Where Writers Write: Hannah Jones

After a short hiatus, the Where Writers Write series is back for more glimpses into where our fellow writers actually do their work. Please welcome Hannah Jones to the series this week. If you’d like to share your writing space in this series, shoot me an email at kristinoffilerwrites@gmail.com.

I have a full time editorial position at a social science publishing company (which I love!) so my own writing is something I squeeze into the margins of my daily life.
The academic nature of the non-fiction manuscripts I work with during the day provides a nice balance for when I come home and want to write creatively; primarily, I write young adult and middle grade fiction, short stories, memoir, and am currently hard at work writing a pictorial history book about Byberry State Hospital (in Philadelphia) that is forthcoming from Arcadia Publishing.

Because writing creatively is a treat, I really look forward to and make the best use of the one or two hours of writing time I get.

What is your writing space like?

My writing space is a 6’x 6’ corner of my living room. One desk–the one reserved for blogging, email, and bills–faces the rest of the room, the windows, and the television. The antique writing desk faces the wall and is a strictly computer-free writing space–I prefer to write first drafts by hand–which helps me avoid all distractions while creating something new.

Before I bought my own place about six months ago, I’d never really had my own official and regular writing space. Moving in and out of college dorms, apartments, and my parents’ house always prevented me from both organizing a space and setting up a regular writing routine. Since I moved into my new condo, it’s been an experiment and adventure in figuring out what facilitates my most creative and productive writing process.

At first, I was struggling with having just one desk because it was the catch-all: creative writing, bills, blogging, more bills, and junk mail all piled up on the narrow surface of my antique writing desk. Knowing I’d either have to pay bills or at least organize the mess of papers before I could dive into a new short story served as a deterrent; instead of being drawn to my writing space, I actively avoided it. I didn’t get much writing done in the first few months living here.

Now, rather than haunting my writing space, all my bills are organized and put away in colorful file folders and I only have to look at them if I pull them out to sort on purpose. With two desks, I have the luxury of reserving one desk to be solely for creative writing projects. If I want to write, it’s always clear and ready for me to start, the moment inspiration strikes me. The new desk also provides more desk space so I have room to spread out multi-page projects.

Do you keep a writing routine? If so, what is your routine?

I recently started up a routine that budgets a minimum of fourteen hours of writing time a week and so far, it’s working pretty well for me. I write two to three times a week on my hour lunch break, write for three to four hours on Monday and Wednesday nights after work, and try to write at least five hours total over the weekend. To make this work–and to really get myself to stick to the schedule–I had to create a color-blocked Excel spreadsheet. Checking in with it helps me turn off the TV or put down the book I’m reading during official “writing time” and focus. I originally scheduled myself to wake up an hour earlier a few mornings a week to squeeze in some writing before work, but it ended up being a false hope. I admire those writers who can wake up at 5 AM to write for four hours before starting the rest of their day!

What’s something unique and interesting about your writing space?

The most unusual thing about my writing space is my two desks. Not only the fact that I have two desks, but the fact that they are such completely different styles. One is an antique secretary desk that my dad gave me for my seventeenth birthday. It has carved claw feet, a thousand little drawers and nooks, and even has two secret hidden compartments. It has so much character and makes me feel “dressed up” when I write. The fanciness of it helps facilitate the daydream that I’m among the ranks of great American writers, currently writing the next great American [fill in the blank].

My other desk is much more contemporary. It has a built-in filing system for organizing messes of paper, a built-in corkboard which I use for post-it to-do lists and deadline reminders, and can be folded up and into the wall. Even though I dreamed of having two desks in my writing space, I didn’t think it was going to be possible because of how small my condo is (eight hundred square feet). But then I saw this space-saving, fold-up desk featured on Apartment Therapy and ordered it right away. Pure white, its fold-up design is perfect for conserving space when I have company over.

I have one chair for both desks, a classic carved wooden chair that I’ve borrowed from my mom’s office. I wish it could swivel and roll around too, so I could switch from one desk to the other more easily, as I’m constantly swapping desks during my writing time when I finish one task and move onto a different writing project, but for now it’s just right.

If you could have any writing space in the world, what would it look like and why?

