Aug 22, 2009

Writing Nook

by Cindy R. Williams

Do you have a writing nook? A place where you hide away from the world, or at least TRY to hide, to do your writing?

The many different places writer's go to find their muse is quite fascinating.

John Lewis, the co-author of the Grey Griffin series writes in a local small cafe. He says he likes the energy and atmosphere there, and he is not tempted to go play with his kids all the time. J.K. Rowling said she got the idea of Harry Potter when she was on a train. She wrote much of the first book at a small cafe.

A friend or mine writes at the family computer in her PJ's with all her children running around wild. She is able to close off her mind, and only hear the real emergency screams. Another writer takes a pad and pen on walks, and jots down thoughts inspired by the beauty around her. Yet another writer writes snippets during breaks at work.

One writer I know took a three day vacation to a cabin just to write. She's near the end of her book and said she wanted the time to completely focus and tie it all together. It sounded wonderful.

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with the solution for your character when he/she is in a tight spot or when the plot needs help. Do you keep paper and pen by your bed for inspiration in the wee hours?

Do you need quiet? Do you listen to music and if so, do you change the music to inspire the type of scene you are writing?

I take my computer with me when I go to appointments, including the doctor and dentist. I used to resent waiting, but now the time is filled with writing. I actually look forward to these stolen twenty minutes or so.

My favorite writing nook is in my bedroom. I have a comfy couch and a Queen Elizabethan desk---the kind that is carved with birds and fronds and has a piece of wood that when open, becomes the desk. My dragons and fairies are scattered all around the room for inspiration and so that I can keep their colors and attributes straight. This doesn't work unless you have a very easy going husband that doesn't mind sharing a bedroom with fairies and dragons.

Do you need peace and quiet? Do you listen to music and if so, do you change the music to inspire the type of scene you are writing?

Where is your writing nook? Please share.


  1. My nook is a corner in my add-on filled with my U-shaped writing desk. I usually write to such silence as can be found with a computer humming beside my head (maybe I should put it on the floor). When I need a change of scene, I go to town and write at the library, except on Mondays, when it's closed. On Mondays, I used to write in the local coffee/smoothie shop, but it went out of business recently. Bummer! Now I need to find another writing spot in town for Mondays.

  2. Thanks Marsha, I find this subject quite facinates me. Maybe I will do a real study about this. Do you think you become a creature of habit, and get very comfortable in your chosen places, or do you sometimes find an adventure bug bites, and you want to try new places?

  3. I'm actually getting stirrings about moving my office space, but I'm trying to ignore them. Too many other things to do!

  4. I write at the kitchen desk, which is piled with papers I need to go through, reference books, folders--and all the miscellany my family thinks belongs there too. I'd love to have a neat, secluded spot(your desk sounds awesome), but right now this one is so handy I have to go with it.

  5. I love my couch. Well, it's not very comfortable, but since we don't have a desk or chairs for the kitchen table (yes, we stand. we're lame), the couch is the best place.

    I write when the kids are napping. I'm too tired at night and they grab my laptop when they're awake. Sad. I'll have to start taking it to dr. appointments, that's a great idea.

    Certain songs really inspire me. they haunt me, tell me a story, begging me to write it down. I don't need to hear the song again to write it, but the music gets me started.

    If I wake up at night w/ a story line, I hop out of bed and type it up. :)

    Baby's awake, nap time's over.

  6. Congratulations on your forthcoming book, Tamara. Have you considered joining ANWA?

    Music can put me in the mood when I have a key scene to write, but usually I don't have music playing while I write. Oddly enough, it's not the genre of the music that matters, it's the mood it evokes. For instance, Neal Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" always helps me write about loving relationships in my frontier novels.

  7. Too funny. I use a lot of the band Chicago, and the Eagles. Sometimes I put on Queen cause they have SOOOO much energy. I love celtic music and use it quite often when I write about the dragons. I also will sometimes run downstairs to the formal front room and play a few of my favorite songs on my harp. It is amazing how intune I become when I do this.

    One thing that has nothing to do with music really, is I will sit where I can hear my sons and their friends. I get so many ideas of the way teenagers speak, their sayings, the cadence, their timing etc. I just stay busy wiping kitchen counters, and sweeping the floor etc. cause the kitchen and family room conect. I guess I do dialog research. (My kids would probably call it spying.)

  8. I didn't know I could join ANWA, LOL.

    I'd love to go to your writer's conference. But I still won't be rich by Feb. 2010 (my book doesn't come out until October/November), and I just can't make it to the west on my husband's pittance.

    What does being a member of ANWA entail?

  9. Tamara, ANWA is for all LDS women writers, published or not. Go to the ANWA website to get all the details. A member needs to be LDS, a women, and want to write. Our membership fee is $20 a year, used mainly to fund our newsletter, which is still sent via snail-mail.

    We have an online chapter (soon to be three) that serves members who don't have a physical chapter available to them. We'd love to have you be one of us in ANWA. E-mail me at anwa AT anwa-lds DOT com.

  10. Since I'm more geared to nonfiction writing, appropriately enough my nook is my computer desk at home in the middle of the living room with the TV turned way up for my nearly deaf dad and 3 dogs constantly wanting to go out or have a treat. Somehow I just tune out the noise and write.

  11. I admire you Terri. You must have nerves of steal or the patience of Job.

  12. hmmm...maybe that's my problem. I don't have a space to call "mine" and I always leave pieces of me in the ktichen, in the dining room, in the family room...even in the laundry room...gotta get a space!


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