A Writer’s Fiefdom

Hello, SEers! You’re with Mae today with a post on fiefdoms. Probably not what you think, but it does come down to personal real estate.

Writers need a special place to create. It doesn’t matter where as long as we can put our stamp on it.

When I was a kid that place was my bedroom, where I spent hours scribbling in spiral bound notebooks. When I got my first typewriter at age fifteen (a manual), I took over my parents’ dining room table. Each day, we would move my papers and notes along with the typewriter to the floor when dinner rolled around. When the table was cleared, my parents gladly gave me my space back. To this day, I love how they encouraged me.

When my husband and I married, the dining room table pattern continued through each of the apartments we leased. When we bought our first home, we set a room aside as my den. Although it was nothing extraordinary, and shared space with the ironing board and laundry basket, I had an actual desk. I remember coming home from work and finding it in the living room. Hubby had taken it upon himself to surprise me, and picked it up from a state surplus store.

That desk was a monster. Solid wood with a built-in cabinet in addition to drawers. It reminded me of something that belonged in a courthouse it was so huge. When we moved to our current house, it became the center point of my den. I was no longer sharing space with laundry and the ironing board, but the room could have used a facelift. Still, it was my spot, reserved solely for me. Writer’s bliss.

In warm weather, I took my laptop outside and worked from our deck or covered patio. Sometimes, when the mood struck, I’d stake claim on a corner of the couch in the family room. Eventually, we decided to remodel a smaller room in the house for my den and turn the existing space into a TV room.

For years now, I’ve had my own office, completely remodeled with new furniture. Even so, I still get the yen to wander outside with my Macbook or peck away in the local library or a book café. Those breaks are fun, but I’m convinced I do my best writing in my den. Maybe because I’m surrounded by things that inspire me. It’s my personal fiefdom.

Do you find you’re most productive in a certain place or during a certain time (i.e, mornings, evenings)? What do you like best about your writing space?

It’s always fun to learn how others work. I’d love to hear your comments below.

Ready, set, go!

bio box for author Mae Clair

 

 

54 thoughts on “A Writer’s Fiefdom

  1. Pingback: Author Inspiration and Last Week’s Writing Links – Staci Troilo

  2. Pingback: A Writer’s Fiefdom – Where Genres Collide

  3. Your place is so much more organized than mine. My work area is almost always my desk in the office. it’s actually a hutch desk, and I use it not only to write from, but to teach from, and so on. I do have a laptop that on occasion I work downstairs on, but somehow I don’t feel as productive there. I do like the idea of putting our book covers on the wall. I like that, and will steal the idea from you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, William! Thanks for dropping by to share your work space. I like the sound of a hutch desk. I’m sure it has a lot of built in storage. I find it interesting that you teach as well. Whereas most authors manage one area from their work space, you have to manage two!

      I have several book covers that I made into canvas prints. The two I shared are my favorite covers to date. It’s nice to have them on the walls for inspiration as I write.

      Thanks again and happy writing!

      Like

  4. For many years after Rick passed away, I lived with my youngest daughter and my “writing space” was part of my bedroom. Then, I moved into a one-bedroom apartment and shared my writing space with the dining area. Now, I am blessed with a two-bedroom apartment and finally have an official office with a real desk! It is awesome to have this special space! I loved Bette Stevens’ description of her writing area. It made me want to visit! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m with you on Bette’s writing space, Jan!

      I think it’s awesome to have your own designated space for writing wherever we may be and it sounds like you’ve got a great office. I’m always telling my husband if we ever sell our house after I retire, we have to move somewhere with at least two bedrooms. I must have an office, LOL.

      Wishing you lots of productive writing in yours! 🙂

      Like

  5. My writing room (space) is perfectly located at the front entry of our open-floor-plan remodeled old farmhouse. With west and south facing windows, inspiration is only a glance away. It’s the place I’m most productive. ❤ Happy Writing, Mae! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I recently just claimed the little office off our bedroom. It’s been many things over the years and had my sewing machine and family desk. Now it has all my writing stuff and I share it with the cats of course. I’ve written in many places in our house but lost the area to other things like a music room. If I’m alone I will lay down and write on my bed. We have a trailer I can use when I need that quiet time especially during big edits, I can’t write with distractions. I like to write poetry in nature. It is nice to finally have my own space now. I love the mention of a typewriter Mae. I still have mine out in the garage. Can’t part with that, but glad I don’t have to erase my mistakes anymore, too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Denise, when I got my first self-correcting Smith Corona typewriter I thought that was the pinnacle of technology and I would never need anything else. Boy do times change!

