Saturday, June 6, 2009

Saturday Soirée - Writing spaces, rituals and treasures

Oodles of stories are told about the writing spaces, sacred rituals and cherished objects some writers cannot function without. They write their stories and do your best work when the writing spaces, sacred rituals and special treasures help to entice the muse, usher them into their writing zone and inspire them.

  • Where do you write? Do you have the enviable writing room, a designated corner in your bedroom, kitchen or some other room? Do you have a favorite chair? Or maybe sunlight, fresh air, fragrant flowers and singing birds rouse your passion and generate ideas. Do you prefer the golden silence and book-stuffed aisles of the library, the coffee-shop with whispers of conversations in the background or the intermittent distraction of customers in a book store?
  • What rituals do you perform to tickle your muse into spewing inspiration your way? Do you pray, meditate, journal, read, shower, dance, sing, exercise, freewrite?
  • What item or items sit on your desk, hang on the wall or feature as your computer background to draw you into your writing zone? Do you wear a special item of clothing or a cherished piece of jewelry. Maybe you have a magic pen. How about family photos, a collage of writing quotes, a picture of your favorite writer?
Awww, come on, share your secrets.


Cheryl Wright said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cheryl Wright said...

My writing space:
I call it my corner office. It is an alcove nestled between my closet and a wall - 4 feet wide and 2 feet deep - and everything I need is at arm’s length. I don’t like distractions, so this windowless office works for me. I am joyfully sequestered for a couple hours at a time, juggling ideas and projects, and writing to my heart’s content.

The porch is my second favorite place to write. That is where I write in my journal in the afternoons.

My sacred ritual:
Household chores - CHECK
Grand-daughter asleep - CHECK Shower, dress comfortably (shorts and tee shirt), coffee, pray, read and comment on my favorite blogs, write (current assignments, articles for column, blog posts).

My treasures: On my desk - glass cat candle-holder, real cat - Immi-Poppit, hand-painted teapot, glass with pen collection. On my wall - writing diploma, framed photo collage of my husband, son, daughter, son-in-law and grand-daughter, writer’s prayer and favorite quotes.

Joanne said...

Where do I write? I have a large computer hutch which holds my desktop, it's a dark wood cabinet that I can close up when my day is done, and holds paper, journals, notes, pens, lamp, that sort of thing. A laptop also allows me mobility in the house, if the muse strikes. But usually, the desktop.

Ritual? I write first thing, early. After breakfast, I take my coffee to the computer and the day begins, blogging first, then on to whatever project is at hand. Currently I'm revising a nonfiction manuscript for which I've written a book proposal, so that takes much of my time.

My treasures? If I'm feeling a need for inspiration or luck or just a wish for a good day, I'll wear different pieces of jewelry for good karma, often with my daughters' wearing the same as part of the "team" support.

I like this post, Cheryl. It's nice to see the routines of other writers, have a glimpse into their craft that way.

Cheryl Wright said...


I do appreciate your giving us a glimpse into your writing world.

What is most interesting is the "team effort" thing with you and your daughter wearing similar pieces of jewelry. Fascinating.

Cheryl Wright said...

I forgot to mention that I have three computers. Yes, I hear you asking, "Why?"

I have my desktop (17" flat screen), which my husband built for me several years ago. Last year he gave me a laptop to allow me write anywhere - big help but still a bit cumbersome.

Two weeks ago he gave me a notebook computer - 10" L x 7" W x 3/4" H and I don;t even have to remove it from the case to use it. It is the best gift ever. Talk about mobility.

Lynne Gordon said...

Hi Cheryl, I write on my back porch. lol It is cool and comfy and most days it seems that I absolutely NEED the fresh air to inspire me.

Fortunately, I have a living blog so it is a part of my life everyday and that makes it much easier to become inspired.

Cheryl Wright said...

Hello there Lynne,

Porches are so conducise to writing don't you think. I so happy to hear that you have one to engage your passion.

I'm a sucker for a porch - back, front, open or closed in. A wrap around porch is one of my fantasies. Meanwhile I savor every moment I can spend on the small one that sits just outside my front door.

mr. nichols said...

