Monday, 16 April 2018

I Need A Personal Bubble For My Writing Space

by K A Hart

A distraction-free writing space. Does anyone have one? I have lived in this house for four years and I still haven’t found the right spot. 

Somewhere that’s comfortable, but not too comfortable. A place with a view or inspirational pictures and famous quotes. Coffee, tea, a few snacks. Music. No music. A clean space, clutter-free. That’s what most writers suggest. 

So. Writing space. Where have I made my writing space? Where have I not?!

The Backseat

I live in a Queenslander and have previously had flatmates with some unique interests. Having a writing space in the house back then was far more distracting then my procrastination. For a while I used the backseat of my Toyota Yaris. It’s more spacious than you’d imagine. A throw, a few European pillows and I was set. The fact it was outside and I had to organise a coffee travel mug, a thermos with more coffee and snacks made it less desirable to utilise the space. Okay, I’m a little lazy and procrastination is my friend. If I made it to the backseat, a lot of writing was done. The amount of times I actually made it there is a little fuzzy.

The Desk

I bought a desk specifically for writing. Simple design. Small enough so it won’t get too cluttered but big enough for a laptop and an opened folder with my manuscript. I even went with the comfortable, but not too comfortable chair design. There is a little problem though. The desk is too high for the chair. My wrists tend to dig into the front of the desk if I sit there for more than an hour. So that means many breaks. Long breaks. My cat Aristotle used to help too. Sitting on the folder, on the laptop, on my arms. Cats can be very distracting.

The Armchair

I have a reading chair. I don’t actually use it to read. I don’t really use it much at all. Occasionally I’ve tried to write in it. It’s comfortable enough with a couple of pillows and the matching ottoman. But for some reason, my writing sessions don’t last long. Social media surfing tends to set in. Either the armchair is haunted or I don’t have enough pillows.

The Cafe

I know a few people who enjoy sitting in a cafe with a cappuccino and their laptop. I’ve tried it, though all the noise and people tend to annoy me too much to get anything done. If the cafe is quiet, has an outdoor area looking out into a garden or rolling landscape, I might thoroughly enjoy it. Finding that can be time-consuming and expensive depending on where you go and how many cappuccinos or long blacks you drink.

The Bed

Has anyone ever tried to write in bed? It’s great for a while. The comfortable factor is snooze-worthy. Though that’s the problem. Just when I get into a good rhythm, the yawns start. Time for coffee, I say. It all goes bad from there. The kettle’s boiling. I have my cup ready to go. I reach for my phone and three hours later it’s time for bed. Bed as in sleep. Sleep as in it’s now eleven at night and I have work tomorrow morning.

The Writers Group

Meeting up with my writing group is a great way to catch up on my editing. I can get in an hour of writing at a two hour get-together … on a good day. Sometimes we talk about issues with our manuscripts. Sometimes we critique each others scenes. And sometimes we talk about anything and everything else.

I haven’t found the best writing space yet, but I think I’ve figured out what I need in order to achieve a productive writing schedule.

  • Somewhere that is easy to get to - preferably in the house.
  • A chair with adjustable height and back support.
  • A quiet place where I can listen to music or hear the rain outside.
  • Snacks and coffee within reach.
  • No access to the internet UNLESS it is research day.
  • Praying before and after a writing session.

Tell me about your writing space. Where is it? What about it makes you productive?

K A Hart has had two short stories published. Stone Bearer, appears in Glimpses of Light and Tedious Tresses, in the As Time Goes By Mixed Blessings anthology. She is currently working on a fantasy novel.


  1. What a delightful post Kristen. Thank you! Sounds like you've done your research into what the perfect writing space should look like. Well done. We moved recently and God blessed me with my personal bubble! We were looking for an extra room so my beloved could have a study (he used our dining area and oh dear... it overflowed with every imaginable item!). Shan told after we moved, "We were looking for a study for me and YOU got one too'! Exactly right. Our new home has 4 beds AND a little study. I love it.

    My little den has two book cases filled with books and some writing folders, one cupboard filled with exciting items, a comfy chair for a visitor, a computer desk filled with books and CD's and my laptop, screen and keyboard AND a lovely little desk where I pray and spend time with God. This one looks out into our lovely little front yard. Coffee and snacks are not far away in our kitchen. Our bedroom is next door should I desire a nap.

    It's perfect for me. :) Thank you God. Thanks for asking Kirsten and here's wishing you well in your own hunt. I know your perfect writing space will be a reality soon. It HAS to be with all that research you've done! :) Blessings and happy hunting.

    1. That sounds wonderful, Anusha. I'm glad you were able to have your own little den in the new house.

      I will be moving soon. Hopefully I can find a place there.

  2. Thanks for a fun post, Kirsten. I've never tried writing in my car. I'd have to squeeze in amongst the dogs' cushions, so I'm not sure it would work for me - LOL

    I'm fortunate to have my own office at home that I've set up ergonomically (important when you're at my age and your body starts to fall apart). I do most of my serious writing there, but I sometimes take a notebook to a cafe or a nice setting to do some scribbling. I find that's good for taking some preliminary notes, jotting down a poem or doing some editing.

    The only problem with having a home office is that the internet is at my fingertips. I may have genuinely looked up Pinterest to find pictures of Victorian clothing for my novel, but half an hour later, I'm saving funny Snoopy cartoons and Dr Who memes.

    I have an anti-procrastination program called Stay Focused which you can get for free if you have Google Chrome. You can choose which sites to block and when (e.g. during 9-5). Though once you set it, you can't change the settings for 24 hours. I locked myself out of Facebook once and it was the longest day of my life. LOL Here's the link:

    Thanks for a fun post, Kirsten. Happy writing!

    1. Thanks, Nola. I'll have to check out the link. It might be good to have for those days I need to be productive.

  3. Thanks Kirsten, I find that I can write anywhere. I have written in the car while the boy was at soccer practice. I write in bed but only once I've woken, never at night. The library and cafe or the park, all good writing spaces away from my main distraction - the internet. But having said that, I have a wonderful shed in the back yard where the magic happens.

    1. It's an amazing gift to be able to write anywhere. I envy you :)

  4. Loved your post Kirsten, and Aristotle's cameo appearance. I've written in the car, but usually when waiting for kids. But really, I can write almost anywhere as long as I have a laptop, or pad and pen --- and no one is talking at me.

    1. Lol, people talking is usually the problem for me. I can hear myself think. That's when the headphones come out!

  5. Well, I have never written in the car - I hope never to have to it's tiny... a Daewoo Matiz. Love your upbeat attitude to your attempts and your clarity on what you need. Thank you for the post, smile and look into your writing challenges.

    1. The Toyota Yaris isn't that much bigger, I'm afraid. I do have to fold myself up a bit, but it's still comfy.

  6. Hi Kirsten, I have a reading/writing chair too, and my desk has long been a shared one in the middle of family space, but I'm used to. Do wish we had a cat like Aristotle 😊 What a time thief.

    1. Having a writing-sidekick does have some advantages. They're good at listening to you read your manuscript out loud and talking through issues or writing-blocks.

      Aristotle's gone now, but hopefully I'll find a new little sidekick to help me.