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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

There’s No Right or Wrong Way to Garrett

Credit image: Pinakothek.de/en/ Source: Carl Spitzweg, “The Poor Poet.” Oil on canvas, 1839
What is a garrett?

The dictionary defines a garrett as a cramp and enclosed space below the roof of a building. But as a writer, the definition of a garrett means so much more. To us, a garrett is our special, happy place that helps us reach our writing zone.

The beauty of it is that the garrett is also our best friend. A support system and environment to help us thrive creatively. A vibe and ambiance that fuels our creative output. Our muse helping to provide our source of inspiration. It is all that and more.

So what is the point of this post? Well, the point is to not underestimate the importance of one. You might not realize it. But as you sit down to write, you’ve probably have set specific things in place. And just the way you like it, before you begin to write.

My garrett is music. When I sit down to write, whether it's on the floor or at my kitchen table. Whether I'm at my desk at work, at the library or in my bed, I listen to music while I write. Always, always I listen to music. For my work in progress romance novel, I listen to the slow jams radio station on Pandora. Other than that, I’m listening to hip hop and reggae. As well as the Imagine Dragons and OneRepublic radio stations. I especially love listening to the 90s hip hop station.

As there’s no right or wrong way to garrett, how do you get to your special, happy place? Is there a specific drink or food you sip or snack on as you write? Is your garrett somewhere like Panera? How do you garrett?



16 comments:

Crystal Collier said...

You know what? As long as I have a computer and relative calm, I'm in my garrett. (I guess that's the best you can ask for with 4 kids running around, eh?)

Diana Wilder said...

What a great post! I'll have to think about it. Before I moved, I had a place in my bedroom with my computer, a printer, and a comfortable chair. If I was sitting there, I was writing. I couldn't listen to music, which distracted me but the sound of my fingers on the keyboard was music enough. Now, with a laptop, sitting in the living room, I find I don't write as deeply or frequently. Time to go upstairs, fix up my spare room, clear my old computer desk, put my laptop there, and write there. Thank you for the reminder.

alissa apel said...

My garrett would be on my laptop when it's at my desk. I find when I try to write other places it doesn't happen. More than writing I paint. My garrett place for that is at my kitchen table. I love to go shopping for different materials to add into my paintings though.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

My garret is my imagination so it's with me wherever I go. Also my bedroom where I do the majority of my writing.

Bish Denham said...

My garret is a corner of a delightfully cluttered room, cluttered with books and pictures and stuff!

Liz A. said...

I just have to knuckle down and pull out the writing thumb drive. Getting that is the hardest part.

Alex said...

We don't have a physical garret. We have an attic, but it's just a hole my dad cut into the wall so we could store stuff up there. I have a ceiling alcove, though. Maybe I should start writing there, since I don't really have a space or routine for writing. Mostly I just turn the computer away from me so that I'm not distracted. But I have to climb my wardrobe to get to my ceiling alcove, so perhaps not.

Lidy Wilks said...

@crystal yes to keeping it simple. Especially with 4 kids as it can get a little crazy. Hell it gets crazy even with just one.

@diana thank you. And good luck with fixing your spare room!

@alissa Isn't it interesting how that happens. Can't explain it but if it works, it works.

@sheena the mind is a wonderful garrett. Thanks for sharing.

@bish a cluttered room of books? Sounds like my kind of garrett.

@liz yes, a good ol' knuckle down can not be dismissed either. Good luck!

@alex now I'm imagining how that alcove would look if it was fixed up to use as a writing space. Thanks for sharing.

Alex said...

Hah! I'm not sure alcove is the right word, but I don't know what else to call it. It's quite roomy. Here it is with my Rubbermaid boxes full of books for size reference. http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac202/areodjarekout/IMG_0002_zpsvrwrbikp.jpg

I was just up there looking for something and left it a bit haphazardly organized. It really is dangerous to climb up there though, and I can't be bothered to find a ladder. I suppose I could go through the attic space. There's already a ladder set up at the other end and it looks like that bit of wall comes out. I'm really not sure what my dad's done up there. I'd have to put down a camping pad or something for comfort.

I ramble. That probably means it's time for me to bed. Loved the post! Very insightful, I thought.

Rachna Chhabria said...

My garret is my music and my long walks that energize me to tackle everything that life throws my way. I can even tackle a moody muse after my walk.

Rachna Chhabria
Co-host IWSG
Rachna's Scriptorium

Huntress said...

I guarantee you will LOL, FOTFLYAO, ROTFLYAO and every variation after you read this.

My eyes saw "Garrett".

My brain translated it to "Garrote".

Oh cool, my brain said. She's posting about devious choking devices with instructions and pointers. And with a motivational theme also.

My brain went on: "I had no idea a poet was into horror. What a surprise."

Clearly I am not someone who is in their right mind. Avoidance is the key. I am, after all, a writer and therefore a strange.

Kristen Kooistra said...

I'm like Krystal. As long as it's relatively quiet and the kids aren't asking me a question every two minutes, I'm good. The more peace and quiet, the better.

So most of my writing gets done at night, but I've been working on finding time during the day when it's a little less hectic.

dolorah said...

My garrett usually involves a diet pepsi, carrot sticks to munch on, and a closed door. The rest just flows :)

diedre Knight said...

Lidy, I loved this! And what a captivating image :-) The whole thing gave me such happy, contented thoughts as I head out for another grueling day in the field. My home office is basically my garret, my books, notebooks, treasure trolls and computer all anxiously await my return to creative bliss - one of these days ;-)

Lidy Wilks said...


@alex thanks and it does look roomy. Perfect as a writing loft.

@rachna music is great garrett (though others will find it distracting). It has always soothed me and lifted my mood. And my fingers will fly over the keys making music of its own.

@huntress lol, it's funny and amazing how your train of thought will take you from one place to next. It's an occupational hazard for us writers.

@kristen you've said it, the more peace and quiet the better. The only time I can get is when I let them play on their Kindle tablets. or wait until they go to bed and write at night.

@dolorah oh a closed door? sounds like heaven.

@diedre thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed the post and the painting. It's great that you home office is and has everything you need in a garrett. Happy writing!

Yvonne said...

My garrett is my music. I normally listen to soft jazz and my surroundings have to be peaceful. And you're right, I position my laptop in such a way that I have to face my backyard and periodically look out the window onto the yard and let my mind wander as I plot or create poetry. Sometimes, I will have a glass of wine too.