9.08.2007

Sunday Scribblings: A Writer's Room

This week's prompt for Sunday Scribbling is Writing. Because I am a teacher of writing it was a big part of my week with my students. They were eager to begin again with stories of summer adventures, funny incidents, and what they learned the first week of school.

When this prompt came up I thought about places to write. Many of my students love to word process on the computer. Some of them like a composition book with a colored pen and a place on the floor. Others like notebook paper and a desk away from others where it is quiet. Places to write can vary from person to person.

I always thought I needed a certain place to write. With a writing room and great pens, pretty journals, and a pottery mug I knew words would just flow from my mind to my pen. It just doesn't work that way for me. I don't think it works that way for my students either. Sometimes I do my best writing in a noisy room while sitting in an uncomfortable chair. I have also written on a napkin while eating in a restaurant. Classical music and a window with a view don't always put me in the writing mood. Often it is inspiration from another writer or a passage of good literature that gets my creative juices going.

When I have a conversation with my mom when doing a memoir piece I will jot down words and images. I will let them sit for a few days while I percolate the ideas in my head. Then I will put the words to a piece of writing. I will sometimes be sitting at a desk. Often I will have the laptop at the kitchen table. I just get the ideas down when they formulate in my head.

When people want to write, whether it is in a journal or working with prose or poetry, they may think they need a writer's room in order for the flow of words to come. There are no two people with the same needs. Writers I have researched have a variety of ways they work. Some did have a special room only because they were working at home and need space from the family. Others walked in the woods or along the beach. Some wrote while the family was busy creating life around them.

The one thing I have learned from blogging and from reading others' blogs is that it isn't so much about a room or the right tools, or the cool pens or journals. It is carving out the time to do it every day. My writer's room is giving myself room in my day to write. It doesn't always have to be an hour. Some days it may only be time for brainstorming, but the ritual of doing it each day begins the writer's life. No special place, no perfect desk, no fancy writing program on my laptop, but thinking, formulating ideas, finding time, and trusting yourself as a writer.
You can go here to read other thoughts on writing.

10 comments :

  1. " . . . giving myself room in my day to write . . . and trusting yourself as a writer."

    Yes. That's it. Room to write (in time) and trusting oneself.

    You have me thinking.

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  2. I had a great suggestion from a fellow writer, that I'm going to put into practice. This woman has 8 kids and homeschools and has written 3 books. Her secret? She wears a tiara when she sits to write. Her children know not to bug the 'Queen' or they'll be beheaded...LOL I have boys, so I'm thinking of going with a Zorro hat!
    I don't so much think it's the materials needed to write, I'm like you, I'll write on any piece of paper I can get my hands on if something comes to mind to write. I think it's the topic. If a topic burns in your mind and you have to get it down on paper/computer, then it does!
    Great post!

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  3. I agree! It happens for me in the middle of life and I've been known to write parts of poems on my own hand if need be. To me writing is a meeting of good notes and the actual work of doing it. I scribbled today!

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  4. So perfectly written, IEG!! I do so much of the same thing (natch!!) and have sent myself dozens of emails from work so that I don't forget what I thought earlier in the day. Keep on keeping on, my friend.

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  5. I love that photograph. At the moment my writing room isn't ready (we're mid-renovation), so not even my books are to hand.......this depresses me. I like to write on a computer (Iknow, awful) but surrounded by books, in peace and quiet or with something classical playing that's not too distracting. I enjoyed your piece.

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  6. You are so right about this. I'm lucky enough to have a "writing room," but it doesn't do my any good if I don't make the time to use it. And, conversely, sometimes I get more writing done outside on the patio, or in my local Beaners Coffee Shop, or even in my car.

    Great post!

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  7. "Carving time to write everyday" That is what I am trying to do.

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  8. Nice post--I totally agree that inspiration can drop in our lap from many different angles. The heart of it for me is to be open to any and all 'prompts' from the world around me, so I keep eavesdropping and watching.
    I'll bet your students love having you for a teacher!

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  9. Well-written. The place, for sure, doesn't matter as much as the time and desire to put the words down. Nice post!

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  10. Thanks to you for all your interesting comments.
    Shelby: I love it when I give a person something to think about.
    Jen: I like the tierra idea.
    Colleen: I couldn't agree more.
    Marcy: What a good idea to send home emails. Now that I haven't done
    Jo: I hope your writing place is ready soon!
    Becca:You sound a lot like me. Anywhere, anyplace!
    jone: so am I ... I hope I can keep doing it.
    noni: you are right about the eavesdropping in life... good material. My students are used to me from last year so they are ready to begin their own writing! Whew! I don't have to convince them how great it is. lol
    tumblewords: so right you are... the words are what counts.

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