This week we take a look at the workspace of Jackie Griffiths, who has been a writer of fiction and non-fiction for twenty years. Just over ten years ago she sold her online copywriting business to concentrate on her novels and short stories. She now lives in what she describes as abject poverty in the freezing ruins of an old sewage works somewhere in the UK, where she is working on her third novel.
“My working space is quiet, warm, orderly, and without clutter – my bedroom! But most of all, it is a space that I claim as mine and mine alone for several hours at a time.
I live in a small house with two young children who know no personal boundaries – every room in the house belongs to them, naturally. But when they’re away at school, I know I have a luxurious six uninterrupted hours at my disposal to sit and create, think, edit, type. At other times, such as weekends and school holidays, I often only have an illicitly snatched hour or two to call my own, and then, instead of the more involved process of art and creation, I usually focus on something more straight forward and administrative… and as an indie author there is always marketing and promotion to be done.
I find it impossible to write in a public place such as an office, library or coffee shop, or anywhere where there is noise and chatter. I’m far too easily distracted by people-watching and accidentally listening to snippets of other people’s conversations. Too much time can be so easily used up gazing into middle distance and absorbing everything going on around me.
I work pretty steadily, but constantly shift around in my chair, morphing from cross-legged Buddha, to sitting straight up, as English as can be, back to hunched over my laptop like a crone nursing her poisons, and sometimes even squatting flat-footed on the seat of the chair, or perching side-saddle facing the wall as I ponder a particular issue. I’ve never been known to sit still for long!
I’m super organised, with a tiny desk for writing, with minimal clutter on it. It’s located in a corner of my bedroom by the wardrobe, and I crouch on my chair hunched over my laptop like a toad on a rock. Occasionally I flick out my tongue and catch nearby food (cheese, bread, green tea). There is no fabulous view or inspirational setting… just functionality, space-saving and silence. It’s how I like to work.”