Where Do You Write?

I know, it's very fancy.  All writers are just pea-green with envy.  That's my hubbing spot!
I know, it's very fancy. All writers are just pea-green with envy. That's my hubbing spot! | Source

Perfect Day of Writing:

The house is quiet and my favorite Lily of the Valley candle is burning.

My computer desk is neat and organized.

My husband and kids are out doing something fun, and the phone doesn’t ring.

I have my favorite (magic) mechanical pencil and my notebook with ideas written down and ready to be turned into masterpieces.

My thoughts are focused, and clicking away on the keyboard is a steady sound of production.

Every now and then, I reread my handwritten notes, think about them and maybe add to them or delete what is not relevant while I visualize the situation I am writing about.

Every word comes naturally and then glides onto the computer screen.

Uh huh... Right...

Reality Sets into My Perfect Writing Place

My husband and kids are home and each have something they must tell me or a question they must ask OR THEY WILL SURELY DIE.

My sister, God love her, calls just at the moment when a clear idea is making its way from my brain to my typing fingers, but then I lose it.

My two kids fight over some trivial matter and request my presence to referee.

I can block out most background noise such as a tv or radio but if a song I love starts playing, I usually have to stop to sing along (did I tell you I love to sing, too?).

Then, on the counter, and in the back of my teacher mind always, are the nagging papers that need to be graded or the stack of books I need to read/study for the classes I teach.

What Can We Truly Tolerate?

Because each of us is different, we each have an idea of what is perfect and what we can tolerate. Maybe we should come to realization that we need to find a high tolerance to what individual worlds are really like.

I finally gave up the idea of a "perfect writing setting." Perfection is difficult to attain when you have so many outside factors thrown into the batch.

Realizing this, I have resigned myself to the interference and noise that seem to come into play. As a matter of fact, I have learned to embrace them.

My Real Writing Setting

After this revelation of a non-existent, idealistic writing setting, I came to terms with what I am working with in the present.

I am the type of wife and mom who wants to know what is going on in her house, even when I write. Knowing this, I set up my writing setting to fit what I can handle, and it is far from the serene scenario mentioned above.

Giving into reality, I set my Netbook up right on the kitchen table: Family Central. I have my reading glasses, notebook and pencil, my iPhone with its Dictionary.com app, and I am set.

I put on my favorite music. The 70's and 80's tunes play on a low volume. Sometimes I do sing along with the songs, but sometimes the songs inspire me.

It doesn't have to be the 70's or 80's music to inspire me. When I am in a more spiritual mood, I have contemporary Christian music playing in the background, which lends to some introspective inspiration about family and life.

Or, I might just be in the mood to listen to instrumental music, such as Tim Janis, Mozart, and my favorite John Barry soundtrack from Somewhere in Time.

Other times when the family is about, I have learned to block out the noise coming from the television. If it is my husband, it is the news or the golf channel. The news can be depressing, but I focus and block it out. When the kids are tuning into their favorite comedy sitcoms, it is difficult not to hear something funny.

As far as interruptions, when the phone rings, I answer it. There are too many wonderful people to talk to, and they cannot be ignored.

This is my life, and I have made the choice to write, so it is up to me to roll with the punches. Everyone cannot stop what they are doing to accommodate me. I have learned it is much more peaceful to deal with my surroundings than to fight them.

If Life Were Perfect, Would We Be Happy?

Life is busy and full. Most of us cannot attain the perfect ideal situation for writing our masterpieces. We must keep on trying because beauty can come out of chaos. I am going to do what my mother always told me when things didn’t go my way, “Pick yourself up, wipe yourself off, and keep going.” And for that lesson, much creativity has been developed.

Where is your favorite writing haven?

