A space of one’s own

my brilliant career

This could be me! But is apparently from My Brilliant Career (I could be wrong). I found it at The Writing Spider

It’s a quarter past 12 on a sunny Saturday morning and I’m sitting in the back of my van with a thermos, laptop and a book for company. I am turning waiting around into an art form. You see, my daughter is heavily involved in sport at a high level for her age, which is old enough to know what she wants but not to drive herself places.

For something to do on Facebook while I wait for my soon-to-be-published novel to be, well, published (and therefore much easier to promote), I started posting photos of writing spaces. I’ve found several good ones that I would love to have access to, but it occurs to me that my writing space is not too bad either. What I thought was my space at home has become the place to dump random bits and pieces of paper, books, computer cables, cameras, etc and so forth. Behind where I sit a pile of semi-organised paperwork, artwork, and Christmas decorations and a library of books grows ever outward. I’m not sure if my shelves are overflowing or if it’s the junk from the corner, as it all appears to be blending in. Next to my desk is a bright red sofa, which is meant to be for me to either sit on and read, or lay on when I can’t sleep at night. It’s more often draped with clean clothes than my body.

At any rate, it’s no longer much of a writing space and, while my computer does occupy my desk, the area is less than inspiring.

Back to driving, waiting, and creative spaces. In the back of my little van, I have a make-shift bench, a fold-out chair, and the ability to shut myself away from the world. I have spent hours here writing, reading, and studying over the last few months and it has occurred to me that this is my new writing corner. Handily, it’s also mobile and only a two-seater (so passengers are limited to just the one who runs off to do her netball thing).

My writing space my van

The back of my van is big enough to get comfortable and occasionally stretch my legs. If I want to stand up though, I have to venture outside.

In my private space I have edited my manuscript (for the soon-to-be-published novel), researched my next story, written a dozen or so articles for my blog, tweeted, Facebooked, read several books, and napped. Not to mention picnicking and drinking copious amounts of tea. When it’s warm I open all the doors to let in the breeze or sit outside in the shade with my feet up. In cold weather, I pack a quilt and pillow, and when it’s raining I make sure not to park under trees (water dripping on the roof from their branches is irritatingly distracting). I love it!


Jane Austen had a “mobile” writing desk too though lacking in wheels… Image from the Jane Austen House Museum.

So, if you’re in need of a space to call your own, a corner of the world away from everything, remember to look outside the square, or the house in this case, and pay attention to what’s parked in the driveway.


Here’s a few other creative spaces around the web.

For fan’s of Jane Austen and British period dramas with dashing heroes in general, visit the Thoughtful Spot.

The Writing Nut has a gallery of famous writing desks starting with Tolkien‘s rather plain desk. I presume it would have had pen, ink and paper on it, and perhaps not been on a pedestal when he was using it.

For more photos of writing spaces I’ve found, come like my Facebook page – Patricia Leslie Author.  I’ll be posting my discoveries weekly.



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