      You are so lucky to have that trailer for when you really want to escape and concentrate (although I still remember your tale of walking out there at night, which gave me goosebumps). Congrats on claiming the office off the bedroom as your personal space, too. Well, aside from the cats,LOL. But writer doesn’t need a cat or two hanging around when trying to create 😉

      Happy Writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m always in the living room in what they call a chair and a half. It’s comfortable, even with dogs. My end table is piled with gadgetry I occasionally use, and coffee cups. My big requirement is silence. I’ve had some great days at a picnic table in a campground, or just out in the forest too. We have an office room, but it tends to become a big closet. Things go in there like camping gear during the winter months. I still manage a fair number of words, but dream of a dedicated space of my own.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Craig, even a dedicated space of your own would require room for lounging bulldogs, LOL.
      I also require silence, but I can work with instrumental music in the background or nature sounds. You get the real thing at the picnic table campground or out in the forest. I think being surrounded by nature is the best setting for writing. I’m looking forward to warm weather when the opportunity returns.
      Happy writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. We have a small bungalow with a small back bedroom that we turned into my office. When I plop my fanny in my office chair, I get into writer’s mode. I’ve tried working on a laptop at different spaces in the house and or on the front or side porch. I never get as much done–but then I’m nosy. If people are about, I end up watching or listening to them:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s easy to get distracted when you’re outside or about. I’m usually most prolific in my office too, but am surprised at how much I accomplish at the library or a coffee cafe. Your bungalow and back bedroom sound lovely, Judi.
      Happy writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Mae,
    Our current home has a study (den) off the great room. We purchased a matching desk, file cabinet, and bookcase. Prior to my retirement, I only used the study for handling our finances and correspondence. If I was studying for my writing classes and started my first manuscript, I had a small desk and laptop in our guest bedroom. I would hibernate there because it is quiet. Once I retired and spend more hours writing, we sold the big desk and file cabinet and purchased two computer desk (one for my husband and one for me). We now sit side by side. He is active on social media and plays games while I do my blogging and writing. Often he gets distracting and I’ll kick him out. He’s good-hearted about it and doesn’t take it personally. I do wish sometimes I had more quiet, but I hate closing myself off. So I endure. 🤪

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! Chuck, I’m grinning over you kicking your husband out of the room when you’re trying to work. If I decide to work at the dining room table my husband will joke and say “Oh, I forgot, I’m not supposed to talk to you.” He’ll even shush the cat, and then of course, I bust up and get distracted 🙂

      I think it’s great you two have side-by-side desks. Even if he’s on social media and you’re writing, you’re sharing time together. Although, I fully understand the need for solitude (and usually require it) when trying to compose!

      Happy writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I don’t use a dedicated space. It doesn’t matter to me where I choose to put my laptop. At times, I use my actual desk top, but those times are rare. I prefer the noise to the quiet. I can have the TV on or radio, it doesn’t matter as long as there is noise. Day or night, that doesn’t matter either. I need to write whenever I can, due to an unusual work schedule. I do have an office, but it is shared with my husband. He seems to use it more than I do since he has need of the triple monitor setup, which by the way is fantastic when you are writing, doing research, and want a picture up at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michele, I am soooo jealous of the multiple monitors! How perfect for writing and researching!

      You seem to be the exception to the writing rule with wanting, even needing noise. WOW! Good for you. I’d probably get zilch done, especially with the TV on. I could possibly tune out the radio, but even that would be hard. And I love your mobility for creating.

      Happy writing!

      Like

  11. I’m in awe of those who can ignore distractions. I simply can’t do it. But thankfully, I don’t have to, now. This house once had a porch that was enclosed to make an extra room. It’s now a “library.” Oh, nothing so grand as you read about in novels, and it’s open to the family room, due to the removal of the old sliding glass doors. But, it now has built in floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and computer desk, thanks to my hubby. My favorite books fill the shelves, with a few displayed on easels so I can admire the covers. I have surrounded the desk with inspiration boards full of pictures (locations, models for my characters, notes) and almost always have a fresh rose from my garden in a small vase. (Only one of my roses survived Hurricane Irma, but it blooms constantly all year around, so I can indulge in that pleasure.)

