et alia – So you want to write RAcy fan fiction? Get thee a writing space!

I’ve been wanting to sit down and write on Richard Armitage related topics several times over the past few days, but every time I find some time, something or someone seems to interrupt the process.

That's not me, but it could be!

That’s not me, but it could be!

This seems to be a limb with two branches.   The first branch  is “brain space.”    I don’t mean to come across as condescending or overly dramatic, and I’m not sure how this works for other people, but in order for me to concentrate, to write, I need to have some peace and quiet. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that writing begins in the head, and if the head is being constantly bombarded with outside stimuli, it is impossible to think.

Case in point:  This morning, I was laying in bed thinking tons of productive thoughts about the blog and about how I’m going to wrap up Recovery.  The resident eight year old space invader had crept in at some point and was blissfully asleep next on the far side of the bed.  Thought continued along several promising avenues until some minutes later when my son entered for the morning check-in.  Contrary to his usual pattern of peeking in to see if I’m up, today he came all the way in and actually spoke to me.  This woke Mini-me and initiated a concentration shattering chain reaction that started with her whining that her eyes itch (allergies), proceeded to them wrestling for space on the bed and culminated in him asking me, “Do you like Gouda?”


When I remarked that such random non-sequiturs had totally driven all productive thought from my mind he replied in his best Poindexter voice, “It’s a scientific fact that early morning dreams and thoughts are fleeting…you should really write them down.”  Well thank you Prof. Obvious!  *sigh*  I would like to point out that this is not an entirely isolated incident lately, and that school starts in 20 days and 12 hours.

When I am finally able to find some “brain space” the second branch of the issues is a physical space that is conducive.  For me, writing at home is a challenge, even when I’m alone (which seems like virtually never lately).  There are so many distractions.  *Buzz* the dryer stopped…better get those shirts out before they wrinkle.  *Ding-dong*…neighbor asks me to water her plants while she’s away, etc.   There are also a million things that I “should” be doing around the house on any given day.   Thus, focus is elusive.

I’ve struggled with this for a while with professional writing.   I’m not an hourly employee, and a lot of the time I spend in my office is my own, so it might serve as an appropriate writing space away from household distractions, but in my office, I’m really a teacher.  When I’m there during the school year, things like lecture prep, grading, student meetings, syllabi, book selection, ad infinitum make it a space that is often too “cluttered” for me to concentrate on a writing project.   In addition to this, I work in a shared office space, so distractions abound.  This problem is a compounded when I’m writing on RAcy topics.   Although my office mates have a general idea what I am writing, I’d rather not have someone walk behind me to get a book from the shelf while I’m busily writing a RAcy scene – talk about coitus interruptus!

I know from experience that places like the public library and Starbucks won’t work for me either – I am much too avid a people watcher!  I recently found out via the local news that there is a growing trend of places offering workspace rentals for the self employed who prefer not to work from home.  Even better, there is one such place local to me – Shazam!  I am looking into it!

John Porter here I come...look how please he is to hear the news! Source:

John Porter here I come…look how pleased he is to hear the news!

35 comments on “et alia – So you want to write RAcy fan fiction? Get thee a writing space!

  1. Servetus says:

    You’ll have to tell me where this place is, in case I need it again in future. Didn’t know that trend had hit our home region yet. I write in Sbux and the people watching can be a real problem.

    • obscura says:

      I can’t stop myself… As you know, the largest local library is near the bus station and is always brimming with fascinating subjects.

      • Servetus says:

        TOTALLY. yeah, I had to stop writing there three summers ago just for that reason.

        • obscura says:

          The people watching and the fact that no one around here, including some of the libarians, seems to have gotten the memo that libraries are supposed to be quiet zones.

          • Servetus says:

            I write with headphones on anyway. But it is definitely a jumping place!

            I’m thinking of renting a fishing cottage if I come again next summer. But possibly no wifi.

          • obscura says:

            I have a definite issue with any visual or auditory distraction…I cannot have music on and read since I sing along and then don’t actually read – haven’t really tried it with writing. I seriously need some sort of deprivation tank I think 🙂

            Fishing cottage…you don’t want WIFI, or it wouldn’t have? You can always get a WIFI hotspot – not all that pricey anymore.

          • Servetus says:

            it wouldn’t have it. There are bunch of places like that out by my brother — they are only crowded during the weeks when certain species of fish run, and that August nightmare event. Otherwise, affordable.

          • obscura says:

            You know, I’ve lived here most of my life and have never felt an inkling of interest in attending that August nightmare event 🙂 You never know, more and more places that seem off the beaten path have WIFI now.

