A poor-quality picture of my writing corner. Can you find:
1. My computer from 2006 (still ticking! knock on wood).
2. Not one but two water glasses because it’s a pain to have to refill.
3. The copy of Everything is Fine that I still need to mail to the winner of the giveaway (it’s coming! I promise!).
4. Post it notes for my WIP that used to be color coded but are not anymore.
5. A teeny tiny little copy of my Tennyson poetry book.
6. A printer that I hate but use anyway.
7. A plastic tupperware container that I use as a foot rest.
I spend a lot of time in this little corner. It’s in the guest room in the basement and we’ve tried lots of different spots for my desk to be and this is the best one, even though I get kicked out when company comes. It’s air conditioned. It’s far enough removed that I’m not in the middle of everything when I’m trying to write. But it’s also near the laundry room so that when I get stuck I have the ever-present threat of folding socks to keep me going.
I’m not a naturally gifted writer, one who sits down and writes and beautiful things happen. I wrote seven books before I wrote MATCHED. It took me a long time to get better.
People e-mail me and ask me if I have any writing tips for them. This is my biggest one, and I think they feel like it’s a letdown or just something I say. But I’ve never been good at anything automatically. I knew when I started writing that it would take a lot of time. I’ve been writing daily since 2003 (except for Sundays, and I take a few months off when I have a baby, because when I have a new little one I can’t concentrate on anything else).
Putting in the time looks different for different writers. For me, it looks like this–a desk in a corner where I go every day and try to get better.
What does it look like for you?