Sometimes, I think I want a writing office. Since I don’t have one, I tend to be nomadic, both inside and outside the house. When I’m at home, more often than not I write at the dining room table. I like this because a) it’s the least-used room in the house next to the guest bedroom, which at least gets used for occasional ironing. (We have two guest bedrooms; one of them used to be an office, but when we had a full-house weekend of visitors, it got converted back to sleeping quarters.)
I used to write at a desk in the living room. This is possibly the Worst Room in the House for Writing. (Yes, it needs to be capitalized, it’s that bad.) Compounding this, the desk faced a blank wall. I felt like I’d been put in a corner.
I also have a desk in the basement. The less said about this the better. It’s where I do paperwork now. This seems fitting.
I do like the dining room, though it lacks one key item: a door that closes. It does, however, boast a large work surface where I can spread out multiple pages of whatever thing I’m working on at the time. (As you can see from the picture, it’s usually a mess.) It’s also only five steps from the coffeemaker; this is important too. Crucial, really.
The dining room table also has sufficient space that I can place my laptop and my typewriter side by side. Whenever I’m feeling stuck on a particular passage, I’ll usually close the laptop, crank a piece of paper into the typewriter, and see if I have better luck. Most times, the manual aspect of the typewriter breaks up whatever logjam I’m behind. If that doesn’t work, I leave the house.
Jeffrey Ricker’s first novel, Detours, came out last year form Bold Strokes Books. (He came out years earlier.) He is currently behind schedule on his second novel. He also writes a blog and has a Facebook page, but he’s on Twitter more than any of all that other stuff because 140 characters is about the length of his attention span.