I want you to dream with me the dream writing space

Who did these rooms belong to? One room has a desk surrounded by bookshelves. Another room has stars and planets shining through the walls. I analyzed each room’s items to guess what type of work its owner did. I later learned that Elie Wiesel’s study contained the desk with the bookshelf and that Prince’s studio had the universe shining through the walls.

After looking at some photographs of spaces that famous people worked in, I thought about how I don’t have my dream writing space yet. I was inspired to envision my dream writing space.

Dream with me while I share writing space ideas. If you already have your ideal writing space, how did you decorate and organize your space? These are some of the things that come to mind when I think of my ideal writing space: 

  • Surrounded by beautiful things because beautiful things always inspire me, plants 🪴 and artsy wall prints. 
  • A coaster for drinks, coffee maker or coffee station nearby, bookshelf and file cabinet nearby, window with a view–one that I could look through for inspiration if needed.
  • A comfortable armchair or small sofa for reading 📖.

What’s one of your must-have items in your writing space? Do you have more than one must-have item?

With mucho carino,

Andrea 

p.s. Click here to see Mitch Epstein’s collection of photos 📷 that I mentioned called “The Rooms They Left Behind”.

Every writer has access to infinite possibilities of word arrangements

This always happens to me when I’m immersed in the writing process. The intent is always the same, to create the best draft. But I never know how many changes it’s going to take for me to say, This is the final version, and to actually mean that.

I’m working on a batch of poems I wrote years ago with the intent to finalize them. I concluded that it was necessary that years pass before I picked up those poems again and write their final versions. I was more confident in the revision/editing process this time around. I noticed I revised and edited quicker and better trusted my intuition when making those revision and editing choices. I was able to see what lines needed to be taken out. I say taken out because I didn’t delete them. I just piled them on another page in case they’re useful in the future.

I was better able to hear and see each poem’s foundation and heart. I felt more confident in bringing forth their individual meaning and beauty. Whereas before, I questioned my revision/editing choices a lot. I felt more comfortable with changing the title of a poem or leaving it untitled if I felt like it didn’t have the right title. I was able to take out many chunks of lines and words that weren’t needed with more confidence. I’d never done this with my poems before. I sometimes wondered if I was wrong for not finding ways to keep some lines when the lines decreased dramatically. Yet, after I removed the lines, I realized that I was still keeping the poem’s message.

Then I applied more writing strategies that have stuck with me over time. If I noticed that some consecutive lines didn’t have an image, I tried to figure out what image I could use to express an experience. For example, what image could I use to describe a sleepless night? I asked myself what’s the right word for what I’m trying to say here? Do I use selfless or virtuous? Do I use old or past? Do I use dull or mundane? I asked myself: how many adjectives are enough, do I use a or the, do I capitalize this letter or not, where can I add sound in this poem, and can I come up with an original way of saying things that have already been written about?

Sometimes I think that I won’t be able to find the right words to say what I want to say. I think that I’m not the writer who can write something extraordinary. Sometimes after waiting a bit and experimenting with the words, I end up surprising myself with what I write. I say this as evidence that every writer has access to infinite possibilities of word arrangements. 

What are your go-to revision and editing strategies? How has your writing process changed over the years? How do you know that you’ve completed the final draft? Leave me a comment. I’d love to talk to you about the writing process! 

With mucho cari​​ño,

Andrea

You know you can do better

She crumpled the paper without a care. “I don’t like it,” she said. Just like she crumpled the first paper, she crumpled the next.

You are right if you guessed that those crumpled papers ended up in the trash.

My friend crumpled her drawings every time she didn’t like them, in our high school art class. Her drawings were waaay better than mine. Even the art teacher reminded me of the fact when he said, “How do you feel sitting next to the most talented student in the class?”

She crumpled her drawings and threw them out because she knew that they didn’t compare to the best pieces of art she’d created in the past. Which I get because when it comes to talents and skills, you experience doubt or frustration from time to time when you know you can do better.

Like my high school friend, I also had the artistic talent growing up. I painted portraits and sunsets, and I drew intricate mandalas. But unlike her, I didn’t continue putting the time or practice into my painting and drawing skills.

What skills and talents have you stopped practicing?

Just the other week, I dedicated some time to painting something really simple. I painted bright pink flowers and leaves. It felt nice to paint in solitude and to get the watercolor paints out from the plastic storage bin. I thought, I should do this more often.

What skills and talents are you an expert on? How do you further develop your skills and talents?

Your amiga,

Andrea