I am very excited at the moment because I have finally got something that I’ve longed for in ages; my very own writing space. All mine.
We moved to our current house a little over three years. Our previous home had been a big Victorian three-storey five-bed end of terrace property in town. As we only have munchkin, this meant three spare bedrooms so hubby and I had an office each and there was still a spare bedroom for guests. I didn’t write as often in those days. I wanted to but I watched Emmerdale, Coronation Street and lots of other programmes until I realised that I could claw back time if I pretty much gave up TV. So I did. But I still found lots of distractions to keep me from writing.
When we moved to our current home – a newish-build four-bed house – having my own office didn’t seem that much of a priority. I’d stopped working from home and I didn’t write that often so why would I need my own space. Surely a spare room for friends and family to stay was more important? Thing was, family and friends never came to stay. We bought a new bed for the room and it’s been slept in four or five nights during three years. Whereas I have ditched the TV (mostly) and write every spare moment I have (ok, so I faff about with social media as well but I should be writing!) and have far more need for a writing space than our non-existant guests have for a bed.
Except hubby didn’t see it that way. I worked from home for a year and we shared an office and, when I started working in an office again at the start of last year, it was even harder to persuade him that I needed my own room. But then I began annoying him. Not deliberately, mind; I’m not that mean. My small desk seemed to be permanently stacked with papers and, every so often, I’d feel the urge to tidy them. Shuffling papers is apparently a distracting sound. Sometimes I like music on and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes he wanted music on and sometimes he didn’t . Yes, you’ve guessed it; these times never corresponded. He’d annoy me too. He can work with TV programmes or films streamed through his laptop. I can’t work at all if the TV is on because I’ll watch it whether I’m interested in it or not (may come from watching TV so rarely so I grab it where I can!)
It was my birthday at the start of May. A few months before, I told him that what I wanted would only cost a tin of paint and a few shelves. I wanted my own writing space. “It’s not going to happen,” he said. “It is,” I replied. And it finally has. Whether it’s three months of increased pressure that has got to him or sympathy for me having a minor health-scare last week, he’s caved in. There are conditions. I have to keep it tidy (no more piles of paperwork on my desk) and I have to make more time for the munchkin when I get in from work instead of disappearing into my writing sanctuary. I’m not convinced she’ll want my time as she’s usually watching something on TV or engrossed in a game of schools but I’ll do my best to be a better mum and try not to be insulted at the suggestion that I’m not.
So this bank holiday weekend has all been about tackling the spare bedroom. That would be the spare bedroom that had become a dumping ground because, with no staying guests, that’s what happens to spare rooms isn’t it? It took me several hours on Friday night and a couple more on Saturday morning to clear all of this out and it took me until Sunday to finish painting. I have a stretch of about a foot of unglossed skirting board to do because a large piece of furniture blocked me from doing it at the weekend. I need a couple of shelves putting up and there are still a few more boxes to unpack (not quite sure where the stuff is going to go but I’ll find somewhere eventually) but, other than that, I’m pretty much there. And I love it!
I haven’t actually done any proper writing yet i.e. on my novel rather than social media or this blog but I’m excited about doing that. I’ve surrounded myself by inspirational messages and gorgeous things. They don’t all match, there’s a complete mix of styles and colours but the room brings together the things I love – reading, writing, teddy bears and pretty things.
I think hubby approves. He stood in the doorway earlier and said, “I think I might move in here”. He had the opportunity. As the one who works from home, I did say he could have this room instead (it’s slightly bigger) but he decided to stay put so he’s made his choice. This is MY space. ALL MINE!!!
Time to write … ooh, is that tea I smell? Perhaps after that then …
7 thoughts on “A Space of my Own”
Oh it looks lovely, Julie! Really pretty and cosy. I’m sure you’ll be very productive and creative in there and write some fabulous stories. I’m glad you finally managed to persuade Mark that you need and deserve a writing room. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without mine now. I know I wrote the first draft of There Must Be An Angel with the laptop balanced on my knee and the television blaring out and people coming and going but I can’t do that now. I have to have total peace and quiet – even background music distracts me! So a room is really important and now all the kids have finally left home and we have a boxroom and a spare room for grandchildren it was easy to claim the smallest one for myself. Steve likes it because all my papers and stationery and postcards and post-it notes etc are well out of his view and almost all of my books are safely behind my closed door…he doesn’t like books and never reads. Can you imagine?? I’m sure Munchkin will appreciate having a happier mum, too. 🙂 Happy writing! xx
Thank you so much Sharon. I still have a bit of mess to sort out because I’ve been away with work for a weekend but it feels lovely having it. I still haven’t actually done any work on my novel yet but hopefully will have a chance to rectify that tomorrow evening.
Isn’t it funny how we start writing in the most ludicrous of set-ups yet, once we get a space, it would be impossible to go back? I used to write on the train commuting to and from work as that was pretty much my only opportunity a few years back. I much prefer having an office!
So pleased for you Julie, it looks a lovely place to write and I hope you spend many creative hours there.
Thank you Rachael xx
What a great space for you Julie! How lovely to be able to choose how to lay it all out. Our spare room is a bit of a dumping ground too. One day I’ll motivate myself to sort it out.
Like Sharon’s husband, one of my daughters doesn’t read (she goes so far as to say she hates books) and I just can’t believe it’s possible she’s my daughter!! Her dad very often used to read the last page first because he didn’t have the patience to wait to find out what happened so perhaps that’s where she gets it from.
I am sure your new room will be the birthing place of many fab books.
Thank you rambleygirl. Love the tag, Liz! I’m waiting to hear news that you’ve put fingers to keyboard as you definitely have a novel (or several) in you xxx
I hope you are well and enjoyed your couple of days off.
Unfortunately, I am not so good. I have had a rheumatoid flare up and really not good so I won’t be in work today. I have also lost my phone so I couldn’t text you.
Hopefully speak to you soon.