  2. guylty says:

    Oh sista, I hear ya. Resident guitar-God-in-making is working on his rendition of the current Arctic Monkeys hit, fantasy-fan comes in requesting to download another Percy Jackson from the Kindle Store. Not to mention Mr Guylty jealously eyeing the laptop screen whenever he can. Like you, I have workspaces clearly defined for various (writing) purposes. Stationary PC is reserved for bread-and-butter job plus photography editing. Laptop is multi-purpose – when in kítchen then for paid blogging, when in sitting room then for fangirling.
    So here’s the recommendation: Instead of hiring a pricey workstation, why don’t you forge a deal with a friend? One or more mornings a week you set up your laptop at her table. She works, you work. At lunchtime you both stop and treat yourself to nice lunch. That’s what I am doing with a friend of mine. She comes over to my house as I have ample space. It actually helps me concentrate to know that she is sitting in my sitting room and I need to get my stuff done – no Richarding! – so that we can have lunch together.
    Tuesday – *ooof*day – Recovery-day??? Have to check!

    • obscura says:

      Recovery seems to have become an after 5 activity for me…I piddle around with little stuff and then take on the bigger one 🙂

      That is a good suggestion – I could go to my sister’s house (but her cat always bites my toes).

      • guylty says:

        Well, Portering is something for the dark hours *coughs*. It’s a task that needs a certain atmosphere. Nibbling cats might not be conducive…

        • obscura says:

          I don’t know, for some reason, I just can’t seem to get myself “into the groove” earlier – maybe it’s the blinding afternoon sun coming in the window.

          • guylty says:

            For me it is the fact that I know there is a slimmer chance of being disturbed by kids in the evening… But then again, I am a self-confessed night-owl.

          • obscura says:

            the last few weeks I’ve been writing in the office – ghost town in the summer, so maybe it’s because it’s after the traditional work day is done. Then again, I regularly teach in the evenings, so who knows. I’m resigned to the fact that I have to physically leave the house until school starts and even then, like today, my husband will be home unexpectedly – “Oh, didn’t I tell you – I’m off today.” Ah no, you didn’t tell me – see ya later, I’ve got RAcy to write!

  3. guylty says:

    Oh, I *hate* surprises like that! Having successfully occupied the children (or rather: disposed of kids) in the evening, suddenly the much coveted RAcovery time has been snatched away by well-meaning but utterly thoughtless husband. Bad-mood inducing!

    • obscura says:

      Thank goodness…I thought I was a total b%$^ch for being annoyed when that happens. Hubs totally does not get it…and if I try to explain I get dose of razzing about my “habit”. Grah! (I’m stealing that as it is so demonstrative!)

      • guylty says:

        Absolutely not alone. Frequent occurance in Guylty Towers. I am simply “too old for this sh*t” *ggg*

        • obscura says:

          Is that a quote from Mr. Guylty? When I’m “too old for this sh*t” is the same day that football goes off FOREVER in my house 🙂 How ’bout that razzer?! (since that will happen the day after NEVER, I’m free to go about my Armitaging bizniz!)

          • guylty says:

            In Mr Guylty’s defence – no, he never says that. It’s me teasing myself about my preoccupation with age. But I secretly hope that I will never grow too old for some joyful Armitaging.

          • obscura says:

            Oh Good! I’m probably projecting a little irritation with Obscurus – I finally watched Captain America with him last night and he was kind of a tool. (I’ll have to go back and watch RA’s scenes ALONE) He did, however, verify that Heinz’ gun was in fact a Luger 🙂 He’s been very helpful with weaponry in Recovery as well. I suppose I’ll keep him 😉

          • guylty says:

            Yeah, well, men. Sometimes you wanna just punch them. Or stick their nuts in a vice. Ahem. I must rewatch CA. Krüger really didn’t register with me back in the cinema. Could’ve also been because of presence of Master Guylty beside me. Can’t fully let go in presence of an innocent *coughs*.

  4. katie70 says:

    Thanks for the reminder on how many more till the boys (2 and 3) go back to school. But that means I go back to work too. I have to be back for a day or two the week before to get ready. I try at least 3 days a week before they get home to do some Richarding. I also sit downstairs while they watch TV with a eye on the stairs. It would be nice if they where not so nosy, I don’t bug them, plus they know not to read even the paper while I am reading it.

    The real problem is trying to do homework at the kitchen table, I need the quiet and they seem to get noisy and I yell and kick them out to the basement man cave. I am looking for the best grades that I can get, to show myself that I can do it. I have no problem reading a book or magazine with them around, just not homework. Next week back to school, with them home, oh fun.

    I do like that Mr. 70 works 12 hour shifts in the summer and is gone part of the night, but it means he is also home more too. A lot of the time I go to bed right before he gets home, been sleeping for awhile, not. I think he knows I don’t sleep well when he is not at home. He can check his e-bay or something, go camping, anything. Son2 has been writing his book with the headphones that son1 gave him, he also don’t want anyone to read his writing yet, in time.

