do it (with a bit of luck and some damn fine writing.)
  • I need a lot of bookshelves for books. I have a small space reserved for me, but a huge space set up for the likes of Lee Child, Mr King, GRR Martin and Janet Evanovich. Oh, and a few shelves of non-fiction books. Maybe a little more than a few shelves.
  • I will need a door to close when I have to do serious writing. I can write a blog when I’m surrounded by family (albeit with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors), but to get into my head, really get in there and play around, I need no distractions.
  • I need a computer that will not crash when I have 40 odd windows open. Some will be chapters, some will be research, some will even be emails or articles I’ve read, but I love the instant access of this modern age and dammit, I’m going to take full advantage of it.

So, in 2 days, my new life begins. Give me a week to get that room set up the way I want.

Then let’s see what happens.


What would you need in your writing space?

Where do you write?


Joe’s Post #22 — So is where you write important at all? Do you have a room set up? A desk? A dungeon?

Do you love to write in a coffee shop? While traveling? In a coffee shop in a dungeon while traveling?

Much to my surprise, I  found that if I have a space set up at home, a place far away from distractions like TV or cleaning or TV or gaming or TV or reading, I can get quite a lot of writing done. So, for me, yes, a dedicated space certainly helps. At least for my novels.

But interestingly enough, word-wise, when I’m on vacation, I write up a storm. Last year, in Vegas, in two weeks, I rewrote 500 pages and posted 3 blogs a day. That’s pretty serious writing. It helped that I had a dedicated space in Vegas, but the truth is, I think the farther away I am from my life and distractions, the more writing I get done.

At home, even with a dedicated space, I find it way too easy to get pulled away from writing. Unlike when I’m traveling, I have to cook for myself. Shop. Take the dog for a walk. Make my bed. Vacuum. Stare at a stack of boxes I’ve yet to unpack.

But it’s more than that. When I’m away from home, it’s like I become a different Joe. Not assless-chaps-and-a-Harley-Joe, but writing can fill my life more completely. It’s easy and so much fun to blog about all the new experiences or new adventures I’m having. (I mean, hey, what would you rather read about, an encounter with a serial killer or how I cleaned the lint out of the dryer?)

And novel-wise, I found it so exciting to be visiting the place where my story was set. As many of you have probably found out, when you’re traveling, your senses are on high alert so if you ever need inspiration, all you need to do is walk out the door and look Lyon - dinner at La Francottearound. Feel how hot a stone can get in 120 degree heat. Smell the salty decay of the Salton Sea. Hear how thunder booms in a valley.

It’s not that you can’t find those experiences closer to home but, at least for me, a change of scenery inspires me to write like a mad man, like there was no such thing as writer’s block, like I was possessed by the spirit of Stephen King.

In the end, away from home, at home, in a fine restaurant in Lyon or a desk in the attic, on a beach on Maui or in front of the TV, what matters is that you find a way to write.

Queries Sent: 0 (took the week off)

Things I learned – if you go looking for dungeon pictures you find some pretty disturbing stuff.

Times I thought my last novel was awesome: 22

Times I thought my last novel was crap, complete and utter crap: 21