My writing cave - by Tara Lyons

The start of the New Year inspired some authors to share images on Faceboook of the views from their writing area. There were some truly beautiful pictures – which made me yearn more for a holiday than writing time… but that’s probably just me. These views were also a huge contrast to the one I have, and it got me thinking – does our surroundings unintentionally influence the genre we choose to write?

I always think writing by the sea is very special. UK or abroad, to me, it just looks beautiful and calming and inspirational. The office window looks out onto a veranda, or pier, and the sun glistens off the water before streaming through to the author’s workspace. It’s easy to see why so many of those authors who shared images like these write about romance, or humorous situations, or family life and children’s books. You can almost taste the salty sea-breeze from their novels.  

My writing space is one half of my bedroom. I set it up last year after I self-published my debut solo novel, In the Shadows. It has everything I need – the equipment and books and personal pictures, etc. But, I am facing a wall. So, when I was asked to share my writing view, I took a snap of what I saw one cold evening from my bedroom window/balcony… which technically, I don’t think is cheating… too much!

My writing view from my bedroom one cold,
December evening in London
I live in London. The photograph was taken in December. It was cold and foggy and the perfect
setting for what I write about – crime. Even now, that one moment I caught on camera has stayed in my mind while editing No Safe Home and planning book three. It’s exactly what I want my readers to envisage when they read certain scenes in my books. Even during the summer, when the trees are full of life, I find myself staring at that lone lamp post, and its limiting light, and the secluded path that leads far back into the unknown (it’s not really unknown to me, I know there’s a space park beyond those trees, but the picture doesn’t share that with you). On occasion, I’ve heard screams, or laughter, or chatter, but when I look out I hardly ever spot passers-by. As I delve further into the DI Hamilton series, I can’t help but think my writing area has spurred me on. That one view has propelled my ideas for crimes and settings and the fears they can entice. And, while I do have an idea for a light-hearted contemporary novel, I have a strong feeling it won’t be winning in the attention stakes, for a while least.

However, while it’s a bonus to have an influential writing view, that’s all it is – a bonus. So, if you don’t have one, and you’re staring at a wall, don’t be disheartened. If you have that idea for a book, keep writing. After all, I wrote my first bestselling novel sitting on my sofa with my laptop on my knees. 

To find out more about Tara's books, visit her Amazon page by clicking here.


Wendy H. Jones said…
Very well said, Tara. It ias so easy to envy those who are viewing stunning scenery whilst they write. I too have a view of the wall as my office used to be a garage yet somehow I manage to write
Bill Kirton said…
The main environmental element I need is quiet. A few years back, I changed my writing space, however, and quickly noticed a difference. Before, I used a small upstairs bedroom at the front of the house. We live on a main road but I suppose I must have got used to the traffic. Then I moved down to a different room at the back which looks out onto the garden. It's quiet, the view changes as various shrubs come in and out of flower, but it lacks one thing the other used to provide. Up there, whenever I came to a pause in the narrative and needed to link to the next thread, I'd look out of the window and, without having to wait too long, I'd always see something mildly interesting or curious - a woman dressed in a strange way, a man with a strutting or stumbling walk, a car with skis strapped to the roof in July - my policeman, Jack Carston, would then get up from his desk, walk to his window, see the same thing and comment on it. That freed him from the previous loop, so he could set out on the next. Plants don't give me that option.
Umberto Tosi said…
So relatable. Head space is the most important to me, plus a keyboard, a window to see at least a tree if not the sea, a keyboard, plenty of tablets and pencils, a room door to close and a cyber door onto the Internet for research - but there's the rub. How to fetch just what a I need without letting the devils of social media and Web distractions into my writing space. Thanks for the peek inside your writing space. Sounds like a good one!

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