Natalie here today. I'm excited to share a tip by Jody Lamb, a fellow Michigan SCBWI member. Jody's also offering a copy of her new book, EASTER ANN PETERS' OPERATION COOL for a giveaway. Details are at the end of Jody's post.
3 reasons why you need a special writing/creating space
It’s one of the most commonly asked questions of authors: Where do you write/create art? What’s your writing space like? Our curiosity is fueled by hope to discover a magical spot where creativity flows and genius concepts arrive in a sparkly bow.
The answers are as varied as how-to-write-the-next-great-thing publishing agent and editor discussion panel. Cozy, cluttered basement offices, tattered tree houses, bustling coffee shops, in one’s pajamas, trains and even closets: I’ve heard of them all.
Some people cannot write anywhere but their staple spot. Others require constant variety.
Most of us creators are limited in the options for such creative space. You may feel tremendous urgency in hitting the word counts and other WIP milestones. We squeeze in extra 15 minutes of writing time whenever we can, often wherever we can.
I’ve discovered that when I’m under self or editor-imposed deadlines, I consider working in distraction-loaded places because it’ll save me commute time to get elsewhere.
However, if not for the creative space I found, I wouldn’t be celebrating the upcoming release of middle-grade novel, Easter Ann Peters’ Operation Cool.
I wrote most of four drafts of my debut novel, beside this lake in a public park. It’s my favorite to place to be.
My love of this place began in the summer of 2009. I was 26 years old and in the midst of a quarter-life crisis. My peers appeared to be settling into grownup life and letting dreams slip away with smiles pasted all over Facebook. I felt lost, longed for a sense of purpose and feared I was alone in my struggles with lack of satisfaction. I found little enjoyment in my job. I had accidentally moved up the corporate marketing and PR career ladder.
As a child, I found great joy in writing screenplays and short stories but I gave up creative writing in high school to use my skills in a practical career in journalism and media relations.
Could I find joy in creative writing as a grownup? This is the question I longed to answer when I enrolled in a creative writing course at my local community college.
Every Tuesday and Thursday, I’d hurry from my office to arrive early for the 6 p.m. class. After the first week, I felt a sense of hope that I could claim the kind of fulfilling grownup life I’d hoped for as a child.
In the beginning, when I sat down to pen or key my homework assignments at home, at coffee shops or at a library, I froze. It felt, well, like homework. I was distracted by the usual stresses around me – the deadlines, the people, the carpet needing vacuuming.
So I went to the park.
Right away, when I unpacked my notebook and pen, I actually felt lighter, as crazy as that might sound. My work stresses and family drama weren’t with me there. Expectations and obligations. Worries and insecurities. They all slipped away.
There, if only for a minute or two, I’m a writer with a notebook full of blank pages and a pen full of ink.
It’s how I always thought grownup would feel.
Being there is good for my writerly soul, like eating ice cream, and I am so grateful for that free feeling.
Several times while I wrote and edited four whole drafts of the story, I wanted to skip the park. Sometimes, it seemed more convenient to go the local coffee shop. The weather was often a headache – sometimes it was ultra chilly, other times it was crazy hot.
But I was always glad I went.
I hope you have a special place and if not yet, I hope you give it thought.
Here are three reasons you should find a special writing/creating space:
- You’re creating because you have talent! It’s a big deal and therefore, it deserves careful thought about where to put your skills to greatest use.
- Odds are that your best work comes when you’re somewhere you feel relaxed.
- You’re going to need something cool to describe when you’re asked the where-do-you-create questions.
High five and write on!
Jody is a SCBWI Michigan member. Luckily, she’s pretty much the same person she was at twelve years old, even though she’s a grownup now. Jody loves books, writing, ugly dogs, peppermint ice cream, ear-to-ear smiles, insides-twisting laughter and her family. She is a passionate advocate for kids with alcoholic loved ones. Like Easter Ann, Jody lives in Michigan with furry friends. “Easter Ann Peters’ Operation Cool” is her first novel. She is currently writing a young adult novel and has plans for another middle-grade novel.
You can learn more about Jody and her debut middle-grade novel, “Easter Ann Peters’ Operation Cool,” on her website – www.JodyLamb.com. Jody hopes you’ll say hi and connect with her at Facebook.com/JodyLambAuthor and Twitter.com/jodymlamb. She loves meeting fellow story lovers!
Here's a blurb about Jody's book from Goodreads:
Twelve-year-old Easter Ann Peters has a plan to make seventh grade awesome: Operation Cool. She’s determined to erase years of being known as the quiet, straight-A student who can’t think of a decent comeback to a bully she calls Horse Girl. When the confident new girl, Wreni, becomes her long-needed best friend, Easter lets her personality shine. The coolest guy in school takes a sudden interest. But as tough times at school fade away, so does a happy life at home. Mom is drinking, and Easter works double-overtime to keep their secret in the tiny lakeside town.
Operation Cool derails. Fast.
Can Easter discover the solution in time? Or will seventh grade be her worst year yet?
Jody is offering a copy of EASTER ANN PETERS' OPERATION COOL for a giveaway.
To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment by midnight on November 10th. I’ll announce the winner on November 12th. If your e-mail is not on Blogger, please list it in your comment.
Hope to see you tomorrow when I'm interviewing our follower Angela Brown about her debut book NEVERLOVE and Gwen Gardner about her debut book GIVIN' UP THE GHOST with book giveaways. They are both great paranormal books and Angela and Gwen have joined forces for their book releases. It's going to be a fun interview for Halloween.