    During the day, I’m home alone (except for all the dachshunds and cats) so, it’s totally, absolutely quiet, and I can slip into my WIP and become part of the story I see in my head. No music, no voices, nothing that pulls me out of the Zone. I love that. And because the big screen tv is in the living room, that’s where Mark goes in the evenings, so there are no distractions then, either. It’s beautifully quiet here day and night, and the real world disappears when I sit down at the desk. Nothing fancy, but for me, absolutely perfect for creating new realities and writing them down. happy sigh

    Now, I must ask, Mae–did you have your beautiful covers printed up on canvas? I’ve seen several online places where you can have photos done like that, but never thought about my covers, and I LOVE what you’ve done. Wallspace is limited in here, due to the bookcases on every wall, but I think I could manage a set of 5 x 7s or 8 x 10s somewhere. Your’s look fantastic! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marcia, your writing set-up sounds wonderful. I love the sound of your office, especially with all the books and inspiration boards (those are so important).My office is on the second floor so I’m able to escape the noise of the TV when hubby is in the family room. Raven, however, can be quite pesky when she wants attention and frequently chooses to sprawl on my lap when I’m writing. I bet your dachshunds and cats keep you company too. 🙂 Roses are my favorite flower, so I love that your remaining rose bush blooms year round.

      As for the covers, yes, I had them printed on canvas. I’ve done a few others too, and have a large one with my name and branding on it (the red house I use on my blog with my name and tag line). I use Canvas On Demand but I know there are many vendors out there. If you use Groupons at all, you can usually get them at a discount. Your covers would look excellent!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I do love my writing space, and find that it puts me in the mood the minute I sit down. And thanks for the info on your canvas cover art. What a great idea! I am definitely going to have my covers made up, though smaller, since my walls are pretty much covered with shelving. But I can find a place, I know, and I’m going to enjoy looking at them every day! Once again, you’ve inspired me. (I have your photos of your table display from the event you did pinned to my virtual bulletin board for inspiration. I want to gussy up my signing table, too!) See. You are officially an inspiration in my life! And for that, I thank you most sincerely! 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  12. In most of the homes we’ve owned (and there have been A LOT), I’ve had a dedicated office. And I loved it. This latest house is one of the biggest homes we’ve ever had and yet its layout and design are terrible. I don’t have an office here; just a bunch of wasted space. Instead, I have a computer armoire in my family room. It’s fine when no one is home. It’s next to useless when people are here. I tend to take my laptop to my bedroom when I need quiet. (And now you can start to understand how my catastrophic laptop incident occurred.) Hopefully the next house will have an office again.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Given the cost of real estate where I’m headed, I’ll be lucky if I can afford a shack. But hope springs eternal…

        The layout of my current house is a travesty. We have a large (and I mean LARGE) kitchen but almost no counter space, and we have to walk through the living room to get to the grill outside. Can’t even put in an island because it ruins the work triangle, so we just have this huge empty floor. It’s the dumbest layout I’ve ever seen. I feel like I should have stayed an architecture major. Someone needs to explain to these designers that their homes, while pretty, aren’t practical or functional.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. It wasn’t until recently that I got my own space for writing and I haven’t been able to use it yet. So, I still have the mindset of a nomadic author. Wherever I can get some privacy and quiet is where I’ll work. This was usually on the bed or at the dining room table depending on if I had the house to myself or not. Hoping I can get used to having a designated space now. Strange how I can’t slip right into that, but it’s been so long since I had a designated spot.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Once you start using it regular, I think you’ll really lie that designated space, Charles. I like being able to clutter up my space with notes and material related to whatever I’m working on at the time. Even so, there are still times I like to be nomadic, and even still times I end up at the dining room table. Like you said, old habits are hard to break 🙂
      Happy writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I have a corner near the front door that is solely mine. But the house is open plan, so this space is wide open to disruptions, lol. Whenever I sit there, my brain knows it work/writing time. Have a wonderful Christmas 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I share my office with our dining room, but as it’s the room we hardly ever eat in, I am very happy there. The only thing I would add, is a door so I can shut the distant world properly out!
    Have a wonderful Christmas, Mae!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It sounds like the dining room pretty much IS your office, LOL. If I choose to work in my dining room (which is open to the kitchen and family room and thus to distractions), I’ll often listen to instrumental music through earbuds. It helps me focus on my inner writing world.
      Wishing you and wonderful Christmas as well.:)
      Happy writing!

      Liked by 2 people

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