From when I was little, I always loved having my own little nook or cave to retreat to and write. From huge cardboard boxes, to forts, to cleaning out half of my closet to use as a hideaway “office.” I loved having my own secret little spot. I would decorate it, stock it with paper, pens, markers, a desk, chair, and light. Some things never change.
Once I started writing more seriously, a corner of a room in our house became my writing space. I found the perfect chairs, a little table, and surrounded the space with inspirational art, quotes, pictures, and momentos from writing events. It proved to be a comfortable happy place.
There were just a few problems. I shared the room with the piano and our home computer, so I wasn’t always alone. The room was right next to the living room, so if the TV was on, I could hear it. There was no lock on the door, so my clever cat, Tucker, who can open lever handles, always opened the door to let all of our pets in to “see” me. To some, this may seem like minor nuisances, but I had a hard time focusing.
Many year ago, my husband and I had an amazing playhouse built in our backyard for our girls. It was sided and designed to look like a mini-version of our home. It also has electricity, an air conditioner for the summer, and a space heater for the winter. We insulated it, installed windows, and carpeting. My mom made curtains and we filled it with a kitchen set, Barbie houses, a table and chairs, and even a tv/dvd player for movies. If I would have had this when I was a kid, I don’t know if I would have ever come back in the house!
My girls are now in 7th and 11th grades. This past summer was the first summer that the playhouse was not played in once. Our original plan was to turn the playhouse into storage once the girls outgrew it. As I thought about the possibilities, my wheels started spinning about a writing cottage. I had seen all kinds of cool “She Sheds” on TV and on Pinterest. Artists have studios. Could I have my own personal writing shack? Once I was cleared to remove the toys and take over, the fun began. I ripped out the carpet, added another window, put down hard-wood flooring and a rug, brought my writing chairs out, ordered a writing table and lamp, and started painting.
I cannot tell you how much I love this space. I have all of my books, poems, and magazine publications out here, cards of encouragement people have given me up on the wall, books I love to read, books that help me become a better writer, and all of my current writing projects. I have a window that my chair and desk both face, overlooking a tree with bird feeders and birdhouses. As I sit here, I feel very blessed to have this cozy space to do what I love.