This week’s writer in the Where Writers Write series is Aussie Kat Tate. Enjoy this glimpse into her writing space down under, and remember– if you want to be featured in the Where Writers Write series, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have always been a word nerd (and proud of it!). Before I could even handwrite, I would tap out short stories on my parents’ typewriter. It got to the point where I could picture a typewriter in my mind and type what people said to me. Weirdo. Thankfully I’ve kicked that habit.
Since then, I’ve gained a journalism degree and carved an eclectic career spanning news and features writing, public relations, professional organizing and online writing and editing. My current craft is writing clickable web copy and blogging about health and happiness.
What is your writing space like?
White, bright and organized (what else would you expect from a former professional organizer?) I recently overhauled my space and with a new wooden trestle table (in white), an Eames leather chair (in white) and lots of gorgeous stationery (in pink. Just kidding…in white). I also just added a lovely little orchid in a white pot, for a splash of color.
I find it really hard to work in a jumbled space, so I keep research and paperwork filed away in the bookshelf. The files on my desk are for current projects; at the moment they’re stuffed with travel article clippings, as I’m off to India and Thailand soon and will be writing a few features when I get back.
I’ve run out of space in the bookcase, as I can never throw a book out! I’ll need to buy another unit soon, or start storing books in my closet. Or I could just stop buying books…nah, that’ll never happen!
On top of the bookcase are some precious keepsakes, a photo of me and my partner and a white wooden ornament that spells ‘love’. It was a gift from a dear friend and it reminds me to always work and live for love.
Since I’m renting, my writing area is restricted to a corner of my bedroom. My favorite thing to do on Sunday mornings is pick up the newspaper from the corner store, pour myself a bowl of muesli and mug of tea and sit at my desk in the sparkling sun. I then get cracking on my work, with Sydney’s streets stretching beyond the sashless windows.
Do you keep a writing routine? If so, what is your routine?
While my space is organized, my mind is frantic and forever whirring. I’m also juggling freelancing with a full-time editing gig, so my routine is more ‘steal half an hour here or there, while watching Toddlers & Tiaras’ than ‘do A, then B, then C.’
That being said, my partner reckons I’m the most disciplined person he knows, as once I turn on my laptop I can type for hours without a break. Combined with my annoying need to finish a project as soon as I’ve started it, this means I will work well into the night to get my writing done. I imagine that as I pick up more freelancing work, I’ll need to come up with a better routine!
What’s something unique and interesting about your writing space?
It’s white! I’m not sure if that’s unique, but I do find a white space helps me focus and be more creative. I suppose it’s a metaphor for a blank canvas, ready to be painted with (what I hope will be) wonderful words!
If you could have any writing space in the world, what would it look like and why?
Picture this: white (haha) chiffon curtains billow in the breeze. A faint salty scent wafts around the room. Beyond the window, dolphin fins duck and dive in the shimmering sea. A timber deck overlooks an endless stretch of pristine sand. Inside, the walls are lined with rows and rows of beloved books, dog-eared and worn. I sit at my deep desk and write, as the rich-red sun slowly slinks behind a distant island. I used to live in the beachfront suburb of Cottesloe in Western Australia and this setting was on my doorstep. I would love to be back there to write (but combine its spectacular sights with Sydney’s convenience and lifestyle).
Kat Tate lives in sunny Sydney, Australia. She works as an editor and a freelance writer for a range of corporate and SME clients. Her weakness is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, which she discovered on a recent trip to the US. She blogs about her search for enhanced health and happiness at www.kattate.com and tweets at @kattate1.