Making a space for writing

Something that struck me while reading Stephen King’s On Writing is that he emphasizes life supports the art of writing, the art of writing doesn’t support life. His anecdotal story talks about how he had a room saved for writing with a T-Rex sized mahogany desk in the center, but over time, with the family and kids, he got rid of the desk, bought a family set of furniture, and shoved smaller desk under the eaves in the corner of the room.

Now, even when I had my own two-bedroom apartment, where I could save an entire room for my writing and guests, I realized… I hated it. I felt cut off from my space, the room didn’t have the best light, the reasons were endless. I moved my desk to my living room behind my sofa and felt much happier.

We’ve been going through a similar transformation that Stephen King described at my house. We spend most of our time upstairs, whereas downstairs my husband has his hobby room, I have my hobby nook, and then there’s a second living space. My hobby nook faces the living space, which I like because it gives me the best light, I can watch the little ones (furry and human), and I can feel the energy of the house.

With lock down, however, I’ve completely let the space become a wasteland of papers, books, taxes, Etsy inventory, my violin, my camera equipment, etc. It’s a location of stress, not concentration. I’ve turned my attention to tidying because of the impending winter months… we need a second space we can all retreat to recharge without having to leave the house.

Photo of my Etsy fulfillment sideboard
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First, I got a sideboard to contain all my Etsy inventory and shipping materials. This was key, because with each order of a novel planning notebook, book tracker, gestational diabetes tracker, or newborn log, I was bouncing all over the space to print the receipt, grab the envelope and tissue paper, another corner to get the actual purchased item… You can see how that got hectic quickly.

Next, I hope to consolidate all my photography and music content in an area, finally leaving the remaining space for writing. It’s a shame that I have an 1860s writing desk and never use it! My goal is to clear the space so I can get back to it by the new year.

Are you making a space for your hobbies? How has your home changed since the pandemic?

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