A treehouse. One summer, I helped rebuild my childhood treehouse in my parents backyard. We ripped down all the walls, which were rotting and waterlogged, leaving just the roof and the frame. For a few weeks, with construction on hold, I would climb up there to write and it felt like I was in a glass room, surrounded by the upper branches of the forest and the wildlife, and protected from the rain (the best was staying up there to write during a thunderstorm). It was incredibly peaceful and felt sort of magical. When we finally put the new walls up, it felt closed in again, contained and normal like a house, and it lost that special feeling. Someday, I’d like to have a writing treehouse like that again.

Hannah Karena Jones is an assistant editor by day and a YA, middle grade, historical, and memoir writer by night. Her writing has appeared in The Susquehanna Review and Weave Magazine, among others, and has been awarded Honorable Mention in the Writer’s Digest Young Adult Fiction Competition. Her book, Byberry State Hospital, is forthcoming from Arcadia Publishing. She blogs about writing and publishing at The (Writer’s) Waiting Room and tweets about everything @HannahKarena10.

Where Writers Write: Olivia Bowen

This week’s post comes to us from brand and copy editor, Olivia Bowen, a super-talented writer I was lucky enough to meet via Twitter (where else, right?). If you have a writing space you’d love to share with us, shoot me an email at kristinoffilerwrites@gmail.com.

 While writing is certainly part of my work, I actually do more editing for clients, which I love. A rather unsuccessful college creative writing class helped me realize that making up stories is not where my talent lies; I am, however, skilled at helping others refine their ideas and expression so that what ends up on the screen or on the page is exactly what the author had in mind—only even clearer and with more sizzle.

As an editor who writes, my space needs to be part resource center, part inspiration hub, and comfortable enough so I can be there for hours on end, but not so comfy that I forget I have work to do. Here’s what I’ve come up with to meet those needs.

What is your writing space like?

I work from home, so I was able to create a writing and editing space that meets my specific needs. My husband recently helped me revamp the office to be more ergonomic—with all the time I spend working at my desk, having a setup that’s kind to my back and neck was a priority.

Because working with language is such a synthesis of heart and mind, I’ve filled my office with objects and resources that speak to both. I’m a sucker for reference books and probably have more volumes on grammar than many classrooms do, but I also keep more spiritual touchstones at hand: a framed picture I took of a Buddha statue in Tokyo, a daruma doll that reminds me to have patience but stay focused on my goals, photos of my family, and a vase crafted by a talented Philly-based potter that I fill with flowers or herbs whenever I can.

Do you keep a writing routine? If so, what is your routine?

I’ve tried to establish a routine in the past, but finally accepted that one of the things I like most about working for myself is having the freedom to write and edit when the mood (or deadline) strikes. A typical day starts around 9:30, but I don’t really “warm up” until at least 11. Editing projects require me to be really sharp, so I try to work on those from between 11 a.m. until 4 or 5 in the afternoon.

Then I’ll take a long break and go to yoga, make dinner, or just give my brain a rest and watch some Law & Order. I’ll usually get back to my computer for writing projects around 8 or 9, when my creativity peaks, and will work until around midnight if the words are flowing.

What’s something unique and interesting about your writing space?

Before I decided on a language-based career, I strongly considered a PhD in art history. Now the art is pure passion, so my office has some gorgeous original artwork and prints. A dear friend recently painted an East of Eden-inspired piece for me (two, actually, but only one is in my office); my aunt created a rich watercolor as a wedding gift; I have a print of Lucca (an enchanting Tuscan town about which my dad is a leading expert) that was also a wedding gift; and a framed print of the Pantheon, my favorite building in the world, that I got when I was studying in Rome.

If you could have any writing space in the world, what would it look like and why?

It would look an awful lot like mine right now—but with a view of the Eiffel Tower, more bookshelves, and a really cozy reading chair. I’ve deliberately created a location-independent business, so I hope that in a few years my husband and I can relocate to Paris for a year or two. I imagine that walks along the Seine, easy access to macarons, weekend trips to Bordeaux, and the spirits of the artists who’ve worked in the city over the centuries could only help my craft, right?

Olivia Bowen is a brand and copy editor. She runs Olivia Bowen Communications, which focuses on helping holistic and creative entrepreneurs refine the language for their web presence—from crafting irresistible bios to proofreading websites to make sure they’re flawless. A nomad at heart, she and her novelist/educator husband live in San Diego—for now. You can connect with her on Twitter @LivBowen or join the community of logophiles and entrepreneurs on Facebook.

