Friday, December 18, 2009

My Writing Habitat

"Where do you write?"

I wish there was an easy answer to this simple question. Alas, there is not.

I write on the floor, I write at a desk, I write in a mess. I write on train, I write in the rain. (I am channeling Dr. Seuss tonight.)

I can write in other places, but my favorite places to write are on the floor and in my bed. Those are the places where I first started writing. My earliest memories are of me sprawled on the floor of my grandparents' house with a pile of books, papers, and pencils surrounding me or of me sprawled out in my childhood bed (it was a twin bed so I didn't sprawl that much) with books and papers surrounding me.

I've moved from the floor to my bed. That is my preferred place to write. Once upon a time, I read that Jackie Collins or some famous writer wrote longhand drafts of her novels in her plush bed. So I decided to follow my then-idol, and it's been a bad habit to break.

Every doctor and Prevention article on sleep patterns tells me that I should not take work to bed with me. Your bed should only be used for sex and sleep.

Clearly, I break that rule.

My queen-sized bed has multiple functions: as a storage closet, DVD rack, my makeshift desk. I wrote term papers in my dorm bedroom. I wrote and edited most of my dissertation and theses as I sat on my apartment floor, eating Doritos and drinking wine. (I was a graduate student, and my food chart consisted of Doritos, burgers, wine, and rum raisin ice cream.)

My new duvet (or whatever my mom calls that thing on the bed) has puncture wounds and coloring streaks that have come from battle (me vs. a plot hole, me vs. a poorly written student paper, me vs. editing a poorly written book that I have to edit for a side gig).

My goal for 2010 is to move off the bed and into a desk. A desk seems more appropriate for a grown-up and more appropriate for a budding writer. And I think it would make my doctor and the writers at Prevention happy.


  1. Tiana,
    Great detail! I can 'see' you doctorate-ing.

  2. This brought back so many memories! As a child, I too sprawled on the floor, scribbling my stories in an exercise book. In my teens, I wrote in bed, sometimes by torchight under the covers!