    • obscura says:

      Sounds like your house is a lot like mine :). I start to resent he fact that they force me to kick them out or flee from them for some quiet space. Doesn’t everyone, even Mom, *gasp* deserve personal space within a household? Tilting at windmills I fear…

      Start of school is a double edged sword for you isn’t it 😉

      • katie70 says:

        Mom needs space, really. Quiet, just who do you think you are. Now the sick ones good too, mom is sick, no mom’s don’t get sick. I just got told last night by son1 that I needed to wear headphones, so he don’t hear what I am listening to when he comes downstairs for his midnight snack. I told him I didn’t have to.

  5. My writing space of late has been my couch smack in the middle of the living room. I write at night when everyone’s asleep (hence I don’t get enough sleep) and I write first thing in the morning, before everyone gets up (again, not enough sleep). I can write racy stuff even when the little one is right in front of me and then hone it later on when I’m in bed with the iPad and everyone is asleep. Hmm, there seems to be a pattern here. I feel like I’m that woman ironing in the ending of Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion” music video whenever I write racy stuff and the world is just going on around me LOL

    On weekends, I kick Mr M and Little M out the door so I can have the house to myself to write, make my coffee, talk to myself, read what I wrote, and then write some more. It’s an illness, I tell you.

    When I work in my massage studio, I write in between client sessions on my iPhone (thank you Daedalus app!). Like you, I can’t write at Starbucks because I’m too much of a people watcher as well. And I also don’t want to be that weird writer person who seems to be talking to herself in the corner… 🙂

    I’ve learned to love Dropbox and all the apps that allow me to take my writing from my laptop to my iPad then to my iPhone and back. It’s the only way that I can do it right now while I don’t have one dedicated place to write at the moment, but at least I get to listen to the muse and write down what he tells me to write 🙂

    Good luck on your search for a writing space!

    • obscura says:

      Always interesting to hear other people’s process. I have this thing that I start everything with pen and paper, so theoretically, I could do that anywhere. I think part of my problem is that I have a concentration issue. I’ve watched friends and colleagues over the years work effectively amidst complete pandemonium, an I just can’t do it. Another aspect seems to be that I’m craving privacy/personal space, and attaching it to a particular outcome…writing seems to make it more feasible. A childless acquaintance said to me once, in an extremely condescending fashion, that privacy was just a sacrifice I made when I decided to have kids. Ah, no…it’s just harder won.

      Technology has been great…once I input everything into the computer, I rarely print anything – just move it around from device to device 🙂

      • Servetus says:

        Kind of like our discussion about how only certain things qualify as reasons not to be there for others — writing, I suppose, being one.

        • obscura says:

          Absolutely…I’m also finding that if it’s not perceived as work related writing, I get less support in general. I suppose it’s the general “Protestant work ethic” obsession around here that’s, at least, partially to blame – if it’s not work, it’s goofing off – you know the drill.

          • Servetus says:

            yesterday my dad said to me, “did you get a lot done today?” and I said, “no, I spent a large portion of the day relaxing because the term will start soon and I need to get in some down time.” you’d have thought I said I’d murdered someone …

          • obscura says:

            Sounds about par..the reply I usually get if I “confess” to leisure writing is a question about the progress of my current research. Ugh!

      • I hear you about the privacy/personal space. We live in a small house and I actually converted the garage so there is a room in there where I used to write and do my lesson plans and spin. So now I’m going back to that and getting some quiet alone time as well.

        That acquaintance sure was clueless, although I’ve heard that sentiment more than once though.

        And speaking of printers, I have 3 – and none of them have been used in almost a year because I write and edit on my tablets and computers 🙂

        • obscura says:

          In 1800 square feet, I think I may have carved out maybe 25 for my own, but there’s no lights in the root cellar :). Seriously, I should probably have been more diligent about protecting some personal space, but that requires constant vigilance! I make it sound like my family is a disease – not really, they’re actually great, but we’ve had some situational changes in the past year that put us all in each other’s space more than we’d been used to, and summer is especially challenging. I’m really hoping that the regularity of school year schedules – at least for the kids and me – will provide some balance. Next step…find Obscurus a hobby that takes place at a regularly scheduled time 🙂

          Printers: my mother is going insane because hers broke down…mine has dust gathering on it…I suppose I should just run it out to her house and set it up before she has a seizure because she can’t print emails…*sigh* I know 🙂

          • Or she can have one of mine 🙂 Inkjet or laser?

            I so agree about school time! It’ll be the best time of the year when that first day of school happens LOL

  6. […] of my Strikeback fan fic Recovery.  This time it’s not “choreography” or quiet time or plot details, but how to successfully convey “the feels”.  According to […]

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