Write with the Door Closed...

"Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open." - Stephen King

 Old Writing Room

Old Writing Room

Two years ago tomorrow, I wrote a blog called  The Office of a Novelist where I show the process of remodeling a dilapidated storage closet at the end of my carport into a writing room where I could work on story.

I still miss that space.  It was small, but I could fit a chair and a bookshelf inside; we even put a window and an a/c unit in there.  My trusty laptop and I knocked out two novels in that little room.  

Since then, my family and I purchased a home.  The new house fits the family's needs, it is a total upgrade.  I took the spare room as my office; replete with desk, a stuffed (and much bigger) bookshelf, and a couch.  I was excited to have a new space to work in.  However, after a month or so of working in the new office, I came to the conclusion the room wouldn't work as a writing space.

My conclusion was two fold.  First, the space was just too big.  It wasn't a huge room, it's actually the smallest room in the house.  It just felt like too much room - I attribute this to many years working in my old space, where my elbows touched the walls when I sat down and typed.  Secondly, and more importantly, it was in the house.  With the old space, I was able to shift gears in my brain and go to work.  I would leave the house, take three steps into the carport, and enter my writing room.  It was a space set aside and designated just for writing.  The office in the new house was multi-purpose.  The kids would watch movies in there, my wife would use the computer, the dogs liked to sleep under the desk...none of those are bad things - and maybe I'm too picky - but when I sat down to work, I didn't feel like I had gone to work.

We considered building a shed in the backyard for me to work in, but the budget wouldn't allow it.  So I bit the bullet and wrote, I was able to knock out a short story, Pearly Whites, that was published in the Compass Literary Journal, but I couldn't get out any words on novel that I was pleased with.  My solution - the garage.

It isn't glamorous, but it is a great work space.  I have my studio table where I paint, my couch, a fan (it gets hot in Texas) and my laptop.  It is just enough removed to be my own space set aside to be creative.  I can put the kids to bed, do whatever chores need to be done, then go to work. The studio table is a bonus, too.  Whenever I get frustrated or stuck at the story I'm working on, I stand up and paint on a current piece and think for a bit then get back to writing.

Above is an image of the studio in action, photo courtesy of my wife.  

So, rest in peace old writing room.  We had hundreds of thousands of words and many characters together....but I've moved on.  Time to get back to work and knock out some story.

Thanks for reading.

Stay alive,
-M.P. Callender