By Lily Anderson
In my house, the room next to my bedroom is packed with books. The walls are lined with five towering IKEA bookcases, lovingly alphabetized and arranged according to Dewey Decimal. On the walls are a dozen frames: a Little Women poster, a list of Shakespeare Props, reviews of my first novel. There’s a small table that I painted Tiffany blue that’s covered in Deadpool toys and containers of pencils. There’s a sketch book where I drew the campus map of Rayevich College while I was writing NOT NOW, NOT EVER. There’s space for my old widescreen laptop.
When I give tours of my house, I call this room my office. It makes sense to have an office. I’m a professional writer with three books sold and more written. I have deadlines and contracts and publicists.
But I’ve never written a book in my office.
Instead, I come home from work and sit on the old floral couch with the squashed down cushions. I drag the lap desk off the coffee table and into my lap and put on the headphones that are always plugged into the computer. I pull up Scrivener or Word, depending on whether I’m drafting or editing, and the Spotify playlist I made to evoke the feelings of the book at hand. I open two tabs—a digital thesaurus and a productivity timer that keeps me working in twenty-five minute sprints.
I write facing the TV, not really noticing if it’s on or off. My legs are spread out across the couch, usually covered in a TARDIS blue blanket. When it’s cold, my roommate leaves cups of mint tea next to me. When it’s hot, bottles of water.
I write in the living room because the real thing that gets books written is to write them. To sit down and put words on a page. I don’t do my best work when I’m shut up in a room, sitting upright in a desk chair. I write best when I am comfortable, when I have room to take a break and zone out with TV or discuss plot problems with friends.
But if you ever asked me for a picture of my workspace, I’d show you my office. It’s prettier than my squishy old couch.
LILY ANDERSON is an elementary school librarian and Melvil Dewey fangirl with an ever-growing collection of musical theater tattoos and Harry Potter ephemera. She lives in Northern California. She is the author of THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN ME IS YOU, NOT NOW NOT EVER, and the upcoming UNDEAD GIRL GANG.