This week’s Where Writer’s Write post comes to us from Ollin Morales, a writer with a very unique take on writing spaces. If you have a rockin’ writing space you’d like to share with us, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I started a blog about two years ago (Courage 2 Create) chronicling the process of writing my first novel. I had no idea that people would read the blog, but not only did people start reading it, they liked it. They really liked it. The blog has become so much bigger than my own private little journey and me: it’s gone on to inspire others to follow their own passions.
The blog seeks to inspire people to create the kind of artistic work they want, and create the kind of life they want. When I began, I was writing the blog for myself. My intention was to get myself to write my novel (I had been postponing it for about two years). That really was how I started.
No grand dreams. I thought that maybe, in 5-10 years I’d get someone besides my sister to read it. But other than that, I really didn’t think anything would come of it.
But, as the blog grew, I began to commit myself more and more to helping people do what I had done, because I realized that me and my readers were both on similar journeys. I realized that my personal struggles weren’t personal at all. They were universal.
What is your writing space like?
There is no better “space” to write than the space I currently inhabit. It doesn’t matter where it is.
If the” space” where I write were to matter to me, and then I wouldn’t get any writing done. I would place too many qualifiers on my writing routine that way.
I’d say, for instance: “I can’t write today because I’m not in my favorite coffee shop, or at my home office, or its raining, or I’m tired, or I’m in a bad mood, or I’m missing my favorite red pillow that I like to sit on, etc.”
Those qualifiers are blocks–ways in which I make excuses and put off the writing.
So, the best “space” to write for me is “no space.” Which is another way to say “every space.” Or “all space.”
Basically, I know that wherever I am, I can create the perfect conditions to write. I don’t need a specific space. I can always create the ideal space to write in. (You can do this, too.)
In a way, I am the perfect space to write in.
Thus, in order to get my writing done, I try to inhabit the space of “me” at all times. That “space” is a space of openness, honesty, patience, non-attachment and being.
You might call this response “overly philosophical,” or even “cryptic,” but I call it “incredibly practical.”
No matter where you are, if you ask yourself to be open, honest, patient, and if you ask yourself to not grasp at anything and simply be yourself, then you’ll find that you’ll get a whole lot of writing done that way.
Do you keep a writing routine? If so, what is your routine?
My true writing routine is “flexibility.” That’s the best routine.
I’ve had times when I was writing 20 hours a week, times when I wrote only 4 hours a week, and times when I didn’t write a single word. I don’t ask myself to conform to my writing routine, I ask my writing routine to conform to me and my current situation. This gets rid of a lot of stress on my part. Because my work life and social life are always in constant flux–always changing–a rigid writing routine would have me in chaos pretty much every day of my life.
So, I don’t have a rigid routine. I keep it flexible.
Sometimes I’m just too busy to write, so my routine adapts accordingly.
Sometimes, I have plenty of time to write, so my routine adapts accordingly.
I recommend creating a routine that adapts to you and your schedule. Not the other way around.
If you do this, I will promise you that you will write with greater ease and peace.
What’s something unique and interesting about your writing space?
That it’s nearly impossible to describe, and even harder to implement, but that once implemented, it creates miraculous results.
If you could have any writing space in the world, what would it look like and why?
I don’t strive for any writing space other than the one I currently inhabit. (The space of “me” that I talked about previously.) To ask for a better one would be to fall into the fatal trap of grasping and attachment. It would mean that I would have to wait for a “the ideal writing space,” and would always be dissatisfied with the writing space I currently have, because it’s not the “ideal space” I have pictured in my head.
There is no writing space that is totally perfect, anyway. A writing space will always have its shortcomings.
The writing space I currently inhabit is the only one I have at the moment. So it is the best writing space I could ever have.
Why would I want anything more?
Ollin Morales is a fiction writer, blogger, freelancer, and ghostwriter. His blog, Courage 2 Create, chronicles his journey as he writes his first fiction novel. His blog offers writing advice as well as strategies to deal with life’s tough challenges. His blog was named one of The Top Ten Blogs for Writers by WriteToDone two years in a row (2011, 2012).