The Importance of a Writer's Space

by - October 5, 2015

the importance of a writer's space #write31days

My little 9x7 writing room has been an inspiring motivator and the best decision I've made in regards to honoring my heart with a space in which to spill it.

It's often hard to separate being a wife, a mother, and a writer. These four walls allow within them a space for me to claim my true nature; to create; to breathe beauty into words with nothing but my own imagination.

Artists have their studios; musicians have their garage; it only makes sense that a writer would carve our their own little plot and make claim on their vision.

This is not to speak against finding your voice at a dining room table in the midst of the rest of your families living. Actually, that's a lie. There's much to say against it. I understand that most people may not have an extra room, misused and begging to be converted into your creative cave BUT without a dedicated physical space in front of you, how can you find the dedicated mental/emotional space to bleed out your heart?

I spent years at my dining room table and while I was able to produce some writing that didn't completely suck, I found it close to impossible to shut out the life-chaos that surrounded me. Dining-room-table-writing is breeding ground for excuses. It's all there in front of you no matter how badly you want to focus on your work: dishes, sticky floors, laundry piles, stacks of bills...

If you can work in such conditions, I commend you - you are incredible and amazing and I envy your brilliance and you should come to one of my Writer's Jams and deliver a workshop titled Blinders for Glory or something equally exciting {to which I'll charge a $20 cover and put the funds towards professional editing}.

One year ago, I made the decision to claim the little room off our back entrance. It had a history that appealed to my sentimental soul having been my room as a child {we bought my childhood home from my parents four years ago}. In our early days within these walls, I had visions of creating a gorgeous guest room.

There were two problems with this:
  1. We rarely, if ever, had overnight guests.
  2. It would be a lot of work for little reward.

Last October, when I decided I would face the dragon that is NaNoWriMo, I knew I could never accomplish that at a dining room table where the stack of dirty dishes would taunt me from the kitchen as I struggled to reach my 1600+ words-a-day quota. needed a space.

I needed to let go of the gorgeous guest room dream.

I needed a writing room.

It took nearly a month to pull it together - beginning with an IKEA dream board and ending with a mishmash version of pieces I found for {almost} free.

ikea writing room wish list

There has not been one second that I've regretted taking the time to honor my dreams by giving them a home of their own and I want to encourage you to do the same - perhaps that's not by taking over a whole room - perhaps it's only claiming a corner in a space free from most distractions where you can focus on what really matters to your soul.

Writer's Space Must-Haves

  • A window. Natural light is important to the creative process. {Unless you're a vampire; in which case, enjoy the dark and write something scary!}
  • A desk. Sure, maybe you're twenty-two and your body thinks it's okay to curl up on a couch for hours and type away at your computer but heed my wisdom: YOUR BODY WILL TURN ON YOU AND COUCH-WRITING WILL MAKE IT GROAN FOR DAYS!
  • A comfy chair. Because long sessions of sitting should be experienced in comfort.
  • Good lighting options. Natural + overhead + lamp light. Every mood/day requires something different. {Unless you're a vampire; in which case, enjoy the dark and write something scary!}


Writer's Space Nice-To-Haves

  • A door. You know why.
  • A single purpose. Because excuses are too easy when there are other things in front of you.
  • A music/white noise option. Because you need to drown out the outer chaos to be able to focus on your inner voice. {I adore Coffitivity and use it often if the children are playing in the next room}


Writer's Space Dream Addition

  • An endless supply of chocolate that heightens my senses but never ends up on my thighs.
  • A claw-foot bathtub in which to read my pages.
  • A British man named Giles who brings me tea and says, "Well done, love" as I finish up my work each day.

All in all, it's about honoring yourself. It's about accepting what's important and celebrating that with a space of your own.

I hope you find it. And if you don't, call me - I'll consider renting you mine while I'm out grocery shopping... {click the image above to see all the #write31days posts}

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  1. I'm finally setting up my writing space. It's a process, but I have a desk and a door and an electrical outlet that I can reach with only mild contortions. There is a chair for me and one for my fur baby. But the space is mine!

    1. Yay! I'm so happy for you!! And yay for the small blessings of 'mild contortions' - way to look on the bright side!!!! ;) Enjoy your space - may it inspire many many words!

  2. I envy you your space that is yours alone! And I am so happy for you that you have it so I can read and enjoy what you create :)

    PS I find it hard to believe you have noise to block out.

    1. Ha! They seem to be on best behavior during our Writer's Jam - that is not 'real life' in the Rusnak house ;)

  3. I love this post and your whole blog! (Found you through write 31 days.)

    1. Thanks so much! I'm glad you're here and hope you'll stick around ;)

  4. I have been slowing down when I pass one door off the hallway! I peek in. I think of things that could be changed. I see my things in there. The Man in Charge is going out of town on business for four days! I think I may pull some late nights, and make this happen! I want my own office! I want my own space! (Only bad thing...this is the room with the headboard painted on the wall! It will have to go!)

    1. Oooooo...I hope you do it! And share it! And love it!

      I wonder if there's a creative way to incorporate your painted headboard into the design without being weird...? To lose all that hard work would be a shame BUT I suppose there's something to be said for starting fresh too...

      Can't wait to hear/see what you do :)

  5. My mother-in-law will flip if I paint over that headboard. She loves that room and has all but forbid me to change it.

    I can't think of a single way to keep it.

    Not like she visits much anymore.

    Change is good, right?


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© Alanna Rusnak