Dream Writing Spaces

Somewhere in our heads, we all have our dream office. It might be catered to reading, writing, business….dreaming…but if you’re in publishing, chances are, it also resembles a library.

If I were Stephanie Meyer, my house would look like a library and then oh yeah, we forgot the bedrooms, let’s throw in a few of those too. Something like this:

Two stories, obviously, is the only way to go.

Back in 2008/2009, before I had an office, Jeneane Frost held a contest on her blog for cover flats of her debut novel, Halfway to the Grave. I won a flat and saved it in a folder, hoping someday I could proudly display it in my “dream office.” Jeneane wrote on the backside, “Here’s hoping someday I have a flat for YOUR novel.” At that point I HAD no book deals, just a stack of rejections. Her kind words meant everything. She went on to become a pretty prolific, NYT bestseller. Maybe you’ve heard of her. 😉  Also, YA publishing doesn’t do cover flats quite like romance publishers do. I think I owe her something. <3

Anyway, I still I don’t live in a library-slash house. For a long time, I wrote just about anywhere—on the train, on the couch, in bed…I collected things for an office, but I didn’t have one. Prada & Prejudice really was written on a train, and But I Love Him was written almost entirely after 8PM, in bed, because I had an infant and that was all the time I had. In fact, a few months ago, I lived in a small condo, in which my work space was also my bedroom:

The giant Prada & Prejudice poster—the cover for my debut novel—was my favorite feature. I splurged on it when Prada sold, but I didn’t have a great place to display it. That was the entirety of my office a few months ago. One small corner of our master bedroom that doubled as a TV stand and clothes storage. I had a “dream office” in my mind for years. Two months ago, I finally bought a house where I plan to stay… for a long time. And I’ve started building my office. Maybe it’s Ikea furniture (it is) Maybe I put it together with things I’ve saved and books I’ve toted around for years (I have), but its MINE, and it means everything. Its the office that publishing built. Literally (I cussed out more than a few pieces of IKEA furniture) and financially (I purchased the furniture from comission checks…). But to sit here and stare at the books I wrote, at the cover flats that were given to me years ago when I dreamed of this office… to look at finished copies of my clients books…

It may not be as epic as the pictures above, but it is mine, and I love it. The “bought in NYC” is meaningful to me becuase I went there with money from publishing to MEET publishing people- my own editors and agent. I can honestly say I would never have gone there if it weren’t for this industry, and I’ve fallen in love with it, so my NYC stuff means something to me.

So, now that I’ve shared my space… I ask you….what is YOUR writing space? Do our Pub Crawl readers have any pictures so that we can peek into YOUR world? Even if it’s just a corner or a train seat, it MATTERS. Published novels have been written in those train seats, so let’s see them!


9 Responses to Dream Writing Spaces

  1. Marc Vun Kannon Aug 14 2012 at 5:48 am #

    I do most of my writing on a laptop sitting on a small sofa in an alcove of my living room. The laptop has no Internet connection, for obvious reasons. Not only am I less distracted, but my kids don’t bug me to use that computer as much!

  2. Julie Aug 14 2012 at 6:13 am #

    Great post Mandy! I love the story about the HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE flat. (I do most of my writing between the bed and the couch, btw. :))

  3. Jennifer Aug 14 2012 at 8:18 am #

    You really nailed it with the two story library. I told my husband when we married that all I wanted in a house was a fireplace and a library that required one of those rolling ladders. Alas, we live in the Boston suburbs and are not gazillionaires, so I had to settle for the fireplace and vague plans for a someday addition that includes at least one wall of floor to ceiling bookshelves (where I’ll add the ladder even if I bump my head on the ceiling every time I climb it!) As for now I write on the couch or the reclining chaise on my deck. I do have one chair in my living room where the words just seem to flow more easily, but I only “let” myself sit there when I reach sticky parts, so I don’t use up all its mojo. And yes, I realize how ridiculous that sounds!

    By the way, at the risk of sounding stalkerish (which is not my intent) I’m kind of having the summer of Mandy Hubbard. Not one but FOUR of my crit partners commented independently of one another that my writing reminded them of yours, so I’ve been working my way through your books (work is not the right word- LOVING them! And swooning from my crits flattery that I can now appreciate as such ) and crossing my fingers you open to queries soon. At any rate, when the time comes you can bet I’ll hit send from the mojo chair!

  4. Susan Elizabeth Aug 14 2012 at 8:26 am #

    My favorite part of this post is, “… I collected things for an office, but I didn’t have one.” Love it! I’ve definitely done that.

    I finally got an L-shaped desk last year – my near-future attainable dream! – but a lot of times, I come home and just want to write in my bed.

  5. Angelica R. Jackson Aug 14 2012 at 10:07 am #

    I did a post on this a few years ago (called Dream Writing Spaces, strangely enough) and my thing for desks has only gotten worse. I now have the large farmtable and 2 desks pictured here http://angelicarjackson.blogspot.com/2010/12/dream-writing-spaces-two-rooms-of.html , and also took out the guest bed and replaced it with a craft desk, desk for a sewing machine, and another computer desk. And if we had added on a sunroom like we were thinking about, it most certainly would have had a desk. I think, like you, I’m making up for all the times I had to write and draw wherever I could find a corner.

  6. JQ Trotter Aug 14 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    Someday, I’d like to have an actual office with walls of books. That’d be so nice, but as it is, my writing takes place wherever it can. Sometimes in bed, sometimes in the livingroom where I have a desk, but most of my writing takes place on the go — in airplanes, trains, metros, on the road, or wherever I can find the time and space. It was pretty problematic for a while because I had my to-go computer (a light netbook) and then my main computer (a not-so-light HP). Getting the files to and from and keeping everything I needed on both computers was just… ugh. I love your future library-house. Hopefully you can start building that up sometime soon 🙂

  7. Alexa @ Alexa Loves Aug 15 2012 at 11:45 pm #

    I LOVE your writing space! Currently, I either write in my office cubicle or at our dining room table. It’s not so private (and obviously, I end up easily distracted), but I dream of having a space to do all the fun writing I can someday.

  8. Kate Traylor Aug 15 2012 at 11:51 pm #

    That is a cool office! Currently mine’s just a desk in my bedroom (laptop, planner, coffee, water, notebooks, 500 pens), but I dream of having an honest-to-goodness library (or two) as well as a dedicated workroom. Thanks for showing us your space!

  9. mclicious Aug 19 2012 at 11:53 am #

    I got to visit Jane Dyer’s house last spring, and she has a studio that is everything I ever, ever wanted. A former attic, it’s painted white, and there are low bookshelves on all the walls, and then a desk with all of her artist’s materials, and then everywhere there are window seats and framed art and stuffed animals. Aside from stuffed animals, I want a library/office in one similar to that, but right now I live in a closet in Boston, so that will have to wait until I’m a bestseller. 🙂

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