Whether our writing environment provides us with the blessing of looking out upon nature’s changing seasons or we have set up a laptop on the laundry basket next to the basement washer and dryer, we can always imagine the seasons of setting, plot, and the lives of each individual character.

I must confess that my writing space looks nothing like this beautiful illustration. It is often cluttered beyond my ability to deal with the stacks and I am forced to take-a-day and reorganize it, much to my husband’s delight. You see, he shares one side of the narrow desk in our 10×10 office and tries to demonstrate organization by keeping his side “neat” with everything in its place. However, until I discover a way to keep each of my on-going projects within easy reach (not in closet filing cabinet), my stacking system will remain. I’m one of “those” writers who allows my imagination free reign giving me the opportunity to jump from one project to another at any time of the day. When something I’m researching and/or critiquing triggers a thought relating to another project, I immediately place that piece (concept, website source, person-to-contact) with the appropriate stack.


THERE ARE, however, as many writing space concepts as there are writers.  Following are a few that I’ve discovered are helpful to my author friends.

  • BABY BOTTLE READINESS. This space is nestled next to the rocking chair and the crib in the new baby’s corner of the family room. Whether the author is Mom or Dad, when it is their time for baby-watch, they have acknowledged that their creative ideas rarely pause during those specific hours. The “desk” can be an actual writing desk or a TV tray just as long as it provides space for pen, paper, laptop and/or tape recorder.
  • DINING ROOM/KITCHEN TABLE. One of my best friends wrote her plays while seated at her long, rustic-style family table. This space was actually added to the kitchen and designed with windows on three sides. Her view—throughout each season of the year—was of a mountain meadow, aspen and fir trees and the occasional white-tail deer family. She kept her developing projects in a box (emptied of paper reams) and cleared the table every day.
  • PET PARTNERS. Sometime soon, I suggest you do a Google search of Authors and their pets. It will make you smile! There are stories told about John Steinbeck and his standard poodle, Charley. Ernest Hemingway was a great fan of cats and “owned” several—or, rather, they owned And then there is my cat, Sadie, a tabby lady who has shared my writing days from her cushion these past eighteen years. The presence of these critters in our lives can bring about just the right amount of pause and reflection we writers need in order to grab hold of the next complete sentence and/or thought.
  • THE RETREAT or HAVEN. George Bernard Shaw built is own very private retreat, converting a tool shed into his writing space. It worked for him. However there are other get-away locations that might serve your needs. Again, do a Google search of “writing retreats.” You’ll find luxurious places in castle towers or tack-rooms in big red barns converted for the writer who enjoys the scent of horse and cattle for their inspiration.


Bottom line…don’t hesitate to move about while developing your writing project. Becoming TOO settled, TOO comfortable in one chair or at one desk could stifle your imagination and lock you into one season of writing. ⚓︎

RoyaleneABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

6 thoughts on “Conversations With A Self-Publishing Writer: 11/20/2015

      1. My writing space overlooks my living area and through to my courtyard garden. It’s probably one of the nicest writing places I’ve had. I have a small apartment and I live alone so I write when inspiration comes upon me. I find walking or cycling along the river or by the beach is where I do my thinking but mostly I write at home. I use pen and a moleskin when out and about, say a cafe, but my laptop when I’m away as I recently was. : ) thanks for your interest.

      2. Robyn, that sounds positively idyllic! May we all find our various ways to courtyard gardens and out-and-about moleskins!

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