I came across a writing exercise in my hunt for Fiction Friday ideas, and found one in a book I have (and I have no memory of where I picked it up) but it struck me as interesting. It asked us, as writers, to imagine what our ideal writing space would be–and then to write it out. Describe the room.
I thought, “ooh! This sounds like fun! I could totally do this!” I made a note of it and decided to come back to it.
…well, I’m back to it now. …and I don’t know that I have an answer.
It’s odd. I really assumed this would be an easy writing exercise. I’d set up the room in my head, and write it out. I do that often enough in my stories; this shouldn’t be any harder. But when I really started thinking of what I’d want in my absolutely perfect writing room…I drew a blank. I’ve often described my perfect HOUSE before, and in it I usually say that I have a room for writing and books, but…apparently I’ve never really put much thought into what it would look like.
So let’s see what I can come up with off the top of my head.
I’d want a fireplace. But…I’m not sure if I want a real fireplace, since I’m notoriously always warm. *peers back at the fan I have running in my current office in the middle of a Richmond blizzard January* So maybe one of those faux ones? That have the real flames but don’t necessarily put off heat. I’d be cool with that. I just really like fire.
…don’t read too much into that.
Other than that… I want it to be big enough for like… 3 or 4 bookcases at least, and then space for my loveseat papasan chair to sit near them. And I’ll craft a side table that will be accessible from said loveseat. (I’m thinking like the type of tables they use in hospitals. And it can go up and down. Yes.)
Obviously, if this is to be my writing room, my computer will be in there as well. And yes, I know that this is to describe my perfect writing room, and everything I talked about first was reading, but that’s important to me. The longer I go on with this crazy thing called the life of an author, the more I realize just how precious reading truly is. (Good for me, it took this damn long to figure that out.) So the bookshelves and the papasan need to be there. I basically like the desk I have, but I’d like a slightly bigger one with at least one more drawer. Some piece of me really wants one of those old scroll-top desks, with a thousand little crannies–and that would be fine, as long as I could fit my computer onto the desk top. Though in that case, I’d need more either filing cabinets or shorter shelves so that I could fit my billion and twelve notebooks and whatever into them.
Then a separate little table for my Keurig and HotShot to live on, with my coffee and tea right next to it. I’ve loved having my stuff up here with me, and while it’s a little irritating to keep going to the kitchen for filtered water to put into the Keurig or getting a cup of water for the tea from the bathroom down the hall, it’s still been very useful.
WHICH BRINGS ME to the fact that I’d want a mini fridge, and possibly a few shelves for food things as well. I do try to not keep too much food in my office (this rarely works) but especially for times like NaNoWriMo, I’d like to be able to have a few things up here with me. And if I had a mini-fridge, I could keep a water filter pitcher up here! Problems solved. Woo! (Also like…other drinks, just in case I want–for SOME reason–something other than coffee or tea. I’ve had a strange obsession with Dr. Pepper recently. Maybe I could keep some of that in there. I don’t know why. I’ve never been a huge fan of it, but now…now. It’s all over for me.)
This also means I’d have somewhere to keep a constant stash of Calbee Honey Butter Chips, which would be amazing because hey, if I have the means to have this perfect room, that means I have the money to be ordering them in all the time as well. I used to have a store locally that sold them, and then they were all gone. So now in order to get my tasties, I need to ship them ALL THE WAY IN from Korea. Sigh. The things we do for our art.
Let’s see, what else. I don’t think I’d keep my TV and gaming systems in here, like I have now. As much as I like a lot of my life being pretty consolidated, I think I’d get them into a different room. Possibly the same room I get set up for my audio recording. God knows I don’t need a whole room for that. (But I’d have one, in this perfect setup of mine!)
But you see what I mean? I don’t have a lot of specifics. I’d like some windows, so that natural light can get in. I’d like an overhead light and a ceiling fan. I just want some space. And maybe that’s really the telling part about where I work now. It’s that everything is right on top of one another, and I don’t feel like I quite have enough space for anything. But I can’t figure out where else to put most of it, so I make do with what I have, and never feel quite happy with it. Ah well.
I still think this is an interesting exercise. It forces us to decide what’s actually ideal, and what might be good in theory but perhaps not in practice. (For example: having a fountain in my writing room would be great. Probably not for the carpet, or the dog I’d like to get, but hey.) In the end, as long as it has a chair, a desk, and some outlets, I’ll be able to make the rest work. But wouldn’t it be nice to actually set up the perfect writing room?
What would yours look like? Share in the comments; I’d love to hear from you.