Sunday, 23 February 2014

The Write Environment

Creating a good writing environment is hard.

Thank you everyone for your support of my last unproductive week in the comments of my last post on ADD. Unfortunately, errands just keep popping up, the more you do, the more there seems to be done!

This week I managed to spend one of my free mornings editing my brother's book. The next morning I had a very frustrating time changing over my license and registration (yes, I'm officially a Queenslander now... still not sure how I feel about that, as I know I'm a Victorian at heart), which also involved me being accused of illegal dealings while unsuccessfully trying to take off my VIC number plates, and having to ask a homeless man to help me as I couldn't completely unscrew them. Luckily I look pretty innocent. I did a bit more editing the next day before going out to lunch with a work colleague, and then the day after my mother and little sister flew up to Brisbane to visit for the weekend.

So here I am on Sunday with only a bit more editing done (and a few ideas of my boarding house book, Artemis Fowl meets St. Trinians).

It's time to do some thinking (and for me, praying) because something isn't right.

I'm not achieving as much as I feel I should. Which means one of two things:

1) something is holding me back from working as hard as I could.
2) I have unrealistic expectations of how much I should be doing.
(Or possibly a mix of both).

I know I've only been in Brisbane just over a month, and there is a lot of stress involved in moving, starting a new job, setting up. Also, I'm now working a full time job, even if it does start late it is 8.5 hours a day, which just doesn't leave that much extra time when you need to fit in the rest of life as well.

Having said that, even when I do have time, I'm not dedicating as much to writing as I could.

The question for me is why?

I was sitting behind one of the girls in chapel, and was reading the writing she had on her T-Shirt. It was a collection of positive sayings, one of which really jumped out at me:

Create a life you love.

It struck me because I love my new job, and I have so much going for me, but currently when I think of the little life I'm creating for myself here, it's not something I love.

As silly as it sounds, I haven't yet furnished my apartment in a way that makes me feel at home there. This means I don't enjoy sitting in there writing and thinking. There is not enough beauty in my life at the moment.

So I'm going to spend time thinking and acting this week to fix this. I want to make my apartment an oasis that I feel completely at home in and inspires me creatively. I'm going to make it beautiful and relaxing. I just haven't decided how yet, because Brisbane is completely different in atmosphere to Melbourne. While making a snuggly, warm place with lanterns and cosy furniture worked there, it won't work in Queensland. I need to make a more tropical atmosphere. It's just so unusual to me that I don't know where to start. Well, okay, I do know where to start: PINTEREST!

So, I'm off to do some pinteresting as my goal for this week.

What sort of environment inspires you to write? 


  1. Ha, love how you are embracing this season in Queensland. Hope you find a way to make your place beautiful. Xx

    1. It's so different! But I do love it. I'm going to have a lot more green around, I think.

  2. Having a comfortable, safe environment is important to my writing. I do like to be surrounded by beauty, too, but I personally have found that it doesn't need to be pretty; it just needs to feel safe and comfortable.

    Here's what caught my attention, though: "even when I do have time, I'm not dedicating as much to writing as I could." I hear you that your theory is that it's because your space isn't inviting and inspiring. One other thing to consider: You might not have the energy. Adjusting to a new town, a new job, a new apartment...not to mention dealing with government takes a lot out of a body. Just because you have the time doesn't mean you have the energy.

    Maybe start up a daily writing practice that feels energizing? Like 15 mins/day of writing about whatever you have feelings about that day? What do you think?

    1. You are very likely right. I hate putting it down to lack of energy, because that's the hardest thing to fix up and refill. I would prefer it be something I just need to solve and then it will be all better. But spent the morning thinking about it (and sleeping), and am going to work on ways of rebuilding my energy. Thanks for the advice.

  3. Your boarding school story idea sounds fantastic. I am a HUGE fan of Artemis Fowl. :) I will be interested to hear more about it as the idea progresses.

    I think it takes time and a lot of mental energy to settle into a new job. I wouldn't be too hard on yourself. Personally, I need my home to be relatively clean and mostly organized so I can work. I simply can't focus if I'm surrounded by messiness or clutter. Creating a suitable, inspiring writing environment was important to me personally. My home isn't just where I live; it's also where I work and create, so I wanted the colors, the textures, the decor to be inspiring. It took some effort to create that atmosphere. In the meantime, be kind to yourself!

  4. Buffy,

    I find that, when I have a lot of new input coming in, I don't write much. I need to attend to the influx, process it, and then I can write - usually, I can't STOP writing, for a while.

    Maybe that's how you work, as well.

    At any rate, a lovely place to live will embrace you in so many delightful ways, so I think your Pinterest goal is perfect for this week.

    I like a porous writing space - a bit apart, but not removed from the flow. Sometimes I write on my bed. Others, I use my study - a little alcove made with three tall bookshelves. It's got a barrier, but even that's porous - a bamboo curtain. I don't want to shut myself off from the flow of life, from my husband or children, or even the critters who live here with us. I like to feel the energy around me as I write.

    May you create the space that allows your creativity and joy to grow!