Defining a Work Space

Working and living in the same place can be difficult. When I’m trying to work there seem to be endless distractions. When I’m trying to relax I end up feeling guilty for not writing.
Separation, a friend of mine suggested.What you need is a defined place to write, and then you won’t be feeling such anxiety at home. Sounds good. But it’s not like I have a writing office I can pop into every day. I miss the discipline that comes with an actual work place.
I have always been skeptical about getting into a routine of “going out” to write. It’s a distraction, it takes away from the process of writing, it becomes a drawn out ritual.
But, something had to give. The writing at home thing wasn’t working. So I decided to give it a try. For the next few weeks I decided I would set aside three or four hours every day to “go into town” and write.
There are abundant coffee shops and libraries in this small town. And believe it or not, people are not just socializing but working too. So I decided to try it out. I’m only on day two but so far I’m liking the results. I feel more motivated and productive and when I get home I don’t feel the weight of disappointment.
A dollar seventy five for a cup of coffee isn’t going to break the bank. And if it starts getting the creative juices flowing then it’s worth it. And farther down the road, once I get back into my stride I’ll be happy to shift back to writing at home. But right now it seems like just the change that I needed.
I’d love to hear back from other writers about navigating their own creative work spaces. As always, Happy Writing!
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Changing Direction

As a writer, my vision for a piece often changes. I may begin with a strong idea in my mind, and on paper, of what the project will be. However, part way through I often find inspiration elsewhere, or my characters take me down a path I hadn’t anticipated.

In my current project, I went from having the idea of six lead characters and including full back stories for each, to paring down to one main character. I feel that this focus will lead to clearer growth, a deeper connection to the character and her motivations.

I also have faith that I can share important aspects of the other characters’ past without going into as much detail. A part of me is sad that I may not use lots of writing, some of which I actually think is very good. But on the bright side, I see it as crucial foot work in getting to know these characters.

So as I shift focus in my manuscript I can’t help but feel excited about the new direction. I think it lends itself to more action and suspense. Instead of feeling like the reader is getting bogged down with too much additional information, the main plot can really take center stage.

I am curious to know how other writers deal with these changes. Are you easily able to switch focus? Are there feelings of regret? Where do these changes come from?

For visual artists it may be more difficult to change focus. It could mean completely scrapping a piece and starting from scratch. Writers have the liberty of backspace.

It’s easy to look back and feel nostalgia for characters or chapters that we end up deleting. But at the end of the day, if it makes the piece more effective and dynamic then it was worth it.

I look forward to hearing your input and happy writing!

Complications

I’ve been a workaholic for as long as I’ve been legally allowed to work. I got my first job at 15 and was hooked. I loved the independence and feeling financially responsible for myself. Not to mention opportunities to meet new people and learn new skills.

So hear I am now, living with my parents and purposefully not working in order to focus on my writing. Needless to say it’s difficult. It feels like a step in the wrong direction. I’ll be thought of as one of those crazy people. Or worse, lazy.

I struggle with it some days. Am I doing the right thing? I ask myself. Am I shirking responsibility or following a pipe dream which has no possibility of coming true? And the worst question: should I give it all up and go get a real job?

I know, only a couple months into this year-long adventure and I’m already having second thoughts. But it’s almost impossible not to. Every moment I’m not at my computer writing I feel guilty. This is my time to write wholeheartedly without distractions, how could I possibly take a moment to eat lunch, go for a walk or see an old friend?

All of these questions and the pressure I put on myself aren’t positive. I know that the only thing it will do is make me anxious and unable to concentrate on what is really important. But if I am kind to myself and patient things will fall into place. Not without hard work, but not without breaks either.