It's true. I've tried so many times to plot but I find my writing becomes wooden and passionless. Sigh. There are times when I wish it were other. However, like most authors I know, I understand the way my muse works after bitter and long experience.
But hand in hand with this knowledge is that I like silence when I'm writing hard scenes. Give me a virgin love scene and Oh Em Gee, expect there to be SILENCE reigning in the house. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not against music, in fact there are times when I need the upper of the music.
A fine Gregorian chant or maybe the sensuality of Enigma or even a dose of The Alan Parson's Project can pull me out of a writing funk. But I'm an author, I like to control my environment. (Hmm yes, I guess I'm a controlling soul... But aren't we all?)
My office is set up to meet my writing needs.
I have the desk set to the height that works for me and my office chair. Around me are my statues, posters and other things that are significant to me and my writing. Craft books sit on the shelf above my computer for the most used, the rest on a bookshelf behind my desk. My writer is on the left hand side, perfect for running something off, to check over.
I have smelly stuff (currently I have vanilla and lavender scents in my office) and today, (now that I've finished one of the hardest to write - ever - love scenes is done) I'm running through my iTunes library. It's an eclectic mix of music that I've gathered over time. I find it feeds my soul and soothes the after writing nerves that assail me from time-to-time.
In this space, I can stretch my writing muscles, sit and meditate, write notes to myself while Super Pup snoozes by my feet. It's not a tidy office (I don't have a tidy mind) but it's my space. One where people only come in if I invite them. I guess it's as much a hide-hole as my workplace.
But I want to ask you about your space.
What does it say about you? Is it comfortable? Does it reflect your writing personality? And how about your use of time?
Let's focus on your space first:
I know it's not always easy to achieve that level of perfection (I seriously doubt I'll ever achieve it) but there are ways you can maximise your potential in a small shared area.
Pick somewhere comfy and set boundaries. Honestly, I can't write on the plane or in the lounge. I can't find that happy medium where the laptop sits just right. But that's me. I don't like wobbly surfaces or people and sound around me. If that works for you, great, but remember to set some fair boundaries.
Make sure if you choose to work in that environment, you have set ground rules. Either negotiate a time or word limit you need to achieve while people leave you alone. There will be times when this doesn't work, but if you stick to it, it does become easier.
Earphones. If you're like me and you want silence, maybe investing in a good set of headphones might be in order. Just... Maybe don't wear them when cooking or with babies and small children around :D
I like to have my stuff around me. The posters jog my thoughts, the blackboard... well that's fairly self explanatory. I can also leave my computer in one place and move back and forth at will. Do you have something, even a cupboard you can retrofit? The best small space (and maybe even renters special) I've ever seen are these. They are crafters cupboards. Can you put something like this to good use?
I hope this has given you food for thought and you can step back and take a look at your writing space!