My Writing Space: 5 Things That Aren’t Writing Related

Hello, hello!  How is everyone doing this bright and beautiful July day?  I’m still finding motivation and focus hard to achieve, which means most of my writing goals have failed miserably.  Slumps suck, but I’ll get out of it.  Anyway, I don’t really have anything writerly or exciting to post about, so I thought I would reintroduce you to my writing area.  I know I posted about it before, but writing areas aren’t entirely about writing.  They’re also about the writer (in this instance, me), so I wanted to introduce you to some of the non-writerly things that I keep nearby.

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An old picture.  Things have changed, like a new stereo and different pictures, but still a good representation of my work space.

1. Yarn.  I decided to teach myself how to crochet, so I have a slowly disappearing skein of yarn and an 85% finished project sitting on my computer.  I just have to make a few more rows, then figure out how to sew it into a hat.  As usual with my creative endeavors, I’m finding it difficult to work up the motivation to finish.  Mostly because the next project I want to undertake scares me.  It’s supposedly fairly easy, but it looks so complicated!  And kind of big, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle it physically.  But I’m enjoying the new hobby even though it scares me.  That’s about all it has in common with writing.  Well, that and shitty first attempts being acceptable.

2. Tequila.  I actually have two bottles of tequila on my desk.  One is an anejo from Republic Tequila in a bottle shaped like Texas.  It hasn’t been opened yet, even though I’ve had it for years.  I also have a Kah reposado in a sugar skull bottle.  I’ve only had a couple of shots of it, so it’s mostly full.  I’m not a lush.  I swear.

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This one is similar to my bottle, but the designs are always a little different because each one is hand painted.

3. Assorted treats.  I keep a jar of chocolates on my desk, plus various candies and Pocky that I pick up or that people give me.  I still have chocolate from Christmas and Easter, plus candy and Pocky that are at least a couple of years old.  I keep forgetting they exist.  It’s weird, I know.  But my sweet tooth only activates at random times and I usually go for the chocolate instead of the rest.

4. Random creepy creatures.  Well, they aren’t really creepy.  I have a little rubber rat finger puppet that a neighbor gave me one Halloween.  His name is Yuki (it means snow) even though he’s black.  I just really like Fruits Basket.  And he cheers me on from my computer or right next to it.  I also have a tiny glass octopus named Tako that a friend sent me during one of her visits to Italy.  He watches me from one of my shelves.  And I have a bunch of other random figurines I’ve collected over the years.

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Sohma Yuki, year of the rat.

5. A pile of CDs.  My new stereo doesn’t have a multi-CD function, so I have 60+ CDs sitting around in plain sight (many more hidden in my cabinets), waiting to be ripped to my computer.  But I’m lazy and keep forgetting about them.

So, that’s some of the non-writerly things I have in my writing space.  If it tells you something about the kind of person I am, feel free to share.  What are some of the things you keep in your work space that have nothing to do with your work?  Feel free to leave your comments, thoughts, or questions here or on my social media pages!

Being Organized: Overrated Or No?

 

Howdy, howdy!  I was recently going through my manuscripts and free writes when I realized that I’m totally unorganized.  It’s all jammed into the same folder on my laptop, except for my main project (that gets its own folder with subfolders and the whole nine yards).  This is really unusual for me.  I don’t like having to scroll through a bunch of stuff to find what I want, let alone having to open multiple files to find the correct version.  That’s just not me.  Yet here I am, sifting through a mess.  It’s weird and uncomfortable, but for some reason, I kind of like it.

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I really am.

Walking into my room, you might not think I’m as organized as I actually like to be.  My desk is a complete mess.  My CDs are no longer alphabetized by band, then chronologically by release date.  There’s no real rhyme or reason to my closets/drawers.  Why?  Because I can’t organize everything myself.  I know my Dad would sit down and organize everything if I asked him to, but I’m not going to waste his time with my quirks.  I know basically where everything is, so I’m not too worried about it.  My computer, however, has folders with subfolders arranged by whatever works.  I’ve gotten a little lax when it comes to organizing my pictures, I admit, but everything else has its own little place.  Usually.  My manuscripts turned out to be a mess I didn’t realize was piling up.

I was looking for a specific story, but I couldn’t remember what I called it and whether it was in its own document or bundled together in one of my free write documents.  I ended up going through three different folders (because apparently I wrote it as an undergrad and never moved it into the current manuscripts folder).  Normally, this would frustrate me to no end.  But I ended up finding a bunch of incomplete ideas that I had totally forgotten about.  Apparently, I have a lot more ideas for novels and short stories than I realized.  A lot of it was useless and stupid, but there were some gems hidden in the muck.

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Weirdly true.

I can admit that it was fun taking the time to look through files I wouldn’t have otherwise given a second glance.  Being super organized means you’re occasionally going to overlook the small stuff.  Most of the time, I’m okay with that.  But I think I might just leave my manuscript folder a little messy.  That way, I’ll be able to take the time to look at those mystery documents once in a while.  But I’m definitely going to take a day or two to get my pictures back in order.  I’m not ready to let loose that much.

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A messy folder is the equivalent of letting my hair down, but keeping it tightly braided.

