Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Writing Studio Filled with Power and Energy

From Kate's Writing Crate...

Mission Statement:
          Live a writer's life. Take yourself seriously. Set up a Writer's Crate--a nook, a corner, or a room dedicated to writing filled with items that inspire you--then sit there and write every day.
          Here author Cheryl L. Butler and Editor Kate Phillips blog about their experiences and adventures as writers as well as share useful tips and recommend books they love. Join in the fun and live your writing dreams!

          The Writer's Crate blog was created to help writers do what they need to do most--sit and stay at their desks or in their chosen writing spots until their work is done. It is based on the crates Cheryl's family and mine used to train our dogs. Our Writing Crates help us stay focused and inspired while we meet our daily writing goals.

          I think it is vital to put some favorite objects and art in your writing space. Along with several framed seasonal prints, I have an adorable penguin statue and a stuffed green and gold dragon that make me laugh as well as a mottled blue and brown ceramic vase holding my pens. Mostly, I love being surrounded by books that inspire me.

          These are some of the items that make my writing space welcoming, but use whatever you have, no excuses. (In his book On Writing, Stephen King shares that he wrote in his attic bedroom surrounded by Sci-Fi books when young and, when married, in the laundry room of a rented trailer home.)

          In my Writer's Crate, I also have a three-shelf tall bookcase on top of my five-foot long desk. This makes it easy to find and grab my reference books as well as my favorite writing books: Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott, Championship Writing by Paula LaRocque, Zen and the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury, The Writer's Home Companion edited by Joan Bolker, Ed. D., and many more.
          There are numerous writing books I have found helpful, but the one that turned me into a true professional is The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield. The book concentrates on overcoming resistance so you will write whatever you dream of writing. Other books can get you started or improve your writing, but this one motivates you not only to begin, but to keep going, and to finish novels and other projects which is what makes you a professional writer.

          My copy is filled with underlined sentences, circled passages, and marginalia. On days I don't feel like writing, I pick this book up, open to a random page, and read until my writing drive kicks in. This routine hasn't failed me since I bought the book a few years ago.

          I believe in The War of Art so much, I have two copies--one in my Writer's Crate and the other readily available in my reading nook where I occasionally write. I often wonder how much farther along I would be as a writer if I had found this book when it was published in 2002.

          I also recommend reading "Writing Wednesdays" at On April 7, 2010 he wrote:

          "To have a practice, you must have a space. But it is the practice that makes the space. The daily application of intention, the seeking of excellence over time saturates the studio with power and energy."

          Give yourself that power and energy--write!

Has The War of Art inspired you? What is your favorite writing book?

Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life's Work by Steven Pressfield was published recently. I recommend it, too.

Please send in a photo of your Writer's Crate.

1 comment:

  1. A friend who is not a write gave me a copy of Lamott's "Bird by Bird."

    "It's not for me," she said, "but you are a writer."

    Perhaps those beautiful words predisposed me to like the book. Regardless of the reason, I treasure it.

    My other favorite is Steven King's "On Writing."