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© 2011 Susan Holland

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Comments 33 comments

your cybersister profile image

your cybersister 5 years ago from Just relocated from Florida to the mountains of North Carolina

I can thoroughly sympathize, as it seems that my house is often too full of activity for me to be able to hold onto a coherent thought, much less put it in writing. I often find myself sitting up into the wee hours waiting for the "perfect" writing situation, which is REALLY stupid, because I have to be at work at 6am most mornings. I think that you're right, most of us will just have to learn to work with the situations we have and hope that the beauty will come from the chaos or we'll never get to finish anything.

sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

I wish I could be a night owl every night. I feel so run down if I don't get enough sleep for several nights in a row. Other than the lovely description above, that would be my ideal situation. I would love to be a morning person and get up at 4am to write, but I can't do it. That would entail going to bed early. I am worse than a little kid about bedtime. So, I do have to compensate and work through "the chaos" in order to write. :-)

MariD3 profile image

MariD3 5 years ago from United States

I couldn't have said (wrote) it any better! From one witer to another I know this situation (Why I cannot always attain perfection) all too well! Articulated so very well! =)

sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thank you, Mardi! It really is a struggle at times to find a perfect writing situation. Lovely life goes on around us. :-)

Karen Wodke profile image

Karen Wodke 5 years ago from Midwest

I love this article. So clearly we would all want the first set up you describe. And it almost seems possible....but then reality horns in. lol.

sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Karen, I know! Maybe just a moment out of our day?? Thanks for commenting!! Happy Hubbing!

Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America

Hey Susan, I'm glad I don't have a wife or kids for that fact. Not much interrupts me during my day, except for my mother. Sometimes she really can get me going, but hey she is my mother. Most of the time when I am in the mood to write, I click on my music playlist and go to town. LOL! :) And, yes I'll agree it's difficult to find that perfect situation where everything is tuned in and ready to go fluidly. I can relate. :) Voted up and useful! :) Nicely written. :D

sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thanks, Ray! I think all writers have their own issues with making the time and the place for writing perfect. We just have to deal with what we have. I put on my '80s music or my Tim Janis instrumental music and hope for the best. LOL

Thanks for dropping by, reading, and voting. :-)

Annette R. Smith profile image

Annette R. Smith 5 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

Although I have the house to myself during the week, I tend to do my best writing in the evenings, when my husband is home from work -- or on the weekends, when he and my stepson are at the driving range or otherwise out-of-the house. It's a balancing act for me, finding the right place and time to write without neglecting my family and our time together.

RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Hi Susan - Ok you got me! lol I face the very same things - I think my mother has radar. Whenever I am deep in thought and typing away in my own little world - yes "ring! ring!" It's my mother! lol

sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Annette, it truly is a balancing act. I write when I can, and sometimes a topic hits me and I just have to stop to write about it.

Thanks for dropping by and reading! :-)

sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

RH, I used to know my mother's ring. Now that she's gone, one of my sisters has replaced her. :-) Or, my husband or kids won't need to talk to me all day long, but as soon as I sit down to my computer to write there they are NEEDING something. LOL

Thanks for dropping by and reading!! :-)

PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

Susan, this would be great to cross link with my hub on how to be a prolific writer. I;ll be adding this hub to my hub! http://hubpages.com/literature/Writing-Tips-how-to...

sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

PDX, you are right! Done! :-)

PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

Thanks, Susan. it's nice to help fellow hubbers out!

sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Always good to spread the Hub Love!! :-)

PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

indeed. and there's no risk of VD...

sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

LOL So True!! LOL Hope you had a Happy Valentine's Day! :-)

PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

Thanks Susan... I just pinned this. Hope you get a ton of hits!

sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thanks, Justin! I appreciate it. I hope to be back to normal soon.

jponiato profile image

jponiato 4 years ago from Mid-Michigan

So true - I have the same discrepancies between the ideal setting and reality. Thanks for your humorous perspective.

sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi JP! Yes, it can be rather comical if we become obsessive compulsive about our writing setting. I would never get anything written if I DID have my perfect writing setting because now I need the normal noise around me. LOL

Thanks for dropping by!!

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Right now my only writing place is on top of a freezer :) We are in the midst of doing some renovations and this is about the only spot I have other than at the counter. Hubby is planning on making our back porch into an office for me. He says he's putting in glass windows all around so that I can sit at a desk in front of the windows and be able to watch the dogs playing in the yard. Sounds heavenly to me right about now. I just want my living and dining room finished so I can sit on a comfy couch.

CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 3 years ago from New York City

I loved this hub its so natural and I sense you have come to terms with having a great deal to handle all at once, with the back ground noise stirring things up as you attempt to find quite space and all.

