June 24, 2009

Where I Write - Kimberley Payne

Some days I have trouble sitting down to write because I can’t decide where the best place would be to stimulate my creative juices. I am blessed with several options, including my leather couch in the living room, my armchair in the sunroom, or my blue oversized chair in the office. In this summer season, my options can also include writing outdoors on the pool deck, or in a Muskoka chair overlooking the ravine, or on the low back chair on my front porch.

When the question was posed on The Word Guild discussion forum, I discovered that just as all writers are different, their writing places are as unique.

N.J. Lindquist likes to sit on her back deck, inside a tent with the netting closed. Her dog sits on the loveseat beside her. Stephanie Tombari taps away on her laptop late in the evening sitting on her bed with her husband out cold beside her. Patricia Paddey loves the freedom of her laptop. “It lets me write anywhere. And I do.”

Janice Dick uses a little white Mac laptop at her desk in the balcony overlooking her living room. Andi Harris is content to sit on her living room futon (curved out just so from her constant use), laptop in front, side table with fruit juice or water, and a couple of clip boards.

Belinda Burston sits “in a dappled place beside a sturdy clump of silver birch--so lovely that I had to capture it with the eye of my camera. A canopy of leaf laden branches, danced above my head, while a breeze passed through them with a sigh. The electronic drone of an air conditioner added to the symphony of tweets, twitters, chirrups and soft coo-ing. Over my arms, warmed by the sun, the cool, silken veil of breeze flowed. I was ready to listen in the cool of this morning.”

Carolyn Wilker writes most often in her home office using pen or pencil and paper, which she takes with her whenever she goes away from home. Linda Hall writes “with pen and paper –actually medium point gel pens, the ultra-fine Sharpies are good, on back sides of paper (unlined), and I like to write with various colored sharpies - like orange or red. I write in half shorthand (which I used way back in the dark ages when they taught shorthand to journalism students). And I usually work in Starbucks.” Heather Kendall also writes “the old-fashioned way with pen and paper”. She needs to have a rough outline down on paper before she dares put it in the computer.

Each writer and her writing space is unique. Today, I plan to sit in my tent-trailer and open all the windows to let in the air without the bugs. It’ll provide the shade I need so I’m not roasting in the sun. It also offers a clear view of the blue sky with a smattering of puffy clouds in the distance. Now that I’ve picked my place to write, I actually need to do so. What to write, what to write?

Kimberley Payne


  1. I'm feeling a bit stuck-in-the-mud, as I usually just sit down at my computer in the corner of my living room. Laptops are looking like the item of choice for writers! :) I've contemplated hauling my hubby's laptop out to the backyard to type while watching Sunshine play, but I'd have to plug it in as the batteries don't work and I'd spend more time running after Sunshine to keep her from escaping the back fence. :) So I just write in my living room during naptimes.

  2. I enjoyed your article and the opportunity to catch a glimpse of your writing place, as well as those of several other writers. I'm always interested to learn how other people get to it!

    I enjoy the ease and comfort of writing on the computer, but there is something special about picking up my pen and capturing rushing thoughts on crisp blank pages.


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