Hey Cheryl, right now i just take it where i can get it. but my wife and i are planning to convert the guest room into my writing space soon. i can't wait for that.

love the blog!

Cheryl Wright said...

Mr. Nichols,

Wow, your own writing room huh? That's worth waiting for. Meanwhile continue with what you're doing - writing when you can. After all that's what it's all about - getting words down, writing our stories.

Magnolia said...

My writing space is usually in my bed. With my new, VERY FIRM, pillowtop Sterns & Foster mattress. Oh yeah, can't forget the new red roses comforter and 3000 thread count sheets. Dang...I sound spoiled don't I?

I also write on my front porch if I get out there early enough. I have an electrical outlet out there I can plug my laptop into and two very fine rattan rockers that are "oh, so inviting"

I have also been known to write in the back seat of my van while waiting for one of my children to complete an activity like music lessons, soccer practice or horse riding lessons.

I sat in the parking lot of a libray today and wrote for 2 hours.

I guess I have to learn to be "out of the box" in my writing places.

One of these days I'll have my own writing studio with a window that overlooks a flower garden, with bird baths, a stone path, a fountain and lots of lush, greenery.

Yeah - that will be the ticket.

28 days and counting baby.

Cheryl Wright said...

Mags girlfriend,

You have me dribbling with envy over that bed. Yes you sound spoiled and loving it too.

I'd say you have already learned to write outside the box girl. Back of your van, parking lot?

Well you already know I'm a porch girl at heart with a little beach writing every now and then.

The notebook computer my husband gave me recently is ideal for writing in bed. I can do a two to three hour stint at night, easy.

28 days already? Looks like before you know it, it will be 28 months. By God's grace, you can and will do it.

Cheryl Wright said...

And Mags,

Only a writer will sit in a parking lot and write for two hours. DUUUUUH - do you accept now that you are a writer?

Magnolia said...

LOL! Umm, yeah, you're right. Only a writer would sit in the backseat of their van, in a parking lot and peck away. It was wonderful too, I might add.

I'm sure the bigger observation is "why didn't I go into the LIBRARY???"

Well, I planned to. But, since the children are out of school for the summer, they were everywhere and the library was hosting activities and reading hours for the children. I knew it would be LOUD and full of energetic activity. So, I chose to hop in the back, pull up my blinds to block the sun and give myself a little privacy and go to town.

Oh, and a caveat......I submitted my first essay to my online writing class. Can I proudly say that I feel my writing is every bit as good as the other 4 PUBLISHED writers who are also submitting work????

It did a lot for my confidence to see that my writing is every bit as good as others who have been writing for years, apparently.

I'd be lying if I didn't tell you I'm jealous you have a beach to go to write. LUCKY DOG!!

Cheryl Wright said...

Well this luck dog is about to leave for the beach in a few minutes with my latest issue of Writer's Digest, my journal and computer notebook in tow.

See ya. I'm off to the beach.

Magnolia said...

GASP!! Oh, do I hate you or congratulate you????

Darn. And here I sit still in my jammies in my bed. But the good thing is, I have the entire day with no distractions or interruptions to write today.

I've already told my family I will be unavailable until this afternoon sometime. They all sounded the "okay" chorus up the stairwell.

So, I guess several hours of uninterrupted time where I can "moodle" as Brenda Ueland calls it, is as good as a day at the beach, huh? Maybe? ya think?

Nah! You've got me beat. hands down. I'm coming to see you. that's it. :)

Cheryl Wright said...


Can you imagine it? You and I on the beach, curled up in our beach chairs with our notebooks, talking, laughing, even crying as we share our respective life stories and our dreams and writing?

Magnolia said...

You have no idea how much I would love that. :)

So, how was your day at the beach? I had another day in the backseat of my van. ;)

Cheryl Wright said...

Mag the time at the beach - Manzanilla - was absolutely diviiiine.

While everyone else was frolicking in sun, I was basking in the cool sea breeze, curled up in my beach chair in the shade of a coconut tree with my notebook and magazines. About an hour before we left, I hit the waves for about 30 minutes.That was enough for me this time.

Did I tell you that it was absolutely diviiiine?

Magnolia said...

Wowza. It sounds heavenly. Just heavenly.

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