Monday, 9 April 2012

H is for Home

Another week and it's time for H in my A-Z series "Things that Made Me a Writer".

If you caught Saturday's post you'll recall that it was all about travel and experiencing new places. Today's entry is about the exact opposite. Yes, I also find home to be very inspiring for my writing.

My warts-and-all workstation just before a writing session. Note the
digestive biscuits waiting for a dip in hot tea, and the ladybird
under the table because this is also the playroom.
Let me explain: I'm a creature of routine. I usually like to do things the same old way all the time, otherwise I get thrown off course. And I'm quite fussy when it comes to my writing conditions: preferably almost complete silence, or just a little background hum. That's why, although I have written in cafes and the library, "home is where the art is" when it comes to my work (sorry).

I am greatly inspired by foreign trips and just things I see out and about on a daily basis, but my kitchen table is the best place for me to turn that inspiration into something tangible. Of course, I have easy access to various biscuits and numerous other snacks, but that can be a downside depending on how you look at it: keeps me going but not doing my waistline any favours. Above all, though, I need as little outside stimulus as possible so my imagination can run riot, and my little kitchen definitely fits the bill.

Does home inspire your writing?


Kyra Lennon said...

I wish I was as inspired by home as you! I find it a place full of distraction. There is always something that needs to be done!

Unknown said...

I do find a lot of inspiration at home and it is definitely where I do most, if not all, my writing. I'm like you - I need a controlled environment, specifically silence.

I find inspiration out and about in the world. But home is where I go when it's time to put it on paper. It's also where I go to sort out the inspiration/ideas that I pick up elsewhere.

I love your "Home is where the ART is quote." Clever. :)

Great post,

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

While I love to travel and I've discovered some amazing places, there is no substitute for home.

Elise Fallson said...

Nice Hello Kitty ;D

I can't say home inspires my writing. Like Kyra said, there are so many distractions between the kids, school, my ESL classes, housework, etc. I retreat into my mind to escape it all and can do that anywhere, on the fly, when ever I can steal a moment or two. I'm not a creature of habit though sometimes I wish I were, it'd give structure and help me be more organized. (:

Nick Wilford said...

Kyra - When I'm writing I'm pretty focussed - my only distraction really comes from the internet! Housework doesn't come naturally to me although it's officially my job, so I don't get distracted by it (as you can probably tell from the photo!)

Michelle - I'm quite a homebody really and definitely need to be relaxed in a familiar environment to work. I came up with that line off the cuff - thought it was a bit cheesy so I'm glad you like it!

Lynda - Well said, Dorothy ;)

Elise - I can get inspired anywhere, but not good at doing little bits of writing on the fly - I need a good couple of hours to ponder, read over the previous day's stuff before I get down to writing. I'm definitely a creature of habit - sometimes that can be a drawback!

Sarah Tokeley said...

Home is the only place I write on a regular basis so it had better inspire my writing :-)

T.D. McFrost said...

I spend most of my time daydreaming, so my inspiration comes from my head. Of course, that's the novel thing to say, but I draw creativity from everything I see and do, including lounging on my couch at home, eating fries.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Only two digestive biscuits? You have such a strong will! I would have the entire package on that plate, with a couple of empty packages kicking around where the ladybug is hiding!!!!
I can write casual stuff, like letters or blog posts, anywhere - noise doesn't bother me at all. But when I'm working on my novel, I need absolute peace and quiet. Usually I go into the bedroom and shut the door. Sometimes I even pull out ear plugs. (We live in a very small house.)

Unknown said...

Oh yes, home is the best for writing. Thing is I have all my reference books here (and snacks to go off and pinch). I do get inspiration when I'm away, especially when I'm walking but writing does take up so many hours that I'm best doing it at home. Great post!

Jemi Fraser said...

I've never written anywhere except at home. Too scary! :) I do find the comforts of home encourage my creativity!

Kelley Lynn said...

'Home is where the art is'. Haha :)

I do most of my writing at home, at my kitchen table, but usually without any food. (Which is good for my waistline ;))

Since I travel a bunch I do write on the road, airports, airplanes, hotels, etc. But my long writing sessions all occur in the house.

Weaver said...

Home is certainly where I feel the most comfortable in my writing.

Jaycee DeLorenzo said...

I don't have a choice, I have to write at home because of my kids, and because they're so loud, I've had to learn how to write even with the noise. :D Following.

My A-Z

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Nick, since home is the most convenient place to write, I have to make it work for me. A corner of the bedroom is where I do my thing these days.

