Friday, January 7, 2011

Magical Writing Spaces, Plus Goals and . . . Stuff

January Challenge: Where the Magic Happens. Also the Writing.

My office is beautiful and spacious, and is dedicated completely to writing. It is wood-paneled, lined with floor to ceiling bookshelves (filled with leather-bound books, of course), and contains a spacious, many-drawered and cubby-holed Nigerian ebony desk. With a drop-down keyboard and a screen that rises up from the writing surface whenever I enter the room. And a See's Chocolate dispenser. The desk is facing a wall of windows, which in turn face the Atlantic ocean. Because my office is at the top of the Cliffs of Mohr. In Ireland.

My name is JK Miller. And I am a compulsive liar.

This is where the magic actually attempts to happen, and it's in my basement:

When I can't get my brain past a certain point in my book or blog post I turn to the drawers of beads and stones on the back side of my table and create something sparkly. Like this:

If that doesn't do it there are always the dvd's of British comedies on the right, or the book of Welsh Fairy Tales further down. Or the exercise sheets, recipes, letters, magazines, and school fundraiser notices beneath that.

Sometimes the magic happens here:

(Or in the little room in the background, if I can't get a moment to myself)

And a LOT of times it happens here:

(Writing is a great way to wait out a play practice, soccer practice, dentist appointment, or looooong drive out of town.)

The most important thing for making the magic happen, however, is actually doing it. Everyday. A little or a lot. But at least some. I don't always make that goal, but I do try.

And so this year one of my main goals is to get organized, so that I get some writing in every day. Sharpen my sword, as it were. Another, to finish my first draft, which is going to require that I stop micromanaging it and just write. Then I'd like to send out queries.

And finally, I have a goal to write what I feel best about--even if it ends up being garbage--and not what I think everyone else thinks I should write. Keep my door shut and get it done. With integrity. Then open the door and get the advice of those much wiser than myself--of which there are many. I've tripped myself up with this one over and over again--rewriting and rewriting and not progressing. I think I have to be done with that.

Those are my goals. And I'm sticking to them.
And then I'm going to Ireland.


Donna Banta said...

A while back I read about various authors and their writing spaces. Amy Tan's husband splurged on a beautiful home with a room overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge for Amy to do her writing. Only it didn't work for her because the view distracted her. She ended up covering the windows with newspaper, then finally moved down to a tiny room in the basement where she could finally concentrate on her work.

You're right. The point is to do it!

Janiel Miller said...

That is a great story! And so true. At least for me. Although my issue is more with noise than lovely views. I'll still take the cliffs of Mohr. But yeah, write,write,write. Or whatever it is you need to do. (I was going to say "do,do,do" but that sounds wrong out loud.)

Maegan Langer said...

Let's be First Draft buddies this year!

Janiel Miller said...

Done and done, Maegan.

Russo said...

Oh, Donna that is definatly interesting with Amy Tan. I am so glad you shared.

I have to redo my first draft completly- I am in on your challenge, Maegan.

sueallen2546 said...

I really, really like the challenge of the mo. U should do a V-day gone bad for Feb. Iluv this blog

Janiel Miller said...

Oh that is an excellent idea Sue! We shall take it up in committee and get back to you.

So glad you like the Challenges. And glad you're reading! Thanks!

jjsundevil said...

Janiel, my name's James, I'm Russo's best friend and I have to say your jewelry is stunning.

Janiel Miller said...

James! You ARE Russo's best friend. I've heard her say so. :) Thank you so much. Any best friend of Russo's is a best friend of mine. Especially when they say my jewelry is stunning. Someday perhaps I'll find the time/method to sell it . . .

Cheers, James!

jjsundevil said...

Hahaha, glad to hear back from ya Russo yaks about ya both, alot Thanks for helping her.

I told R to get with you about buying some of your pieces. Gotta look fierce3

Iagree with sue allen; you have to do a piece about a bad V-day's 'cuz Russo, you have a doosie.

Russo said...

Hey, Jameses, you sly dog. You used my sentence structure to message, Janiel. Silly boy, my writing teacher will tell you I have horrid grammar. Goll, I love you for supporting this blog. Besties 4 life.

PS Sue, great idea. See u tomorrow

Janiel Miller said...

Why am I not surprised that Russ has a doosie . . .

Maegan Langer said...

Welcome aboard, James Russo's Best Friend!

jjsundevil said...

Miss Maegan you are Kind Thank you