Most creatives have a space. A place where they go to create their art. I like to think of my place as a lair. Why? Because lair is way cooler than office (which is all it really is). As a full time creative, I spend a lot of time in my lair. Every morning I get up, grab my essential daily fuel (some people call if “Coffee”), head to my lair, sit upon my throne (also known as a chair), stare at my kingdom (which I have created in my head), and if I’m lucky for the next 5 hours I make stuff up!
The lair is crucial for me. Some people might not need a place, they are enlightened enough to create everywhere. I’m not one of those people, and having a space designed for my art is very important. But what makes a lair a lair?
Funny, I thought you might be wondering that, so I have come prepared with photographic aids, of course, to give you an insiders look at the place were my muse visits me (and when I say “visit”, its just a nice way of saying she locks me in against my will, while throwing things at me until I get the work done, and often times complaining that my lair needs a better maid than me… very similar to when family comes to “visit”).
1) First I have tools of the trade
Notebooks and pens (or sharpie’s, pencil’s, highlighter’s, whatever your preferred tool is) can be found not only all over my office, but pretty much all over my house.
There is something powerful and thrilling about physically writing something onto a blank piece of paper. I get all of my best ideas when I sit down with the task to sort through the madness in my brain and formulate thoughts on paper.
2) Next the essential scents
For me the writing space is always better if it’s small, with dim light, a dark corner I can face so that I’m not easily distracted, and some good candles set ablaze for both their aroma and the flickering shadows.
Atmosphere is everything people.
Again, there are incredible creatives that have mastered the art of doing their work in any atmosphere… I am not one of them.
3) Then I have the black boxes of death
This is literally where stories go to die (sad). All writers I know have a place where they hide past works that will probably never see the light of day. So why keep them around you might be wondering, because they remind me of where I have been. At one point every single story in those boxes was the best thing I had ever written.
Although I won’t be pulling them out to show the world, I like to reach inside every now and then and remember where I was.
Makes my grateful for where I am now.
4) The collection of things that make me happy
Making the lair unique to you is important. So dress it up with things that make you smile. I love elephants (in case that wasn’t clear) and have been collecting them for years. I’ve placed them all over my office so when I’m lying on the ground and my muse is beating me relentlessly I will catch a glimpse of the beloved animal and smile, for just a moment.
That may have been all a bit dramatic, but I am a writer so you should expect it.
5) Cool wall-art (best if they are originals)
Wall art is a MUST for me, and I also like art that has been created uniquely for me. All of the pieces in my creative space were created by my sister, Chelise. This is her art, while writing is mine. Filling my lair with other people’s work enhances the creative juices from me.
So my suggestion is, ask your little sister to make you something awesome for your walls. If you don’t have a little sister, or if your little sister draws/paints like me (stick people are my specialty), well then buy something that you really like and just tell people your sister did it. (I’m just kidding, that would be lying, and lying is wrong… though my muse thinks the idea is genius)
6) Several reminders of what I do
It is helpful for those moments when you forget what you’re supposed to be doing to have a nice reminder… or two. Whatever your art is, remember it’s a part of you. Don’t be ashamed to say it out loud or tell everyone you meet. I am a writer. I am an author. I am a novelist.
Gotta admit, it feels pretty good!
(this is also helpful when you get sucked into Buzzfeed for like two hours and you finally look up wondering what you were doing to begin with… this really does happen to the best of us)
7) A reminder of where I come from (and who my tribe is)
“Oh since the dawn of mankind, we all belonged to a tribe, Its good to know this one’s mine” – Gavin Degraw, Fire
Its really important to have people that get you. That are in your circle, that have your back. I have been blessed with an incredible tribe with blue fur and an unquenchable desire to discover; two areas we’re all the same. I need them, we need each other.
Find your tribe, or you can join mine. (We respond well to bribes in the form of bananas)
8) Lastly and most importantly a reminder of who I Am
This hangs on the wall directly behind me, and the last four lines serve as a powerful reminder of what is really important. So when I get trapped in trying to measure up, or letting the darkness of this world get me down, or listening to the lies that fight to make me feel like I’m not enough, I turn around and read this out loud.
Because the truth is, while writing is my occupation, I am called to love. I am called to let go of this world. I am called to trust my Father and not have a mind of fear. And I am called to joy.
I may be a writer, but I am a daughter of my Father first and foremost.
It’s really the things we place in our lairs that make them special. That give them the power to transport us to a place where the creativity is endless. This is my space, my lair, my kingdom, now I wanna know about yours! Tell me about your lair in the comments below, and what makes it yours alone.