Where Writers Write: Charlotte Bumstead

This week’s Where Writers Write post features Charlotte Bumstead. Enjoy this glimpse into her great writing space, and remember– if you want to be featured in the Where Writers Write series, email me at kristinoffilerwrites@gmail.com.

I’ve always loved the way the words act as my escape; carrying me like a magic carpet soaring across whatever landscape I happen to desire that day. Writing has not only become my favorite form of communication, but I also treasure the way one can use the words to capture a particular moment in time. The act of writing keeps me present, yet it also allows me to reflect on the past and to dream about the future. Somehow, the words are able to press pause when I no longer hold the remote.

Over the years, I have developed a passion for using the words not simply to explain my own life, but rather to illustrate the much more interesting and captivating lives of those all around me. I quickly decided to transform this passion of mine into a journalism degree and soon it became an imbedded piece of my life story—currently taking place just outside of Toronto, Ontario. This is where I do my researching and interviewing. It’s where I construct new ideas and sculpt them into stories for publication in magazines or for posting on my blog. This is where I write.

My office view

What is your writing space like?

Colorful, organized and bright (it’s the only room in the house with four windows). Nothing distracts me like a pile of unfiled papers or various notes left in disarray. My desk sits comfortably in the back corner of the angular room. The wall to my left is painted a soft shade of lavender; to my right is a contrasting touch of sand brown. This week’s to do list decorates my whiteboard with various assignments and deadlines. A shiny, black and silver globe is perched directly in front of me, just waiting to be spun so it can forecast my next imaginary travels.

Plants with pink and purple flowers and round, green leaves breathe freely all around me. The smiling faces of those I love sit in portrait form on the shelves above my head. The clippings of my very first magazine articles—one published online, the other in print—are displayed behind the glass of a wooden frame, reminding me that what may be just a dream one day, could become very real the next.

Beyond the photos and frames, a square black screen stares down at me until I choose to flip on the news or perhaps lose myself in a Friends rerun after a long evening spent at work. In the mornings I am accompanied by my favorite mug, filled to the brim with the dark, creamy liquid I refuse to live without. Its rich aroma encompasses the entire room, and somehow the words spill out with ease. In the evenings I settle for a steaming cup of tea until I am forced to peel my eyes away from the bright light of my beloved HP laptop. Although I write best in silence, the soft chirping of birds outside or kids playing in the street can sometimes bring an added effect.

 Do you keep a writing routine? If so, what is your routine?

I find I write best in the middle of the afternoon. I enjoy using my mornings for research, prep and interviews. But the first thing I do when I start my workday (or almost any day for that matter) is read. Whether it be the news, blogs, emails, or the current piece of fiction stashed in the drawer of my nightstand, I read anything and everything that happens to cross my path and catch my interest that day.

My spewing bookcase

Before I know it, ideas start bouncing around and the creative itch kicks in. I take notes so I don’t forget any of these initial prompts, and then I get down to work. I also spend way too much time on social media. I can get lost in a Twitter newsfeed like a toddler on an Easter egg hunt. One treat leads to another and before I know it, I’ve lost an hour of my day. Still, I don’t feel this time is wasted (at least half of it wasn’t); I’m always learning new tricks of the trade online.

Most of all, I keep my routine flexible. There’s always the possibility of a surprise deadline being thrown at me, or an interview that can only happen between 1:15 and 1:30 on a Tuesday afternoon. I stick to an organized schedule because it’s the only way I can balance my time. And yes, there’s a perfectly good chance I’ll end up working after 10pm on a random Sunday night so I’m ready to “start my week” the following morning.

What’s something unique and interesting about your writing space?

I share it with my boyfriend. I don’t know about it being unique, but his desk is nestled in the opposite corner of mine. If we are both sitting at our desks (which usually only happens first thing in the morning or in the evening when he gets home from work) our backs are to one another. It’s nice to have an editor so close by (as biased as he may perhaps be, his feedback doesn’t show it). And although I am often most productive when left alone, the freelance writing life can get lonely, so I find his company encouraging (most of the time).

If you could have any writing space in the world, what would it be like and why?

