Creative Spaces — Guest Post by Rosanna Silverlight

Creative Spaces

When I write, I enter my own mental space where nothing exists except the page and the will to write – or the struggle to break into the writing state of mind. I fight hard for that precious concentration; once I have it I’m reluctant to give it up when a distraction comes. In one sense, my writing space is wherever I am when that tug of war between mind and page begins. 

It probably evolved that way because I never had one dedicated place for writing until almost two years ago – but since moving in with my boyfriend, first to a flat and then, last April, to our first house, I’ve discovered what it really means to create a physical space where I let myself loose not just on the page, but on the surroundings themselves. 

I’ve had a lot of fun putting my office together. I feel relaxed and happy when I spend time here, and the people we’ve shown around our new house have all pointed out how it reflects my personality. I never know how to respond to this. It’s a toss-up between “Yay, mission accomplished!” and “Oh, but it’s so messy in here right now!”

My office occupies the smallest bedroom – small enough to be cosy but still big enough for everything I need to fit inside. I painted it two different shades of green – a warm, inspiring colour – and put up shelves to house my books. It’s one of the most cluttered rooms in the house and never stays immaculate for long. At the moment my desk is covered in stuff – my laptop, myriad Post-Its, a hole punch, Roget’s Thesaurus, several Lego mini-figures, a copy of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, a framed photo of my sister, a pot full of pens, index cards … you get the idea!

I set up my desk so I could look out of the window while mulling over ideas. I love to watch the cat that sometimes appears in the window of the house opposite, and the changing weather patterns – we recently had snow in the UK, and this morning the room was full of glorious sunlight, which turned the green walls golden. It was amazing.

I write as often as I can, fitting it in around my part-time job and dabbling in web design. When I’m at home alone, writing is never very far from my mind – I’ve learned to listen when my muse calls, and to try and wake it up when it’s silent. 

Creative Spaces -- Guest Post by Rosanna Silverlight

Rosanna Silverlight immersing herself in her dream of writing

I always need a good drink before I begin – I never feel entirely happy sitting down without a cup of tea (a writer cliché, I know, but it’s true!) or coffee. And while I can sometimes just open up the laptop and start from a blank page, I often fall prey to the charms of the internet before productivity gets under way. A certain amount of determination can cure this, but so can total immersion in a project – which is what I’m going through right now with my novel-in-progress, an epic fantasy I’m calling Swordslave

It’s about people – the Swordslaves of the title – who are half human, half other. They’re powerful, but most of them don’t get to use that power – they’re enslaved and forced to take a drug, which suppresses the ‘taint’ of otherness in their blood. A young Swordslave gets caught up in a power struggle between two kings with different ideas on how to handle her kind, and she has to decide what freedom means to her and how far she’s willing to go to fight for it. 

Ultimately, Swordslave is about liberty, and the many guises oppression can take. I’ve finished the first draft and have begun revisions, but I’d also like to write more short stories in 2013, submit them to competitions, anthologies and literary journals, and maybe even e-publish an anthology.

I believe in looking for opportunities to write whenever and wherever I can – especially as I’m a long way off writing full time – but it’s a powerful thing to know that there is a place where I can immerse myself in my dream and allow it room to breathe. 

My number one tip for creating your own writing space? Train yourself so you can write anywhere. Then, when you get the opportunity to make a space your own, treat it as another tool to hone your craft.

Create an environment that sharpens you. And don’t stop writing.

 

Bio: Rosanna Silverlight spent her childhood daydreaming, reading stories about magic and ponies and later on, writing stories about magic and ponies. 

She still adores reading and still writes – though not so much about ponies these days. She graduated from Lancaster University in 2007 with a joint honours degree in English Literature and Creative Writing, and set about learning the hard way that being a daydreamer is fine, as long as you don’t expect too much. If you do, you’d best pay attention and do something about making those dreams come true. No one else will do it for you!

After a year spent in Spain and Portugal teaching English, she moved back to the UK and settled with her wonderful, imaginative boyfriend in Somerset, a beautiful part of the UK well known for its cider and Glastonbury Tor. 

Rosanna currently divides her time between working a part-time job and writing at home. She writes short stories – some of which you can read on her website [www.rosannasilverlight.com] – and is working on her first novel, Swordslave

 

Comments

  1. Rosanna, your space sounds cozy and inspiring. Your novel Swordslaves sounds like a great read, good luck with the revisions. And thanks for leaving tips for creating a productive workspace!

  2. Victoria, thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk about my writing space! It made me think about my journey as a writer and how lucky I’ve been to be able to put together a space where I can completely relax, be myself and just WRITE! I’m glad you enjoyed my piece and I hope my tips are helpful.

    As for Swordslave … I’m digging in for another afternoon of revising! 🙂

  3. What a wonderful post, Rosanna! I especially love what you say about entering your “own mental space.” That is the way it begins, isn’t it…I think, for all of us. Swordslaves sounds very exciting, and I’ll look forward to seeing it in print!

  4. Thank you for your comment, Barbara! Yes, my mental space has to be right first otherwise nothing productive will happen when I sit down at my desk! Writing definitely begins in the mind. 🙂 Thanks also for your kind words about Swordslave – I’m about to do some work on it this afternoon and I will carry your encouragement with me as I begin!

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