Where The Magic Happens

lisac2~ By Cara Connelly

I was writing seriously for eight years before I got a contract with Avon, and during much of that time, the only person who knew of my secret passion was my husband. But when I signed that contract 18 months ago, I decided it was time to come out of the closet and tell my family, friends and the co-workers at the Court where I worked as an attorney that I was soon to be a published author. After all, how else would they know to buy my books?

I got many, er, interesting reactions. Some people were shocked that I’d been living a double life, others were shocked that I was writing “smut” (will that stereotype never die?), but most were overwhelmingly supportive.  And to my surprise, the most frequently asked question was some variation of: Do you have a special place where you write?

I’ve had some time to consider why people are so interested in my writing space, and I think that at least part of the answer is that everyone has stories inside of them waiting to be told, and they dream of one day writing a novel. But most of you reading this know just how hard a task that is. Hard to start, hard to stick with, and hard to finish.

And one of the things people think they need in order to undertake such a daunting task is, in the immortal words of Virginia Woolf, a room of their own. Not having such a place provides a really great excuse for not tackling a novel. Heck, I used to use that one myself! So I was very sorry to tell them that I wrote my first novel—all 250,000 words of it—in the recliner in the middle of my living room.

They were disappointed. Partly because, well, there went that excuse. But also partly, I think, because the arts—painting, acting, writing—all have a certain magical mystique. And the recliner in my living room was just not where people pictured the magic happening.

Well, with all those disappointed expectations ringing in my ears, I made an effort to carve out some space dedicated (mostly) to writing. The deal is, I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

First, the rocker where *most* of the magic happens, complete with furry foot warmer:

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Then there’s the desk where ancillary stuff happens, like organizing the scraps of paper I makes notes on while driving, walking the furry foot warmer and waking up during the night:

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Here’s the latest addition, a treadmill desk, because they say sitting is the new smoking:

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And finally the coffee shop, when I need a change of scenery…or a piece of coffeecake:

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So there you have it, all the places where the magic happens. I’ve developed quite an interest in this subject recently, so I’d love it if you include pictures of your workspace in the comments. Happy magic-making!

Cara Connelly is the author of the Save the Date series of contemporary romance books, including The Wedding Date and The Wedding Favor, both published in 2013. Cara’s smart and sexy stories have won several awards, including the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart, the Valley Forge Romance Writers’ Sheila, and the Music City Romance Writers’ Melody of Love. A former attorney and law professor, she lives with her husband Billy in the woods of upstate New York.

6 thoughts on “Where The Magic Happens”

  1. All of your areas look extremely inviting.

    I love being a writing nomad. Living room recliner with fuzzy footwarmer (of the feline variety) is one location, still figuring out the best use of the secretary desk I drooled over as a child, and my local coffee house is a great writing home away from home. There’s a park within walking distance, which is good for thinky walks, always with a notebook (I have many) and my most surprising, but one of the most productive writing spaces is…the laundromat.

  2. I also have a chair in the middle of my living room. I tried building a writing desk, but that’s where I put my laundry basket of clean clothes to put away. My other office includes the front seat of my car while my kids are at practice, the beach, riverbank, or campsite or the deck at my family’s cabin. I started my first online writing course in a tent at Zion National Park, so yes, you can be a writer anywhere.

    1. Yes, Kristina, your answer certainly proves that you can be a writer anywhere. Still, I doubt too many writers — at least writers in this century — can boast taking a writing course in Zion National Park!

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