month my column is all about authors’ workspaces. I’ll jump “write in”
with the question.
Andrea: I’m in my twenties and feel God is calling me to write a novel.
My husband suggested that I wait to write it until I can afford to rent
an office. Is that what most authors do?
A: Dear Jackie: No! You don’t
have to wait for a rented office. You can write anywhere! It doesn’t
have to be formal or fancy.
I have a home office. But I
didn’t at first. It wasn’t until the last of my sons got married and
moved out that I got my own office. Of our three bedrooms, one is
designated as my workspace.
But it’s not state-of-the-art. I
work on a scuffed up oak desk, built in the days of solid wood, and it
weighs a ton. My mother used to own an auction gallery and the desk
once stood in her office, with a matching credenza (I have it too).
Certainly, you wouldn’t find this furniture in a penthouse office
suite. But, folks, they just don’t craft furniture this well anymore!
For that reason (and for the memory factor) I love it and it’s part of
As for the rest of the décor,
it’s a hodgepodge of framed artwork and other memorabilia. On the
bulletin board, I have pictures of friends and family, including my
precious grandchildren. I’ve tacked up silk flowers from weddings and
Bible verses that help to keep my thoughts on Christ.
I also have a painting that my
eleven-year-old niece made for me on my fiftieth birthday. I’ve
entitled it “Celebrate.” My great-aunt Agnes painted a picture decades
ago that’s called “Storm.” I inherited it from my grandfather’s cousin,
and I cherish it. I’ve hung it on the wall near the window of my
workspace. My aunt Naya Rydzewski, a noted artist in Key West, painted
a beach scene just for me. It occupies the wall directly across from
“Storm” (I thought it quite appropriate). In addition, I’ve framed a
few of my book covers and hung up an award I received from ACFW
(American Christian Fiction Writers).
Hardly. Are these things in my workspace of great value? Probably not.
But they are priceless to me, and they make me feel creative. That’s
not to say I draw upon these items for creativity. I don’t. My gift of
writing and creating comes from the Lord and through much prayer.
Simply put, I enjoy feeling surrounded by the finished products of
artistic loved ones.
I must admit that sometimes my
health issues get in the way of my ability to sit in my office and
work. When that’s the case and still the deadline looms, I go to office
#2 . . . and everyone’s got one (an office #2, that is).
Yep. Grab that laptop and crawl
under the covers! I’d be interested in learning just how many authors
write in their bedrooms. I’m sure there are plenty who do!
question to consider when
selecting a workspace is where do you feel the most creative? At the
kitchen table near the window so you have a view of your garden? In the
corner of the living room? At the dining room table?
Years ago, my husband and I
toured the poet Carl Sandburg’s home in North Carolina. His workspace
is adjacent to what was his bedroom, and we learned Mr. Sandburg
preferred to work at night. I took heart when I surveyed his organized
mess. The tour guide said that wherever Mr. Sandburg worked, there were
piles of papers, files, and books. Sometimes he worked on orange crates
as opposed to his desk or a table.
Not exactly hoity-toity, is it?
So, getting back to our question
this month. Do you need to wait to write your novel until you can
afford to rent an office? Definitely not! Most of us Christian authors
would still be waiting to write our first novels if that were the case.
Just find yourself a creative
space somewhere, fire up your computer, and write!
If you’ve got a question about
writing, publishing, or about your favorite Christian fiction authors,
send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, read on!