I once told a fellow writer that every time I sit down, I feel like a different person and my work reflects it. My multiple personalities bloat my writing with their twisted humor, inflated description, gushing prose or snarky syntax. Whoever shows up that day.
“It depends on how caffeinated I am or how quiet it is or whether my dishes are done,” I said wistfully. “How do I write an entire book if I can’t even keep my scattered brain in line?”
My friend replied, “What is your workspace like? Where do you normally write?” Errrr. I did that embarrassed side-pursed-lips thing that you do when someone asks what you do to workout, then replied, “Wherever I guess. Cafes, the library, bed, my kitchen table.” She nodded knowingly.
So, apparently we writers are supposed to keep our environment stable if we want the tone of our writing to be consistent. I hope not EVERYONE here is like “duh” because this had actually never occurred to me. It makes sense, I just thought it was one of those in your perfect world scenarios.
Now for my day J.O.B, I sit down and crank out project after project. And to be honest, there’s not a whole lot of multiple personality action. Business writing is more cut and dry so I think my crazies just go take a nap or something.
But for my B.O.O.K, which I must ninja-write anywhere I can, I don’t control the environment. It controls me. Sometimes that means holing myself in a bathroom so I don’t have to have this conversation with my four-year-old… again.
“No honey. We can’t go to Seaworld right now. Mom is trying to work. You know, work? That thing I tried to explain the last time you asked to go to Seaworld, an hour ago? The thing that made you decide grown-ups aren’t any fun. Yeah. That.”
I’m not too proud to tell you. I maybe, kinda ninja-wrote a lot of my book while hiding in a bathroom, back when bathrooms were synonymous with peace and privacy.
Like this guy…
So I’m manifesting the perfect workspace, where my characters are consistent and my scenes seamless.
Preferably, there would be tons of light, no clutter and, unlike a bathroom, a proper desk with sharpened pencils that still have erasers.
I think this place would be alright.
Of course, I’d probably still be explaining “work” to a one-track-minded toddler.