One of my things this season is to recreate my writing space. Right now, I'm tripped out feng shui-style, but it's an o-so-far cry from inspirational. Has it helped my productivity? Sent the universe's ju-ju vibes my direction? Yes and no. My goal board doesn't need a complete overhaul for all the stellar accomplishments since my desk migrated, but the flow was there and good writer-ly things did come to me this year. Hard to say if it was because I faced the doors to my writing space and moved the rejection pile away from my career-focused north-east corner or if it was just plain hard work, but who am I to fight the universe's pull?
All these thoughts of change sent me fleeing from the IKEA and Pottery Barn catalogs that clog my mailbox. They look perfect, don't they? The glossy layouts of home office space with juicy lime colors, organized with every overpriced do-da known to man. At times, I find myself falling into the notion I could create a thousand Pulitzer-prize winning novels there a year if only I had that kind of space/storage/picture-perfect setting. Why wouldn't an artist-rendered push pin that cost more than a 100-count box of pencils translate into beauty on the page?
Then I catch myself. Those spaces are as unimaginative as they are nonfunctional (Don't you love the way they use laptops without cords and designer chairs that would leave us all crippled by day's end?) My quest for something real took me to some amazing writer's spaces. Check them out:
This space is rumored to be where Jane Austen crafted most of her novels. No doubt, it's the smallest desk ever used by a writer. Truly a playground of the mind. Just for you, Marilyn.
This is Graham Swift's space. I included it because it spoke to me in two ways. Though orange would be dead-last in my paint options to inspire dark romance, the color shows courage, depth of thought, emotion. And to me, Ye-of-Sixth-Grade-Desk, the real estate he has to spread out his pages and thoughts looks like heaven. He has the trashcan at the forefront. I know he's keeping it real.
Simon Armitage's writer-space has the full-length, floor to ceiling bookcases that make my heart palpitate, but I also love that even the structure of his desk (foreground) is comprised of stacked books. Keeping it real: the slippers.
My absolute favorite from The Guardian's on-going photo collection is Kevin Crossley's writer-space in Holland. View on three sides and enough ceiling to channel the creative gods. Just out of the photo, crossbeams painted in "marsh-green, sea-lavender, duck-egg, woad ... colours of contemplation," according to Crossley.
More telling than any photograph, though, are the stories of their space, narrated in most cases by the writers themselves. Details essential to creation. Mile markers of their own literary journey. And the ever-present trash can.
Paige Cuccaro's Writer's Cave displays writer-spaces from Kim Harrison and Laurell K. Hamilton to Jim Butcher and Sherrilyn Kenyon. Would that I had a fireplace in my writer's space like Lisa Kleypas. A girl can dream, right?
Stay tuned for pictures of my writer-space. Think there will be a clock?
Post a link in the comments to a photo of your writer-space, your favorite space or let us know what is essential in your surroundings to tap into your creativity.