A year ago this month I moved into this two bedroom apartment from a one bedroom hovel across the complex from here. Even though it still reeked of animals and excessive insect droppings, I was thrilled to be here and have the extra room. I figured that some day, I’d use that room to create an office; a writing cave, if you will.
A year later the room still sits there. Instead of a writing cave, it serves me as a catch all room. I tried to make it into something special when I first moved here, but time and life have gotten in the way. I couldn’t afford my storage unit anymore, so everything that was in there is now making home in my writing cave. Alas!
Today I’ve been exploring the idea of getting to work on it again. There are boxes everywhere though, and it’s really difficult to even look into the room without being discouraged. Obviously the first step in doing this is clearing out the empty boxes, unloading the full ones, and trying to find a place for everything in a house that is so small that I needed a storage unit in the first place! Once all of that is done though, I have to decide what I want to do. What it is, exactly, that makes a home office into a “writing cave?”
I like to be surrounded by my favorite things when I write. I draw inspiration from them. For example, I have an Egyptian Ushabti from a 23rd dynasty tomb that I like to look out and draw ideas from. With it’s Cobra and bird engravings, it has a way of moving my mind back into antiquity…helping me to visualize ancient Egyptian culture. Also I will need plants, lots and lots of plants in my writing cave. Plants help me to visualize jungles and flowers. I also love the feeling of life that they add to a room. If one is going to have plants, then he’s going to need a well lit room too, so dark curtains are out of the picture entirely.
Lighting is important for me to be able to write effectively. I find my best work is done in intense, scrutinizing light. A good moveable lamp that will allow me to shine a light directly on to whatever I am working on willl work perfectly fine. The contrasting light issues are going to be a problem when the time comes to start writing in there. There must be some sort of way to get both types of light?
I’m curous about other writers. Where do you folks undertake your writing projects? Do you have a room–or office–just for writing novels or articles? What sorts of things do you use to decorate your personal writing space? Do you think that these things help? Please, drop me a line and let me know!