Liz Brownlee said...

Oh, I can empathise with this - I prefer silence or just a gentle, not distinguishable hubbub as well. I write at home too, in my study, which overlooks the garden, and an apple tree with distracting birds on the feeders. And a distracting dog, often on my feet, who requires a walk in the morning, but that is usually helpful to getting my brain ready. Although sometimes if I'm in mid-flow it can be irritating! I have tried other places. Didn't work!

In case you are interested, I'm blogging about endangered animals, with info and pictures and poems suitable for all ages, I'm leaving you my A-Z link as blogger
always identifies me as my shared blog with other poets - my A-Z is this one:

Mina Burrows said...

When the home is free of kids and husband,'s inspiring. :)

C.B. Wentworth said...

I'm envious of people who can write at home! I have 2 dogs, 2 cats, and a husband and its rare when all of them are quiet at the same time. Plus, I find I'm a procrastinator when I try to write at home - the kitchen counters need to be suddenly cleaned, the closets need to be organized, the living room dusted, etc. It seems I have to treat writing like a second job, which means I have to leave the house and go somewhere just like I do for my day job.

Nick Wilford said...

Sarah - It's certainly the place where I can best process my ideas.

T.D. - I'm a daydreamer too. It'd good that eating fries can give you inspiration.

Cathy - Yeah, I don't mind blogging with noise (if I needed silence for that I couldn't do this at all), but it needs to be silence for "proper" writing. BTW, a good idea is to use the biscuits as rewards - ie one for every 500 words. It's motivation!

Susan - Yeah, I need a good block of time to get stuff done and that's most available at home.

Jemi - I have occasionally written elsewhere but not had a chance lately. It can be good to get out of that comfort zone sometimes!

Kelley - It's good you can use your travelling to get some stuff done. Long waits at airports can be annoying!

Donna - Seems most of us feel that way!

Jaycee - I can only do it when they're out of the house, so I'm on an enforced break just now because school's off. Getting round to lots of blogs though!

J.L. - Another happy homeworker. I would quite like to work in my own room because I could have notes round me, I don't have anywhere to keep them in the kitchen and don't like people to see them!

Liz - Thanks for the link, I will check it out. Sounds like you have a very nice view! Don't have a dog to distract me. I don't have complete silence, obviously there's background noise like the fridge - would be quite creepy with absolute silence!

Mina - Agreed... I can write in the same room as my wife, however, as she at least knows how to be quiet!

C.B. - Naah, as I said before, I can quite happily ignore the mess in the kitchen - as you can tell from the photo! I'm a slob at heart. Don't think I could manage pets, already got enough to do!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I can write with distractions as long as everything is routine.

M Pax said...

I like my routine, too. I've quite attached to it really. So writing is perfect for me.

Crack You Whip said...

I write in front of a big window at home and it helps a lot. Not too much going on so that I am not distracted, but nice enough to give my eyes a break from the screen.

I don't think I could try to write anywhere else.

Luanne G. Smith said...

I'm the same way. I didn't write anything on my trip. Couldn't ever settle down enough to write a decent sentence. I have to go through my little routine first like a dog circling his pillow three times before he lies down.

I like traveling, but I like getting home too.

Morgan said...

I write SO much better at home. (I think... I haven't *really* traveled and written...)

All I need is a window to the outside world and I'm golden :D

Brenda McKenna said...

I love your posts, especially your one on family. To me, family and home are pretty much the same thing, and both provide the structure and stability I need to write. Nice to meet you, and I'll be back!

DL Hammons said...

Your workspace is the living embodiment of "user firendly"! :)

kjmckendry said...

I write at my kitchen table too! I listen to music, but only with headphones to block everything else kids. LOL

Nick Wilford said...

Alex, M Pax - I'm a creature of routine too.

Crack You Whip - That sounds nice. My head's spinning after looking at the screen too long sometimes!

L.G. - There's no chance for me to get anything done while I'm away because there's so much going on with the kids! I did keep a diary when I travelled on my own, though.

Morgan - I'm lucky to have big kitchen doors to the garden with glass panels. A darkened cell wouldn't work!

Brenda - I know what you mean. Thanhks for following, I'll do likewise!

DL - Ha. I like a bit of mess to make me feel at home, though my wife doesn't quite agree!

Kathy - That's a good idea, though unfortunately I find music too distracting. You're lucky to have kids who write... you could all work at the same time!