Like many of the other writers who have participated in this series, I would love to hear the sounds of a lake or ocean nearby. My ideal space would definitely be surrounded by natural beauty—perhaps it would have an extravagant waterfall within walking distance for whenever I happen to need a motivating boost (even a romantic, isolated creek would do). I love sitting out on the dock at a cottage with nothing but blue skies, a mug of coffee, my laptop and a cushioned chair (a setting I hope to enjoy quite often this summer). I find my “wild mind,” as Natalie Goldberg so cleverly coins it, reaches its climax of creativity when it is, in fact, in the wild. But I also love that I can be a bit of a nomad in my chosen career, transporting my writing space with me wherever I want to go—or wherever the magic carpet decides to take me.

Charlotte Bumstead is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Toronto, Ontario. She has been published in various Canadian magazines and newspapers, covering a wide-range of topics. She blogs about weaving her way through life as an aspiring writer over at Charlotte’s Web. She is also an avid lover of all most things social media. You can follow her on Twitter @c_bumstead.       

Where Writers Write: Jennifer Gargotto

This week’s Where Writers Write post features uber-talented Jennifer Gargotto. Enjoy this glimpse into her writing space, and remember– if you want to be featured in the Where Writers Write series, email me at kristinoffilerwrites@gmail.com.

I think every writer has a special relationship with their space. The thing about writing is that you can do it anywhere, so with that freedom comes great responsibility. No, not really, but it does leave a lot of options.

I’ve never really enjoyed working in coffee shops. I hate having to pack everything up every time I need to pee, as well as paying $3.00 for a cup of tea (hey, that rhymed! How Dr. Seussian of me). I really prefer being in my own little scattered space at home, with a full tea pot and endless cold water. I like to play my music loud, take a bath when I get chilly, and take afternoon breaks to go to yoga. I spend the day reading, brainstorming, making videos, writing posts, and bugging my boyfriend, Chase, online while he’s at work to help me with my sites (he’s a developer and a graphic designer, so his skills really come in handy).

Today I have three websites and an online course, so, in addition to those and freelance articles, guest posts, and the occasional interview I have more writing than I can keep up with. I find the more projects I have going on, the more I become a green-tea-drinking stressball, but also the happier I am, the more creative I am, and the better my work is (weird how that works, isn’t it?). 

With writing, you have to pick your moments. When I write for MsMorphosis, which is really personal and deals with really emotional issues, I like to talk to my audience with the openness and entertaining-ness of a conversation I’d have with an old girlfriend over a few too many glasses of wine – so that impacts when and how I write. I often choose to write those posts later in the evening, with an actual glass of wine, once my businesses and obligations are taken care of and I’m just relaxing with Bella and Chase. When I write for Blogging Fearlessly, the work is much more technical, so I prefer to work on it when I’m full of caffeine, alert, and on my A-game.

If you’re a writer, then your writing really has to be an extension who you are. The best way, I’ve found, to do it is to be comfortable in yourself, be comfortable when you’re working, and keep striving to be your best self. Have a writing space that reflects you. The more authentic it is, the better your work will be. I guarantee it.

What is your writing space like?

My writing space is a bit of chaos, but it’s organized chaos. The walls are filled with pictures, artwork, and lots of inspirational quotes (I guess you could say this room is the original MsQuotations). I have stacks and stacks of books and magazines, because I just can’t keep up (and reading is the most important part of being a writer!). I am big on graphs, outlines, and brainstorming – and I’m big on surrounding myself by these ideas, dreams, and visions. I have a bed for Bella, my pomeranian and the best cubicle-mate ever (ok, we work from home, but she’s still more than I deserve). The mug on my desk is for green tea, which I drink by the gallon while I work. I’m also in a Canada Dry sparking water phase ever since I gave up diet coke, so I’m drinking that by the (enormous) bottle as well.

Do you keep a writing routine?  If so, what is your routine?

Hmmm… yes and no. I have deadlines – Monday interviews for Blogging Fearlessly, two posts a week on each Blogging Fearlessly and MsMorphosis, regular newsletters, guest posts, and content creation for my course that I’m launching this summer; Love, Sex, and Blogging. I also do the occasional freelance article, so that needs to be on a calendar too.  Besides that, my routine is to waddle over from my bedroom to this desk everyday, get up occasionally for tea/water/food/yoga, and besides that just sit here until the work is done (sometimes by 6 pm, often until 9).