Susan what I loved most about your hub here is its format, you know how to write to keep the reader gripped to the screen here, and its so relaxing and joyful to follow your words. I love that you take your time to do it all, and with a tough of perfection.

This form of writing is inspiring indeed, and I will try it someday, as you have managed to take huge segments of your living environment and infuse it into this article so well, that I alomst felt like I was there home with you, trying to find a perfect place to write myself :)

Thumbs up, and mainly because I also sense the humor in it along the way as well. Awesome hub, bravo!

Thumbs up and your definitely know what I love to do best here on Hubpages and Beyond! Sharing this one will be my pleasure!

Sharkye11 profile image

Sharkye11 3 years ago from Oklahoma

Wonderful hub! I am a mentally organized person that would love the tidy, ideal office space for writing. As it is, with a toddler and all the associated duties of stay-at-home-mom, that isn't really practical. On good days, I sneak in writing or research while standing by the counter. (even while cooking.) Then as soon as my baby is in bed the kitchen table officially becomes my workspace. Then it is time for my husband to pick up where my daughter left off: "where is my phone? Have you seen my glasses? Can you rewash this shirt? Is it too late for you to cook me a hamburger? I'll do it...which pan can I use? Does this bruise look bad? What kind of medicine can I put on it? Where is it? " Lol.

I don't get much done at any one time, I have to switch off times that I write with times that I learn, but all-in-all, it makes me feel better when I DO accomplish a goal. I loved that you mentioned that there are important people to talk too. So true. Great hub! Giving it the full votes!

Monis Mas profile image

Monis Mas 3 years ago

In bed :-)

Troyangeluk profile image

Troyangeluk 3 years ago from UK

Love this hub, I voted that I mix it up, 90% of the time I have a cup of tea with me though hehe.

DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 3 years ago from Oakley, CA

LOL--I voted for the #1 answer--not because it's true, but it's because it's where I CAN write. I do have an office...it's "sort of" in order...but leaves something to be desired, but more to the point, it is the ONLY place I have available. My computer is a full-sized PC, and I do not own a laptop, tablet, 'smart' phone or any other portable device. So, I must write where the computer is, as I cannot move it.

Loved the piece--you make a lot of sense about learning to block out extraneous 'stuff.' Most of the time, I can, but some interruptions cannot be ignored..such as hubby's requests for help with something or other. Given that he is a heart patient who also has a very bad back, there is much in the way of seemingly simple tasks that he cannot do for himself.

Voted up, interesting, funny and useful.

sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Susan, a room full of surrounding windows sounds wonderful. I have a big bay window in front of me to look out on our backyard and field. I love to look up and see our dogs playing or wildlife passing through. I hope your renovations go by quickly. Been there, done that!

Thanks for dropping by and for sharing!! :-)

sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Michael!! Thanks for all the kind words. I am so glad you enjoyed it. To me it is all about writing what I know; otherwise, I would just flounder about. LOL

Plus, I had to share that I could not truly attain a perfect writing setting because life happens. I can't let it happen without me be in the middle of it. :-)

Thanks for dropping by, sharing, and voting. :-)

sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Sharky, you are busy with a toddler running around! Those were the days! Enjoy them. :-) Some days I just get bits and pieces in, too. There is just always something going on. I try to dedicate specific times for writing, but something usually happens to interfere.

Thanks so much for dropping by and voting!! :-)

sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thanks Monis and Troy! It is interesting to know the different places people write. I usually stay at the table, but every once in awhile I take my Netbook and venture out. :-)

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Dzy! Since we are empty nesters now, we each have an office. I choose not to use mine because husband, kids, dogs, visitors, etc. are still coming and going. At times, I use "my office," but I truly like being in the middle of things. Maybe I would be more disciplined in an office, but I don't want to miss anything. LOL

I hope all is well with your husband. My husband does not have medical issues, but he certainly shouts out if he needs something (which is often). It wouldn't matter if I were on top of the roof, he and our in and out kids would be wanting "something." LOL Although, sometimes I think he does it to pester me so I will get my stuff off the table and move into "my office." Ain't gonna happen. LOL

Thanks for dropping by and voting! :-)

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