Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How Much Space Do You Need for Writing?

 I know as authors and writers we are as varied as what we write. I was curious to what everyone else's writing space looks like.

If you've been following my blog, you know that I recently converted one of my spare bedrooms into an office with an 11 1/2-ft desk plus extensions. I've read of other authors who write in their recliners, or at their dining room tables.

So while I have this huge desk space for two, not everyone has this luxury. If they live in a huge city, space is a premium. While empty-nesters like me have tons of room to dedicate to the task.  That brings to mind how much space do you really need to write? Big enough for you and your laptop? Have space to spread out withe elbow room to spare?

I can remember writing my first articles and later a book with on a manual typewriter that I moved off and onto my dining room table. I had to pack it all up and move it every time I fed my children. It was a catch a spare minute to write when I could. Of course I was also in college back then so the same space was dedicated to homework time for me and my children. I wasn't happy about having to pack every thing up and moving it because it meant lost time packing and unpacking in set up time before and after I wrote.

Then came the advent of home computing. With computers you had to have a dedicated space such as a desk to set it up and keep it. Mine was set up initially on a card table off the hallway with one of my dining room chairs which had to be carried back and forth.

This was I first learned programming. I'm not counting the punch cards or magnetic reel to real spool type programming because honestly you couldn't fit one of those computers in your home. DOS had to be installed,  and then your basic word processing software...it had no hard drive. Finally you saved it to a new disk before you shut it down. Still it was easier than typing on the manual typewriter. You could print out your material at the push of a key. You could delete or change text with a backspace or delete key. Gone forever was the White-Out, correction tape, carbon paper and aggravation.

Now computers are smaller than ever. You can access data by doing a search of the Internet instead of spending hours in the library or a microfilm reader. The same goes for books. E-readers are pocket sized. Printers are getting smaller. So how much space does today's author need to produce a sell able manuscript?

For me I gave up my 13x15 office and moved it into a 9x15 room, but I also have a 10x10 library in my home. I still enjoy the smell and feel of real books even with my Kindle. I can't help it I'm a old fart who still takes comfort in the tangible things of times gone by. I prefer to have a dedicated space to sprawl out whatever I'm working on. It's controlled chaos, but it's my controlled chaos. It's the way I can have my comfy chairs, and things I need at my fingertips.

So out of curiosity, how much space do you need for writing?

Keep writing and loving the Lord.


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