Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fantasy vs. Reality

Today I had a good session working on my manuscript. Some days it isn't as easy and I struggle to get my self-imposed two page minimum down on paper before the demands of my "other life" take over. Like most beginning writers, I juggle a paying job, a family and a home. It is sometimes stressful but I remind myself that the stress is self-imposed and I should enjoy each step of the way.

When I first began writing, my fantasy had me sitting at a well appointed desk, situated by a large window with a great view, coffee cup at hand and a sleepy tom cat curled up in a corner of the desk, purring.

Three years later, I am sitting in my basement office, at my ten dollar desk, it's too hot for coffee and the tom cat purring on the desk is simultaneously attempting to turn my desk calendar into confetti. Did I mention that the only window I can see out of is six inches by two feet and it is above and behind me? The reality of writing is not always what we had first envisioned but when you have a good day at the computer, all the rest just doesn't matter.

How did your romantic view of your journey as a writer change once you actually began the process? Do you have the perfect set up or is your writing area less than perfect? Does it affect your ability to write?


Carla Swafford said...

Not long ago, I wrote (typed) on a desktop and was stuck in the living room with the TV blasting behind me.

A year ago Christmas, I bought a laptop and now LOVE IT! I move around - in my bedroom, upstairs in the guestroom/exercise room, on the back porch, etc. I do so much better at concentrating on finishing books.

Oh, my fantasy is to have a large office with a bay window looking over a pool and lots and lots of blooming flowers. And, oh, have big life-size portraits of my covers in beautiful frames. So I hope I get some really sexy ones. That's the only way I could get away with having "posters" of naked men in my house. LOL!

M.V.Freeman said...

You and I had similar dreams...huge windows, a beautiful vista, a large beautifully appointed office, and endless supply of words rolling from my finger tips as I effortlessly write my stories.--oh and writing on my own time...LOL

Reality is, it takes work to write, the words don't always come when you want them too, the office gets cluttered, and vistas? Well, I have a great view of my next door neighbors wall. My kids are in and out, oh, work. Yeah, gotta go there.

I still love it though. Maybe I am just a masochist...*G*

Speaking of writing--it's back to work. :-)

JoAnn said...

Like Carla, I love having the flexibility and portability of a laptop.

My writing spaces have been all over the house. First one was a corner of the den, then a desk in our bedroom.

But my best writing comes when I take my laptop to a coffee shop or some other public place. Fewer distractions there.

I actually finished my first "real" book in a pub where my Irish-dancing (then) teenage daughter would go to hear Irish music and dance. Because she was underage, I had to go with her. We got to know so many of the people that hung out there, and they always asked me about my book. I really felt that they provided the accountability -- if I wanted them to take me serious as a writer, I had to write. Weird, I know. But heck, it worked!

Karen Beeching said...

I love Carla's dream office! I too take my laptop various places in the house. I have to say, this doesn't make for the best posture most of the time, but I like the flexibility.

My dream is less "the office" and more that I get to do this for a living some day.

Sherry Werth said...

After three years of sitting at a desk in the middle of household traffic, I am finally getting my own office. It sounds like your dream office minus the cat. (Allergies LOL) Our son bought his own home and hubby is remodeling his bedroom into an office. Luckily my husband loves to build things and I now have a lovely desk unit with 2 bookcases and a 4 drawer filing cabinet.

My fantasy vs. reality? Finding the time to actually use it when he finishes! Like some of the others I work full time and have a family. There's not much 'me' time left over. But I have hopes. :)
Maybe it'll turn out like Kevin Costner's field. Build it and they will come! (writing time, perfect words, great plots, wonderful characters with boat loads of conflict, etc) Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?!