What’s something unique and interesting about your writing space?

For better or worse, it’s the fullest expression of me. I literally live in this little room, and there’s more magic that happens here than anywhere else in my (professional) life. I love having my own quiet work space, and I’m honored to live in a time where we can make a living writing from home and creating things.

 If you could have any writing space in the world, what would it look like and why?

If I could have any writing space in the world it would either be a little cottage in the south of France or a treehouse in the middle of a forest somewhere. I’ve always been fascinated by treehouses!

On a much more realistic note, my boyfriend and I are moving into a little house in a few months where we’re going to put together a far more structured office (with bookshelves and adult things like that) so that will be wonderful. Sharing the work I love in a (more organized space) with the person I love? It doesn’t get much better than that.

Jennifer Gargotto is a blogger, vlogger, writer and entrepreneur living in Denver, Colorado. She’s the writer and founder of MsMorphosis.comMsQuotations.com, and BloggingFearlessly.com – so if you’re interested in personal development, inspirational quotes, or growing personally or professionally online she’s your girl. Her current obsession is building her Sex, Love, and Blogging course – about discovering your passions and leveraging them to make money, build relationships, and fall in love with life – which is getting ready for release in summer 2012. If this sounds like something you could be into, get on the list at sexandblogging.com.

Where Writers Write: Kat Tate

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 kristinoffilerwrites@gmail.com.

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.

After perving on (I mean, reading about) other writers’ hubs here on Kristin’s blog, I am thrilled to be able to show off my space. 

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.

Where Writers Write: Kristin Offiler {that’s ME!}

This week’s writer in the  Where Writers Write series is… well, me! I’ve been so excited sharing all the amazing writing spaces of my fellow writers, I forgot to share my own.  And remember– if you want to be featured in the Where Writers Write series, email me at kristinoffilerwrites@gmail.com.

Drinking coffee at my desk. Like a writer, of course!

Hi, my name is Kristin and you probably already know who I am since, well, these are my stompin’ grounds.

It dawned on me that I should probably open up my home office to you guys since I’ve been so readily sharing where a whole slew of other writers do their work. Have you been enjoying the series? I know I have– it’s like stalking other writers without doing anything that’ll end in a mug shot and bail!

Without further ado, I present you with the space in my home designated for work & writing (although the couch gets a fair amount of writing time, as does the back deck when it’s nice out. And Starbucks. Sweet, overpriced Starbucks).

Where the magic happens.

What is your writing space like?

My writing space is bright. It has two big windows that let in a ton of morning and afternoon light, so I’m always scooting my desk chair over to the window to get some sun. My desk, chair, and bookcase are all from Ikea. Everything else is either Christmas Tree Shop, HomeGoods, or Target. We keep it real around here.

Bamboo (um, from Ikea) & lots of visual stimulation.

I have a white board on the wall above my desk, surrounded by 4 cork boards (which had to be secured to the wall with thumb tacks. WHY OH WHY do cork board adhesive strips NEVER stick to walls longer than one week?). I use the white board to track projects, though I tend to neglect updating it because it feels kind of stuffy. I counter that by pinning pictures, letters, cards, and other creativity-inducing things to the cork boards.

My writing space

Do you keep a writing routine?  If so, what is your routine?

Bah. Not exactly. I want to keep a writing routine, so my hope is once I secure a reliable writing partner, I’ll be able to force myself into a morning routine for my fiction writing.

With my freelance writing, my only routine is that I don’t really keep a routine. I’ll do work as it needs to be done, taking breaks to run errands, walk the dog, or grab a coffee. I like this routine flexibility because it means I am less likely to get bored. Part of me craves routine and relishes a fresh, new one (like when you’d start a new school year), but after a while it feels stale to me. Sometimes I work into the night. Sometimes I get things done early. My routine is fluid right now.

Utensils in a jar.

What’s something unique and interesting about your writing space?

On my Target desk lamp, I’ve got my great grandfather’s worry beads that he brought to America from Armenia. I found them in a dresser two years ago when my great uncle died and we were cleaning out his apartment. He lived there his entire life, so it was filled to the brim with everything my great grandparents had owned or brought from Armenia when they fled the genocide. I love these worry beads– somehow nothing I’m dealing with can even come close to feeling as heavy and terrifying as fleeing the Armenian genocide, so these little amber beads give me perspective.

