A Writer’s Space…Ideal vs. Reality



One of my Favorite things to do on my blog is to introduce and congratulate debut authors. Please welcome author Christi Corbett…

First, I’d like to give a big thank you to Doreen for allowing me to host her blog! I truly appreciate her sharing her readers with me as I celebrate the release of my debut novel, Along the Way Home.

Author Corbett Book Cover


Author Christi Corbett



Doreen suggested I write about how I stay focused on writing during the summer months. While my husband is amazingly supportive of my writing, we also have young twins and a new puppy, and they are very demanding of my time. I usually write at night, and here’s why…

A Writer’s Space…Ideal vs. Reality

When I was young, I pictured the location where authors/writers did their work. It was always some variation of the following:

The recently showered and fully dressed author/writer pads down a long hallway and opens a door to their own private writing space. Clutching a mug of tea/coffee, the writer sits down at a comfortable chair located behind a highly polished, very organized mahogany desk. There is a wall of books on one wall and a window with a completely astounding view of a lake, a mountain, or a field of wildflowers.

Selecting a full pen from a drawer, the author/writer thinks for a long moment and at the precise moment inspiration hits, leans over a clean piece of paper and the words begin to flow.

Then I became a writer. Here is the reality.

On a typical day, when I’ve begged and pleaded for time to write, I can count on a minimum of five interruptions per hour. Last time I reserved a block of time to write I kept track of said interruptions for my own amusement.

6:30 AM Hubby wants to know where the flea powder is—dog is scratching
6:41 AM Hubby comes in room for some clothes
7:01 AM Hubby brings me breakfast (OK—this one is great! Love him!)
7:09 AM Powdered, yet still scratching, dog is let into the room
7:25 AM Kids come in to see if I have any bacon left and can they have it
7:36 AM Boy twin comes in for a hug
7:42 AM Hubby needs toilet paper, where are extra rolls kept?
8:08 AM Girl twin needs me to fix her hair
8:25 AM Knock at window reveals family showing ripened tomatoes
8:26 AM Boy twin can’t find toy army men… do I know where they are?
8:50 AM Girl twin wants to weigh herself
9:01 AM Hubby needs jersey to watch upcoming football game
9:17 AM Hubby wants to know if he can pull bread from freezer

And so on.

So, that is a typical block of “writing time” for me. Now, let’s move on to the instruments for said writing.

My computer is located in a peeling wood veneer cabinet that is shoved in the corner of my bedroom. My twins find everything in the cabinet fascinating and things disappear at will. (8-year-olds find calculators, screen cleaners, coasters, my drafts, and note cards to be much fun to play with).

Sometimes I don’t use the computer. When inspiration strikes I use anything that is at hand. Some examples:

• Sticky notes (they paste so nicely to the computer monitor, don’t they?)
• Backs of envelopes
• Any kind of paper with a blank space on it anywhere
• You get the drift

As for writing utensils… our pens never have ink in them (my fault since I leave them clicked open all the time), so I’ve had to improvise at times:

• Crayons
• Lipstick
• Dry erase markers
• And my personal favorite—using the tip of an empty pen to gouge the words into the paper. Trust me, if you’ve got a great flow of words coming to you this will work!

It is during these times that I try to remember it all comes down to this: How you write doesn’t matter, as long as you’re writing!

Along the Way Home

Life on the Oregon Trail is a battle of wills between Kate, a pampered society woman, and Jake, her rugged trail guide. Then tragedy strikes, stranding them a thousand miles from home and in the midst of a treacherous land the United States doesn’t yet own or govern. Kate is left dependent upon the very man she despises and facing a choice–go back to everything she’s ever known or toward everything she’s ever wanted?

Along the Way Home is a Sweet Historical Romance available in ebook formats on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Bookstrand, Astraea Press (my publisher),ibookstore, and OmniLit. Print releases in July 2013.

About Christi

I’m addicted to coffee, sticky notes, and the Oxford Comma. I live in a small town in Oregon with my husband and our twins. Our home’s location is especially inspiring because the view from the back door is a hill travelers looked upon years ago as they explored the Oregon Territory and beyond.


