Where Writers Write is a series that features authors as they showcase their writing spaces using short form essay, photos, and/or video. As a lover of books and all of the hard work that goes into creating them, I thought it would be fun to see where the authors roll up their sleeves and make the magic happen.
This particular installment is part of the When Water Was Everywhere blog tour, which runs the entire month of February. If you like what you see here, be sure to check out the other stops!
Today, we've invited author Barbara Crane to snap some shots of her writing space.
Her most recent novel, When Water Was Everywhere, won a Beverly Hills Book Award. She lives in Long Beach, CA near Rancho Los Cerritos and other sites she used in her novel.
Where Barbara Crane Writes
Virginia Woolf, the early 20th century novelist, famously writes about a writer’s need for a room of her own. While she was speaking about women—men already had society’s permission to pursue a career in the arts—the same is true for all creative souls. We all need a space where we can shut ourselves away, free to let our imaginations wander and follow the muse.
My office clearly says to me, “A writer writes here.” The space is good sized, about 10’x12’, with desk and bookcases along three walls. I like the clear space in the middle. Usually, it’s cluttered with papers, because I spread writing projects on the floor. Sometimes I’m working on two or three projects at one time. It gets pretty messy, but I don’t see the papers as clutter. I think it’s an efficient way to put the pieces together and make sure I don’t forget anything.
I also like the window in front of my computer. I can look out and see the trees. I read a study recently which said that people who can see trees from their office windows experience less stress. It works for me!
On my desk, I keep a drawing that inspires me: the high country in Denali National Park in Alaska, where I hiked a few years ago. The park’s wildness and beauty inspires me.
I have a fair amount of space for books. Here’s one partial wall of my office bookcases. I keep research materials for writing projects I’m currently working on here as well as fiction and nonfiction that I want to read.
My husband established his office upstairs in the loft. He’s made it into a pleasant space. Sometimes, I use his office, for example, when I need better resolution on a photograph (he has better software than I do), or when my computer is down, or when I want to order a book on Amazon (our Amazon Prime account is in his name).
The loft isn’t all his, though. I keep a drawing table there with my drawing and painting supplies ready to use. Sometimes I fool around with pastels or watercolors to get ideas when I’m stuck.
I like a lot of things about my office. First, it has a door. I usually keep the door open, but if I really need to concentrate or make sure I’m not disturbed, I close the door. Second, it’s mine. I can put things where I like. No one will disturb the order—or disorder. And finally—and maybe this is more important than anything else—my office means work to me. Work can be something I have to produce for someone else. Or it can mean creative work. In any case, my imagination is free to roam in my room of my own.