A Room of My Own

My Office, Exterior

For years, my Office has been my laptop and my cell phone, and wherever I could perch for a few hours uninterrupted.  On the “uninterrupted” front, the cell phone may have been a mistake–since my kids got their own cell phones, their ability to respect Mom’s work time has been, um, problematical.  And while going to a bookstore or cafe where the coffee is fresh and the noises are not my own worked well for a long time, recently it hadn’t worked quite so well.

When we did some construction on our house this year, all my research books were piled into boxes.  When the construction was over, I made an executive decision and took over the tiny little house that lives in the back yard (the former owner of our house used to groom dogs in there).  Inside the tiny house there’s room for my desk, the big bookcase that holds my standard reference texts, and an ugly storage unit that came with the room.  The carpet is Astroturf.  It’s cold and drafty (although I also put a space heater in the little house which works quite efficiently), but it’s also out of range of the WiFi, which means I cannot fall down the Internet rabbit hole and blow my three hours of writing time in trying to find the right word for “fish” in medieval Italian.  At least not without going into the house.

For the first time in my writing career I have an “office.”  I got along pretty well without one, but I have to say that I’m enjoying having a place all to my self.  Writing-wise, Virginia Woolfe was on to something.  

Where do you write?  Or read, for that matter.




A Room of My Own — 4 Comments

  1. I’m fortunate enough to have a little office, but for one entire year the lots it overlooks were a chaos of house construction. I lugged my laptop computer (it was long enough ago that “lug” was the appropriate word) to the library every day and wrote there. I don’t know what I would have done without the Wallingford and Fremont libraries.

    Congratulations on the new office!


  2. Nice little room, Madeline. You’ll soon get it exactly the way you want it: either the astroturf will go or you’ll start to appreciate it, if that’s possible.

    Write? Me? Are you kidding? Who has time for such luxuries?

  3. Unfairly to those who wish one, i have an office in the basement, but i usually end up writing on the sofa as i’m getting ready to go to the basement, waiting for the latest pot of coffee to finish. I think the real answer is “i write anywhere within ten to fifteen feet of my next pot of coffee.”

    But i can’t write in coffee shops like Rowling and so many others: i can outline, annotate, edit, research in a coffee shop (that of the mermaid, the arctic cervid, or local one outlet brands makes never no mind), but i can’t seem to “write” whether fiction, poetry, or freelance journalism. For that, i need a bit more quiet and less potential for interruption.

    When i’m editing a piece of any sort, though, bombs can go off, or even a ten year old, and i plow right on. Meanwhile the office is a good place for files to go and live their useful lives . . .

  4. It’s interesting; I wrote my very first novel in a one-bedroom apartment with my mother more or less draped over my shoulder. When I was writing, a cone of silence descended over me and I was able to get stuff done. My most recent books have been written in coffee shops (or the coffee area at Barnes and Noble or Borders) because the other-people’s-noise doesn’t get me. But in the last handful of years I seem to have gone through a sea change and have at last learned to like my own small space when I’m producing words in order.

    Getting away from the internet appears to be key these days. It’s all too easy to fall into Google to answer just one tiny question.