When I’m not writing I love chatting with readers and writers alike. You can find me in one of the following locations:

Email: christicorbett@gmail.com

Blog: http://christicorbett.wordpress.com

Twitter: @ChristiCorbett

Facebook: Christi Corbett—Author

12 Responses to “A Writer’s Space…Ideal vs. Reality”

  • The real book came later–after more work, but this time it involved various others, including agents, publishers, editors, designers, and publicists, all of whose jobs are necessary but sometimes indecipherable to me. They’re the ones who transformed the thousands of words I’d privately and carefully conjured into something that could be shared with other people. “I wrote this!” I exclaimed in amazement when I first held each actual, physical book in my hands. I wasn’t amazed that it existed; I was amazed by what its existence meant: that it no longer belonged to me.

  • […] Doreen McGettigan: I talk about why I write at night, long after my twins and our puppy are asleep. […]

  • Katherine,

    I saw your lovely logo at the top of the blog post and see that you’ve organized a blog hop. Now I’m on my way to see you 🙂


    Oh how I wish for a desk! My cabinet is hurting, the veneer is peeling, and the doors won’t shut unless you push the entire cabinet to the side about half an inch as you’re closing them. And a purple velvet chair…that’s the stuff dreams are made of!


    I’m living in Oregon now, but I’ve lived in several different states before we settled here. Do you like living in PA?


    Hey lady! Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. I especially loved your part about your hair in a bun. I love to use pencils to keep my bun in place, and the first time my daughter saw me to that she looked at me in utter shock. Then I showed her how to do it and now I’m not so cool/amazing. 🙂

    Thanks so much everyone for your kind comments. I love meeting other writers!

    Christi Corbett

  • Karen:

    Hi Christi!! Love your line up of interruptions! 😀

  • I love your dedication, Christi. No one’s getting me up before 10am without losing an eye. I actually do have a private writing space, but instead I pad downstairs in yoga pants and a t-shirt (rocking the sexy ponytail/bun hairdo), plant myself on the sofa in front of the television, and wait for my husband to serve me (okay, this happens mostly in my mind, but it’s a really nice fantasy). I do like that my office is there if I want to use it, but I enjoy being close to the coffee I.V. and large cold storage contraption that has food. I’m so glad that your system is paying off! You deserve it 🙂

    • I have a beautiful office too [ believe me I waited a long time to get my writing off the dining room table] but it is funny I spend a lot of time still writing at that dining room table or my sofa or my bed lol

  • Thanks so much for stopping by!! I am from Pa. too. living in the Wilkes Barre /Scranton area…


  • I love this post! When I first started writing, we lived in an apartment in Hollywood. I had a makeshift desk in the corner of the living room. My husband was always upset at me for having things piled around the desk, but I had no where to put anything. Then… we bought a house. And now I have my own office.. this description that you wrote:

    The recently showered and fully dressed author/writer pads down a long hallway and opens a door to their own private writing space. Clutching a mug of tea/coffee, the writer sits down at a comfortable chair located behind a highly polished, very organized mahogany desk. There is a wall of books on one wall and a window with a completely astounding view of a lake, a mountain, or a field of wildflowers.

    That is now me! Only I pad down to my writing space in my nightgown and slippers. I have the hot mug of coffee, the beautiful mahogany desk, a purple velvet chair, the wall of books behind me, and the window to the view. I don’t have kids, so no distractions there, but my husband will find time to interrupt me through out the day for reasons such as, “Honey, there is dog poo in the back yard, can you come out and pick it up?” or, “Honey, are you going to make my carrot juice now?” or, “Honey, should we steam clean the carpet in the dining room?” Sometimes I feel like Edith Bunker, running from room to room at Archie’s demands.. LOL

    Now, I get up at about 7 am every morning so that I have at least 2 hours before my husband wakes up. I get some writing done with my little dog at my feet for inspiration.

    Good for you for sticking to it, making it work and going for your dream.

  • thank you for introducing us to Christi and thank you for sharing at the hop xo

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