Today, Tall Poppy Aimie Runyan is opening the door to her writing space. Shhh … author at work. — Orly Konig
I’ll be honest with you, my first two novels were written largely in a large Jacuzzi tub in our crumbling old farm house near Black Forest, Colorado. I loved that house. I miss that tub. But as life would have it, my husband needed to move for a work opportunity. We left behind our ridiculous vistas and sprawling acreage for a return to Suburbia. The change wasn’t easy.
The perk of our new house was that it came with a small, dedicated office with a door. The “Room of One’s Own” for which Virginia Woolf advocated. The space with a shut-able door that Stephen King championed in On Writing. It’s a small space—10’x10’ with no closet, but it has a view of the street that allows me to keep an eye out on the kiddos when they’re outside and to work until the second the school bus pulls up in front of the house. That’s worth a lot to me.
Because I work from home, the ability to shut the door is hugely important to my psyche. I try to make the space all about writing and books as much as possible, with a few kid art projects and the like to make it feel like it’s an office I might have anywhere else. I envy the writers who have pristine office spaces, but mine is usually closer to “hot mess” than “Pintrest worthy”.
In order to curb some of the chaos of the small space, I follow the mantra that nothing in the space is allowed unless I know it to be useful or believe it to be beautiful. I’m 75% successful on a good day. There is currently a pile of too-small kid clothes bound for Goodwill on my reading chair. My office usually becomes a repository for hiding gifts during the Christmas season. My kids have a favorite corner to curl up in on sick days, and they use my reading chair far more often than I do. But at the end of the day, it’s a living space, and those are meant to be lived in.
Aimie K. Runyan writes to celebrate history’s unsung heroines. She is the author of two previous historical novels: Promised to the Crown, and Duty to the Crown from Kensington Publishing. Her upcoming novels Daughters of the Night Sky and Girls on the Line will release from Lake Union Publishing in January and November of 2018. She is active as an educator and speaker in the writing community and beyond. She lives in Colorado with her wonderful husband and two (usually) adorable children.