Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Creating a Work Area for Inspiration with Ann Benjamin @ABenjaminAuthor #WriteTip #AmWriting

Friday, June 6, 2014

Want to know a secret?  Some of my best writing has taken place on planes or at the airport.  No kidding – I once finished writing a book on a flight!  I’ve had time to reflect on this phenomenon and believe it’s the trapped nature of being stuck somewhere and wanting to do something productive with my time.  Given that I live overseas, making use of the occasional 14 hour flight has helped my word count.
While I’d like to one day create my ideal work area (zen pool or fountain, white noise machine, big desk, giant white board with pens of all colors, a small library and of course, a lightning fast wifi connection), for the time being, I’m content to write just about anywhere.  I think there’s a bit of a myth about having a ‘perfect’ work space.  To me, a great work environment is one with one fundamental truth – lack of interruption.  While I enjoy having access to music, a physically comfortable place and a computer that can keep up with my superhuman ability to jump topics, in my opinion, all you really need is a place without intrusions to your writing or editing process.  Inspiration can come from anywhere, but I think it functions best when you have a dedicated work space.  Maybe for you that place is a library, your guest room, or your office at work (after hours of course).  Maybe that means investing in a pair of expensive headphones so you can block out the world.  Perhaps you might need to have a babysitter, partner, or family member around to look after the kids for an uninterrupted hour.
So, once you’ve found a safe, uninterrupted space, there are plenty of other things to take into consideration.  For me, I’m strange in that I do my best writing during the daylight.  I know a lot of authors are night owls, but for me it’s difficult to concentrate or get out anything of value once the sun goes down.  If you take a step back, identify when you do your best writing.  Do you need a marathon session of a few hours or more once a week?  Or would you work best writing around the same time every day?  If you’re looking for a nook to call you own, is there some out of the way corner in your house or apartment that’s not being used.  I would suggest a visit to one of my favorite websites for a bit of inspiration (I’m of course talking about Pinterest).  If your writing during the day, do you crave natural light (like I do)?  If writing in the wee hours, do you have a special lamp?
Once you’ve found your space, perhaps it’s worth a trip to Staples to outfit your desk with anything you might need – you know what I mean, Pilot pens, highlighters, Post It Notes, and notebooks.  Additionally, while I currently don’t have anything alive at my desk (except for my cat who wanders by now and then), I do sit near a window which overlooks a fantastic palm tree and landscaping.  When it’s cool enough to have the windows open, I can hear wildlife (and the freeway) outside.  Is that something that would help you?
Personally, I don’t think a great work area is something created in one weekend.  I think it’s an ongoing project.  Your desk might have knick knacks and tchotchkes from various (and ongoing) travels.  You might have framed pictures of epic spaces or friends and family.  It’s whatever works best for you!
What about you, dear reader?  Where do you work best?  Any other tips to add?

One hotel suite. One year. Many stories. The Winchester Hotel is an active property in Beverly Hills, California. Luxurious and discreet, it is a perfect location for business meetings, weddings, affairs, and other important life events – including the death of an A List celebrity. Told from the omniscient perspective of the room, the reader has a front row seat to the drama that unfolds in the suite. Although each chapter is unique, the characters’ lives intertwine in a way only possible in a major metropolis like Los Angeles.
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Genre - Contemporary
Rating – R
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