Creating my Writing Space

I’m pretty sure that almost all writer folk have dreams of having a workspace that is perfectly designed to be comfortable, secluded and still so utterly gorgeous that it’s the envy of anyone who sees it. Your dream office may include three walls of bookcases crammed with reference books and particular favourites to peruse on a whim when you need some inspiration, a heavy oak desk with lots of little hidden nooks for your stationery addiction and space for your laptop and sprawling notes (or typewriter if you’re old school like that), a big squooshy, twirly office chair that supports you even when you’re hunched over the desk writing frantically; while the facing window provides a peaceful view out onto lush garden.

*zones out into daydreams*

Ahem. Getting carried away a bit there. One day maybe I could have that dream office but for now I’m having to settle for my spare room. Which isn’t going to be too bad; I have a view of my garden through the floor-to-ceiling window – not that my garden could be described as lush right now, to be honest it’s a bit of a working progress. I’m hoping that as everything stops growing so damn fast we can finally get ahead of the jungle and take back control.IMG_0743

As for my desk it’s only a cheap one from Ikea (well *cheap* by Ikea standards) that has just enough space for my laptop and maybe a cup of tea so I’m going to have to make use of other nearby surfaces or the floor for my notes. The chair is comfy enough but alas it doesn’t twirl *sad face*, tis probably for the best since I would distract myself by spinning until I’m dizzy.

I do have a bookcase in my office which is home to my relevant non-fiction books -endless language books and dictionaries, my writing books, various french novels, random biographies and a clutch of maps & guidebooks. The shelves are also littered with some miscellaneous trinkets including my rubber duck collection, my enormous green quill and a Dalek mug that can scream “Exterminate” when I care to switch it on.

IMG_0744In order to remind myself to stay focused and make sure I know what I’m meant to be doing each day I’ve put my whiteboard and corkboard around the desk so I can’t possibly forget and also to provide a place to stick up what I’m calling my “Positivity Peas” so I have some helpful motivators for those days when the evil, negative part of my brain decides that I’m nothing but a fucking idiot who should be allowed to write. I *know* I will have those days so it’s best to be prepared for when they hit.

It’s not quite done yet but it gives me something to start working in so I can be productive and get into my routine before October.

Has anyone else got a particular place they go to do their writing/studying?

Ray x


Planning out my studies

So this morning I received a parcel with my study books for my OU French Module – all *eight* of them.  IMG_0701I was a little shocked since my Level 1 Ouverture module only had two coursebooks and a writing book yet this time for Envol I have six books for each study unit plus a study guide and writing workbook. So it’s going to need a fair bit of space on my shelf. Alongside it will be my BRB (Big Red Book) which is the workbook for my Creative Writing module and *that* book is a beast that I can use to bludgeon people with if they disturb me once I get into my work zone.

Now I’ve got the books I need for my two courses (still questioning my sanity over this decision) I can make an effective plan for myself to manage what tasks I need to do for each subject every week. The study guide for the Creative Writing course is an actual godsend because it has an explicit breakdown of what activities (reading, writing, etc.) you should be doing as well as time guidelines so that will basically become my bible for the A215 course.

My Envol course is going to be a little trickier as I will have study materials and activities to do from several sources; the unit textbook, the writing book and the audio-visual materials from the OU website. So I’ll have to try my damnedest to not forget the online stuff  – I tend to prefer having study materials in book or paper form because the tactility (apparently that *is* a real word) of them makes them more real for me and it’s harder to forget I have them to do.

I’ve worked up a basic timetable so I can organise my days effectively and not procrastinate on Twitter for half a day and then get irritated with myself for not having done anything. Currently my plan involves me getting up at the same time as Le Boyf every weekday and taking the time between 7 and 8am to get up, dressed and caffeinated  so that come 8 o’clock I can retreat into what will soon become my work office (AKA the spare room) and get cracking on whatever tasks I have for the first half of my day.

I’m hoping that doing four hour blocks of work (most likely with a tea break half way through :P) will mean I can get a productive amount done without falling over the edge into boredom because that’s when I’ll start to get distracted and procrastinate. After I have a lunch break I’ll then switch to my other subject and do four more hours work on whatever tasks I have for that. By the end of an 8 hour day I should hopefully *crosses fingers* have a quantity of work that I’m actually satisfied with so I don’t feel guilty about doing other stuff after dinner.

Unlike many OU students who are probably juggling part-time or even full-time jobs as well as studying either A215 or L211 (there are probably not many folk crazy enough to try two modules on top of a job) I will have the almost luxury of being able to arrange my studies without the worry of fitting the work in around other things beyond not completely ignoring Le Boyf by staying closeted away in my office once he gets home from work. I just have to make sure I don’t squander that luxury.

Now this post has taken far longer to write than I planned, I will have to get better at quickly bashing out blog posts in my self-assigned breaks so that I don’t waste work time by blogging about studying.

Have a good night all!

Ray 🙂