Deb Kerry Writes Between

Oooh, looks like I’m the first new Deb on the dance floor. I’m feeling a little self conscious all decked out in pearls and this shiny new tiara, but I’m so thrilled and excited to be here. I had hoped to put my best foot forward and show you all of my star quality dance moves right up front, but alas, it is not to be. The band is playing a theme called “Where Do You Write?” and this is not a song that allows me to perform with grace. I look more like a rubber chicken dancing old disco moves while the band plays waltzes.

The truth is, I squeeze, sandwich, sneak, and cram the writing into the chinks and corners of my life. I write between the chaos and the clutter, the teenage messes and the dinner dishes. I write between clients and appointments, between Twitter updates and emails. Also, it turns out, between one life crisis and the next.

This means that I write anywhere and everywhere, and that most of these spaces are what I like to call creatively cluttered.

This is the kitchen table and my favorite place to write when the house is quiet:

I love the light and the window. But since it is part of the kitchen (duh) and also part of the living area, and also midway between the teenage dens located on either side of the house, it tends to be unreliable as a writing space. The Viking who lives here and likes to cook also likes to communicate while cooking. And who can blame him? The teenage creatures who live here engage in TV Watching, Video Game Playing, Music Listening, and the Art of the Electric Guitar. This was a problem.

Therefore, voila, we created an alternate writing space for me:

My Mud Room Office has a door I can close between me and the rest of the house. Mind you, I’m also shut in with the chaos of boots and shoes and the clutter that gets moved here from the rest of the house because there’s no room for it. Also, anybody wanting to go outside, or come in, must inevitably pass through my space. Headphones are magic, even when I forget to turn on the music.

On work days, I try to get some words during lunch break. I’m sparing you the pictures of a very mundane office and my laptop. This is not my favorite place to write – my head is too full of counseling clients and paperwork that needs to be done and it’s hard to shift into a creative space. But some days, I take whatever time I can get.

When I can, I sneak away to my favorite writing spot of all:

They make the best ever coffee, especially when my very favorite barista is in. She knows what I want without ever having to tell her. The noise is a background hum of voices that have nothing to do with me, and it’s easy to tune them out. I’ve also found that when I come here specifically for the purpose of writing, it makes it easier to focus and – you know – actually write, instead of puttering or twittering or procrastinating in some other way.

One way or another, one place or another, the words get written, and that’s the part that matters.

So what about you – do you also disco like a rubber chicken? Or do you have one dedicated writing space where most of your work occurs?

32 Replies to “Deb Kerry Writes Between”

  1. Kerry, you look MAHvelous here on the dancefloor–you do the tiara proud, m’dear!

    I love your writing spots. All of them. You illustrate an important quality in any writer–flexibility. (And an important requirement for most writers: caffeine.)

    I’m looking forward to following your posts here throughout the coming year. 🙂

    1. Linda, you are right – we must never, ever, underestimate the power of caffeine. : ) And thank you – I’ll be looking for you, so you’d better still be around.

  2. Wait…I didn’t write this! Oy. Well, welcome to Mondays, Kerry!

    I’m a creature of habit and have my desk in our second bedroom, which doesn’t have a bed in it anymore. Sometimes I edit hard copy pages at the dining room table, but generally it’s at my very messy, very cluttered desk.

    1. So strange not to have you here this morning! We should have written it together, lol. I’m also trying to get my mind around having a habitual writing space. It sounds sort of lovely.

  3. You’ve kicked off this party perfectly, Kerry! Welcome to the Deb Dance!

    I always love seeing where writers write–it’s one of the most personal things we can reveal about our process, I think.

  4. Lookie at you, Ms. Deb 2013! I’m so happy to read your post…little peeks into the lives of writer friends is always an inspiration. I write at home (and somewhere else, which you’ll find out about on Friday) but I wonder sometimes if I might be better off going somewhere else, especially now because I’m trying to write the first 50 pages of my next novel. The voices in coffee shops bother me (don’t they know I’m working??) and the chairs at the library are not comfortable at all. I think you have inspired me though, to give it a try…

    Deb Amy xo

    1. I can’t wait to read your post on Friday! (Well, maybe I might have already peeked at it, lol, but I can’t wait for everybody else to read it.) The main problem with libraries is this – NO COFFEE. How can you write without at least some sort of beverage? It’s seldom quiet at my house, and I find it easier to tune out the coffee shop.

        1. My library has coffee, but I read aloud when I write. All the time. Which is another reason coffee shops don’t work…because they’ll haul me off to that *special* coffee shop with padded walls.

  5. Welcome Kerry! It’s always exciting to see the new Debs take the floor. I’m looking forward to checking them all out.

    I write usually at home, but when I find myself stuck for some reason writing at a coffee shop helps. Go figure.

    1. Eileen — as you’ll see in my post tomorrow, I write from home, too, but I totally understand what you’re saying about being stuck. Sometimes a change of venue really, really helps when I’m stuck on a plot point. Either that, or a few glasses of wine over dinner with the hubs.

  6. Welcome to Monday’s Kerry, I opened up the site this morning expecting to see my daughter Joanne (yes I forgot 2012 is no longer on the dance floor).

    I am looking forward to this week meeting all the new Debs for 2013 and welcoming them to the dance floor and looking forward to hearing about your blogs and to your books.

    Do, you think I can still be Deb M for this year????????

    Good luck to you all.

    1. Hi Deb Mom Marcia!! I’m so glad you stopped by – and you totally have my vote to carry on as Honorary Deb Mom. I’m sure we’ll all need a little guidance off and on. 🙂

  7. I’m lucky enough to have my own place so as long as there’s nothing that demands my attention, I can write usually every night. I also have an hour lunch break every day that either gets dedicated to revising and/or writing or reading a new book — usually, the latter.

    But having to juggle the family, the chaos that brings, and work? Whoa. That’s a lot. I’m always in awe of the writers that can manage that.

    1. I think we manage to make time for the things that are truly important to us. Nice to meet another lunch time writer, er, reader, lol.

  8. Great post, Kerry – way to lead the charge! (I confess, it did occur to me that being safely ensconced in Thursday means I’ll neither have to lead nor provide the spectacular finishing touches that everyone will remember. Huzzah for you having the bravery to go first!)

    I love seeing your writing spaces. I’ve only had a “dedicated writing office” since we moved to Sacramento a few years back, but I remember the days of writing wherever I could find enough empty table space (in my house, never an easy task). Love your kitchen window view too!

    1. It is a little daunting to go first, but on the other hand, it gives me a reason to be excited about Mondays. And that is no small thing.

  9. Thanks Susan I am looking so forward sharing the dance floor with all the wonderful talent and so looking forward to reading all of the Debs books for 2013.

    See you all this week.

  10. Welcome, Kerry! I love your Mud Room Office (I especially love that it gets capitalized) – I think Deb Sarah Jio has a similarly cozy arrangement!

    I generally write in my non-mud-room office, but I’m learning to be less tied to that. Thanks to some advice from James Rollins and Deb Harkness, I’ve even been writing on airplanes while I travel!

    I’m looking forward to Mondays with you – welcome to the Ball – the tiara looks faaaabulous.

  11. How do you tune out the voices at the coffee shop??? Today is my first day working at a coffee shop and I am such an incorrigible evesdropper that I haven’t written a word. I have, however, filled myself in on a fellow cafe patron’s kidney stone, the comings and goings of a first day of school club, and my favorite, the waitstaff’s coming mutiny.

    Maybe I just need good headphone recs.

    1. Hey, great writing fodder if nothing else!! But yeah – if I’m being distracted by the convos I put on the earbuds and some favorite tunes.

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