One of the interesting challenges to being an author has to do with working at home.
On the one hand, YAY for no commute. And being able to work in one’s pajamas when the mood strikes is no small perk either.
On the other hand, your home is, well, your home. People tend to live there. This generally translates to frequent interruptions and a high level of frustration for the writer. And probably for the family members, but let’s be honest. This post isn’t about them. Or, ok, maybe it is, but only marginally.
The point is, most writers I know manage to create some sort of writing cave. Methods and locations vary, but the necessity of having a dedicated space to practice the craft is indisputable. Writers who don’t have a designated writing area tend not to write much, nor for very long.
For some, it’s the corner of their bedroom, tricked out with a small desk and a pair of noise-canceling headphones. Others utilize various partitioning devices such as a Japanese room divider or a tall bureau to cordon off space.
Still others commandeer the rare and elusive “spare-bedroom.” Of course, this requires a good bit of moxy and determination to hold on to. Spare rooms tend to double as guest rooms, subject to random and unavoidable occupation by person or persons unknown. Even when they aren’t occupied, these rooms are nearly always catch-alls for things no one can find a place for but are inexplicably reluctant to get rid of.
For the very lucky few, there is the home office. This too can be a room in your home, the difference being that it is a room specifically for your business. No bed. No dresser – unless said dresser holds crafting supplies for the creation of signing swag.
Of course, such an interior location is still easily accessible to other family members, thus providing opportunities for continual interruptions the likes of which are never seen in conventional (that is to say, not at home) offices. Therefore, the most important element of the designated room is the door. Equip it with a sturdy lock and a sign outside that reads, “If there isn’t blood before you knock, there may be after.” If that doesn’t do the trick, consider propping a lightly bloodied axe outside the door. That ought to get the message across.
Aw, come on. I’m just kidding.
Ahem. Even better, IMHO, is the detached office, colloquially known as the tiny house. It is more expensive than other options but provides a dedicated space with fewer distractions. At least, that is the goal. You may still need the sign.
And that is the point of my blog post. In a few short weeks, my new writer’s cottage will be a reality. I am, understandably, enchanted with this idea.
My hope is that it will give me a bit of separation between my business and personal lives, providing a hideaway where there is quiet, and enough peace to write for more than fifteen minutes at a stretch.
I did have my office set up in our Florida room. However, as summer marches on, the heat out there negated the benefits of the view and the occasional quiet. So, at the moment, my office is located in what is supposed to be our dining room. It doesn’t have a door, but it is air-conditioned. (A must in Florida, for obvious reasons.) Here is where the magic happens until such time as my writer’s cottage is complete. And I’m ok with that.
So, writer friend, where do you write? Tell me about it in the comments.
While you’re doing that, I’ll go look for my sign. I know I have it here somewhere…