See the worry beads? Strung over the neck of the lamp in the top left part of the shot.

I also share this space with my husband’s photography hobby and my knitting addiction. There are two baskets filled with yarn and a stand that holds two giant photography printers.

Also, my office is built on an ancient burial ground. (Kidding. But that would be a unique feature, right?)

Not just for writing, this room is for pictures and yarn, too. (and music!)

If you could have any writing space in the world, what would it look like and why?

My dream writing space is inside an old farmhouse in a world where New England is perpetually warm and sunny. It would have massive windows that could be thrown open to let in the fresh air, which would smell like lavender and salt water. There’d be a plush chair in the corner for reading, a long desk against a wall for writing, and beautiful old hardwood floors where our dog would nap in puddles of sunshine. There would always be fresh cut flowers in a mason jar on the desk, fresh fruits and veggies in the fridge, and the sound of crickets at night. Outside, my husband would compose award-winning nature photographs, and in the evenings we’d ride our bikes to the beach.

And every year I’d publish a well-received novel, travel a bit to promote it, then come home to my farmhouse writing space and start over again.

A bit of writing inspiration.

Kristin Offiler (moi) is the author of this blog, as well as a freelance copywriter, resume writer, and social media coach. She has an MFA from Lesley University in Fiction and loves good  books, good coffee, good company, and the feeling she gets when she writes something authentic. She’s married to the most level-headed, loyal guy in the world and together they’re raising the goofiest rescue dog there is.

Where Writers Write: Wade Finnegan

This week we welcome writer Wade Finnegan to the Where Writers Write series. Remember– if you want to be featured in the Where Writers Write series, email me at kristinoffilerwrites@gmail.com!

First off, thank you Kristin for allowing me the opportunity to share my space.

The insight of this series is just another example of how the writing community stays connected, even though we are many miles apart. Kristin’s blog is a wealth of information and I am honored to be a part of it.

I live in the beautiful state of Oregon, just outside of Portland, with my wife Kris and my son Zach. My son plays ice hockey; so much of my time away from work is spent at the rink. Watching my son grow and learn is a great joy of my life. I have a passion for the outdoors, and fish for Salmon and Steelhead in my free time.

Aside from being a writer, I’m also a high school Reading Specialist and have been teaching for the past fifteen years. It is very rewarding when I can turn a reluctant reader and expose them to the joys of literature.

I write about a wide variety of subjects, but focus on what I know: outdoor recreation and education. I’m a very social person, so I excel at interviewing people and learning what they are passionate about. A writer gets to know people from all walks of life; this draws me to the profession.

What is your writing space like? 

My main space is my home office. I have a dark wood oversized desk with pictures of old Oregon City and my family on the walls. The room has good natural light, and the oversized window lets in the sounds of nature. The burnt orange color provides a sense of calmness and allows my thoughts to flow.  However, being a dad and helping with homework many nights moves my writing to the dining room table. This space works for me when needed, and as my son gets older I will write more in my designated space.

Do you keep writing routine? If so, what is your routine? 

I wish I had a routine. For now, I write when I get the chance, usually at night and on the weekends. Hopefully, when I become a full-time writer that will change. I prefer to write early in the morning when the sun is rising. There is something about the beginning of a new day that is inspiring and gets my creative juices flowing. I like to keep a schedule, and when I make the transition to full-time I will designate time for writing and marketing daily.

What’s something unique and interesting about your writing space? 

My family has an extensive history in Oregon and my space reflects that. I have several wood carvings that my grandfather hand carved placed about the office. My space captures my love of the outdoors, and my family.

If you could have any writing space in the world, what would it look like and why?

I would love to write in a log cabin placed next to a mountain stream. This would be the best place to write, because listening to flowing water is relaxing and clears my mind. Having the chance to slow down and solely concentrate on writing is the ultimate goal and a log cabin away from the hustle and bustle of the city would be the perfect retreat.

Wade named his business Quality Writing because that is what he strives for. He has experience in copywriting, articles, profiles, white papers, newsletters, brochures, web content, and blogging just to name a few. He take pride in beating deadlines and exceeding editors’ expectations. Follow him on Twitter @QualityWriting.

Thanks for sharing your space with us, Wade! What do you guys think about his dream space? Tell us below in the comments!