Monday, March 12, 2007

The sanctity of a writer's work area

My writing process started when I was a child and we lived in a three bedroom house. I tell you this because it will help you to understand the need to stay organized even at a young age comes from necessity. I grew up with my two older brothers, there are 8 of us total but the three of us were the last ones in the house. I learned early on that if I wanted something to stay private or to keep it in tack I needed to know where it was located and how to hide it from my brothers. So I endeavored to keep my room clean so I knew where my writing was, or my art supplies, as I loved to draw at that time. If my room was clean my brothers figured that there wasn’t anything to hide so they wouldn’t have to look for anything in my room. This mind set has continued on into today.

When I started writing my first book, I found that it helped me to stay organized and keep my work area neat. I created charts and a lineage that I hung on the wall so that I could keep the characters straight and not have to worry about confusing the story line. I bought a file chest to keep my story lines in to keep my desk clean, because I have found I work better with a clean desk.

As we recently moved, I now share my desk with my husband. To be able to maintain my workspace, I have created folders for each of my stories that I am working on and keep them in a separate file cabinet so that my husband doesn’t move my papers. I have found that if I am working on a story and he moves all my papers around, I am lost for half the day when I try to work on it again, but if I put it into a folder in the order I was working with then I don’t have a problem.

As writers we need to learn to adapt and I know that isn’t always easy. My husband doesn’t always understand that moving papers around on the desk can ruin a train of thought, but he does always know what it means when I get that faraway look in my eye. He knows I have gone into another world and he might not get to talk to me for the rest of the night. If a story is pushing you there is nothing you can do but let it come out. I figure my work area is actually in my head so I don’t have to worry about have it messed up and the parts I need to worry about I have learned to adapt with.

No comments: