Over the years, I’ve offered all kinds of advice and opinions about finding time and space for writing. I have to confess that as my life has changed, I keep changing my mind about the best way to be a productive writer.
I used to say you didn’t need an office. One of my favorite pieces talked about how when I was in my twenties, I was just fine to sit down on a log or rock in the mountains and write in a notebook in the wilderness. Then came motherhood, and soon after, single-motherhood. I needed a designated space.
I set up my computer in the living room or dining room, wherever there was a space, and did my best to write, but of course, I never had any extra time. For awhile, I simply put it aside and focused on what was most important. I held down a full-time job and raised my daughter. After a few years of that, I ended up with two more kids, a husband, and a little more help. I was thrilled to have a little time for writing, and I typed away at my computer space in my living room until my husband became convinced that I needed my own office.
That office was the best thing that ever happened to me as a writer, at the time. I wrote a book and I even got published. I’m convinced that had I not had that space, and the help from my husband, I never would have reached my dream of publication. I even had a little extra money from my advance for a little while to buy some paint, a used desk, and make my office a little fancier.
I bought a laptop and went to work on book two of my contract. Unfortunately, I was so busy with our three kids that instead of writing in my office, I ended up carrying my laptop around the house and writing at odd hours of the morning and just any time I could grab a few minutes. I finished that book, but between soccer games, gymnastics, household tasks, etc., I had to fight for time and space.
My kids are teens now, so you’d think I have a little more time, but even though they can tie their own shoes and even cook for themselves sometimes, they still need me. I find that in this new phase of life, I am just a new kind of busy. It’s not so much that they must have my attention now that the kids are older, but I find that I want to be there for them. If they are around for lunch or whatever brings them home, the last thing I want to do is be writing. But I am a writer. I need to write. Recently I realized that I am in another phase and need to find a new solution that allows the writing time I owe my publishers, my readers, and myself.
My latest solution is to rent office space a few days a week at The Second Floor. I’m pretty excited about this shared space.It allows me to get out of the house, and as my best friend mentioned this morning when I texted her about it, it will probably help me to get more work done, plus make home a more relaxing place. I sure hope that’s what will happen.
Today is my first day of sharing office space and so far, I’ve written 1,300 words, plus this blog post. I’ll still have a home office that I can use in the mornings or whenever the family isn’t around, but I expect to get big chunks of work done in my new office away from home.
Wish me luck and whatever advice you’ve read or heard from me over the years, just take the part that applies to where you are in life right now, because I guarantee you it will change.
The only part that will never change, is the part that says you must write. However, whenever, and wherever you do it, just write. You might have to fight for time and space and it may change monthly or yearly, but if you really want to write, you’ll figure it out. Good luck!
Happy Reading & Writing,