So, I guess I’m trying to say that I can see the benefits of being a little disorganized.  I probably won’t ever be the type of person who’s comfortable not knowing where everything is, but I can deal with it.  What about you?  Are you super organized or do you like disorder?

Mood Music

Hey all!  What kind of sounds do you enjoy in your creative environments?  It’s a weird question, I know, but it’s an interesting one.  A lot of people I’ve talked to about this can’t work in noisy places.  They go so far as to carry around those noise-cancelling headphones if they decide to write outside of their usual area.  It’s a neat idea, since it’s not only dampening noise, but also giving people a visual sign that you don’t want to be bothered.  However, I couldn’t do that.  I like to work when there’re sounds all around (preferably music).  So, I thought I’d share some of the music I write by.

Music

Honestly, I don’t really have much in the way of criteria when it comes to the music I listen to while writing.  I basically just hit shuffle on my iTunes and I’m ready to go.  I usually try to start with a song in a language I don’t speak much of, because it’s easier to not get distracted when you can’t sing along.  Any language will do, really, but I’m partial to Japanese.  Though my music ranges from English to Japanese to German to Spanish to French to Thai to… well, you get the idea.

Buck-Tick is one of my go-tos for writing.

Anyway, on the rare occasion that I do more than hit shuffle, I’m usually looking for a song that sets a certain mood.  Take the song above, if I’m looking to write something epic (like fantasy epic, not epic for the sake of epic), that would be on the list.  My writing tends to lean more towards horror a lot of the time, so you can bet I have a ton of rage music.  Dir en grey, Rammstein, basically all your screamers and growlers go on the rage list.  Then there’s the happy rage (see below, but beware of foul language) which is really helpful when writing certain characters.  You know the ones I mean.  We all have them.

I suppose I have to admit that I also have a number of sappy songs.  I blame a certain male I used to know for that.  These are the types of songs I never used to own.  Ah well.  I suppose we all need a reason for a little sap.  Admittedly, it’s actually helpful to have musicians like James Blunt and Lifehouse and others in my collection.  I find more and more romance seeping into my writing, so it’s good to have that kind of playlist.  Plus, you know, the music is really good.

So yeah, my writing music spans pretty much everything.  Also, it runs the gamut of the years.  I mostly mentioned 90’s and later here, but I have classical and oldies and everything in between.

As I was asking in the beginning, are you more of a quiet worker or noisy?  What kind of noise?  Nature or music?  What kind of music?  I’m curious to know how my method differs from yours, so drop me a line on here or Facebook or Twitter or Google+!

The Writing Space of Doom!

Howdy, howdy!  Happy (almost) Fourth of July to all of my American peoples!  Also, happy Canada day to all of my Canadian friends!  If I’m missing any other holidays being celebrated this week, let me know.  Anyway,  today I wanted to share my writing space (more commonly known as my bedroom) with you.  I haven’t done that yet, right?  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  Not really.  But do be prepared for extra pictures!

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My desk and armoires, built by Dad (he installed the floor, too)! That’s where the writing happens.

Not sure if I’d call it magic, but this is where it happens!  It’s a very busy space, I know, but I like it that way.  I don’t understand how people can get anything creative done when surrounded by white walls and an empty desk.  That’s so boring to me.  I really like the fact that everywhere I look, there’s some kind of inspiration.  And mirrors!  I can’t turn my head without moving my whole chair, so my mirrors let me see all around me at once.  If I want to stare out of the window, there’s a mirror for that!  Want to check my door to make sure no one’s sneaking up on me?  Mirror!  Okay, maybe I’m just lazy.

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Better view of the beer signs (they’re Dad’s, but they look better in my room), and my stuffed animals.

The best part about being able to glance up at all of these knickknacks and things is that each one has a number of stories to tell.  There’s the story of how I received each one (and I fully admit many of those tales are long forgotten), the story each one immediately brings to mind, and all of the stories they inspire or take part in after hours of staring at them.  And, of course, sometimes they’re stubborn and won’t give me any ideas to work with.

That’s my basic writing area.  It’s where I’m facing 90% of the time when I’m doing writerly things.  However, I do get stuck.  Some days, nothing in that little corner helps me.  What do I do then?  Well, I stop relying on the mirrors, and I turn around.  What?  You think my desk is the only interesting part of my room?  You’re funny.

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My doorway. It’s been redecorated a bit, but you get the gist.

Posters, pictures, weapons, musical paraphernalia (up above the door).  Ignore the nightstand.  Dad hasn’t gotten around to making one of those, yet.  But anyway, you can see how nowhere in my room is boring.  I keep myself immersed in stories.  Is that what a writer does?  Oh, and if you’re noticing a severe lack of books, that’s because the spare room doubles as a library, so they’re all in there.

Up last, is the actual bed area.  Definitely no magic going on there, but there’s even a lot of inspiration there, too.

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The tree Dad painted above my bed!
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Okay. Now, I might just be showing off Dad’s skill.

So, that’s my writing space!  What’s your workspace like?  Are you like me, where you enjoy a ton of stimuli?  Or do you prefer more of a blank canvas kind of space?  Maybe you’re in between?  Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook, or Twitter, or G+!