When I first started writing, finding space to write was simple, I set myself up a little desk in the corner of my bedroom and would happily write my words as my children slept. When I went back to work I would manage to write in the gaps between finishing work and picking up the children from nursery.
Then the children started school, I stopped doing shift work and during the change to a regular schedule, my writing time and space disappeared.
Like your bedroom, your writing room should be private, a place where you go to dream.
Stephen King: On Writing.
A few months ago I had a proper chat with myself and looked at the reasons why my writing productivity has massively reduced. It would be very easy to list my excuses but the basic reality is that I hadn’t made space and time for my writing.
So I have made some changes.
The first major change is that I no longer try writing in the evenings, I used to be able to come home from work, spend time with the children, sort out bedtimes and food, before settling down for an hour of writing while husband played a computer game. We’d normally do our own thing till about 9 when we’d settle down to watch some TV. Nowadays the children are getting to bed later, and I’m simply too tired to think about writing at this point. So I now do my writing first thing in the morning, I love the peace and quiet of the early mornings and now find it to be my most productive time of the day.
But the most dramatic change I’ve made is to change my actual writing space. In recent years I have written wherever I could find space for my laptop, on the dining table, on my lap, even in bed on occasion. However, this fluidity doesn’t help me at all. I now recognise that I need the certainty the rigidity of knowing exactly where I am meant to be writing. So I recently swapped my old hall table for a triangle table and have set up my writing space by the front door.
I can now shut the door on family life happening in the living room, giving my children the space they need to play while not being distracted. They are currently having breakfast as I write this, allowing me to finish this draft before getting ready for work.
It’s not quite the private space Stephen King recommends, but it is my space and so far it seems to be working.