Thursday, September 20, 2007

Guest blog post by Camy Tang

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about spaces. Mine, specifically.

As a writer—requiring creativity and artistry—I know in my head that I need to protect my creativity from the stresses of day to day, but it’s been hard for me to actually do it. Creativity is especially susceptible to getting shut down by negative stuff in our lives, whether just worry or full-blown bad situations.

I think a lot of people can relate to this, whether they’re writers or not. Stay-at-home-moms deal with kids all day and sometimes don’t have child-free space to unwind and regain their sanity. Working folk deal with coworkers and bosses all day and sometimes don’t have a quiet space at home (which is filled with kids, dogs/cats, spouse) to recharge for another working day.

Or maybe they have quiet spaces, but just never have the time to use them. I think that’s more common.

Now that I have publisher deadlines to meet, I’ve been realizing that I can’t be all laissez-faire about protecting my creativity. I really do need to protect it, or else I can’t write, can’t meet my deadlines.

So, I looked at my day and started looking to see what I could trim away.

I prioritized the important stuff—my husband, my work with the church youth group, my writing (the actual writing part, not the freelance editing, not the Genesis stuff I do, not the emails, etc.).

Then I looked at my second tier—my blogging (it’s fun and it’s helping me connect to my readers), coordinating the Genesis contest (because I really enjoy working with writers and like giving back to ACFW in this way), my critique buddies, a few important email loops like ACFW, FHL, and my Seekers support group.

There was a LOT of other stuff that didn’t make it into my second tier.

So, I got off email loops, mailing lists, forum boards. I even set up a separate email account to handle the non-urgent stuff like the email loops I remained on. I only check that separate email account once a day.

Then I started looking at my office. My desk was too small (but it had been free, so I wasn’t complaining too loudly) and I hadn’t done a good cleaning in a while. So I cleaned and chucked a whole bunch of stuff.

Then I removed my desk and instead bought a 36” x 80” door from Home Depot, and cinderblocks. I wrapped the cinderblocks in plastic garbage bags so they wouldn’t rain dust on my carpet, and set them up as legs for my door desk.

Voila! I have a HUGE desk with lots of room! I have lots of writing space so my brain can breathe! I have less stuff because I cleaned!

(Can you tell I’m just a little excited about all this?)

I now have someplace where I can sit and declutter my mind. For me as a writer, it means all kinds of other weird things can crowd into my brain, but that’s another story.

Hopefully my story has inspired you to find your own space in your house! Thanks for letting me blog here, Delia!

(I'm giving away a copy of my new release, Sushi for One! Just leave a comment with your email address so Delia can contact you later. She'll draw a winner out of hat on September 27th.

If you want more information about Sushi for One, you can visit my website at

Thank you, Camy; for being a guest here on my blog and for making me realize that I need to be more conscious of my writing space.

Ya'll I was stalking reading Camy's blog before I even had one of my own. She's an awesome person and an awesome writer. I won't even mention her marketing skills (let's just say she could make a killin' helping other writers with their marketing) or her critiquing skills or her networking skills or her ability to work a conference. Man! She's one busy lady!

I loved Sushi for One?. In fact, my copy is already on my Keeper shelf because I'm not willing to share it. But, Camy is much more generous than I, and she's giving away a copy to one of ya'll. Isn't she nice? Like she said, all you have to do is leave a comment here for a chance to win.


Anonymous said...

Ok...I'm leaving a comment so (1)I can win a book, and (2) to say your post made me smile, Camy. Cinderblocks are one of the greatest inventions. When we were young marrieds way back when, I used them with boards to create a bookshelf. Not pretty, but did the job. This summer I buried about a dozen of them in our backyard with just the side holes showing...filled 'em with dirt and planted sunflowers in them.

I like your style! Doors make great desks.

Deborah Fantasia said...

Sounds like a pretty good book, I've been doing some of my own cleaning out lately !

Karen said...

Great post! Please count me in, Camy rocks!

Crystal Laine said...

I love the book Sushi, so I hope one of you win it (not me, I have it.) I just wanted to say that I hear a lot of people talk about their writing spaces, but I think this is the first time I've heard it addressed as "guarding my creative energy or space." I need to take this more seriously and maybe this is part of my problem.

I've seen photos of Camy's desk. What fascinates me is her chair--or lack of one.

Delia, tell us about your writing space and how you manage with the Kiddos in a blog.

Anonymous said...


I met Camy at the Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference last Spring. She's one fun gal with a great smile. I'm super excited about her new book Sushi for One and would love to own a copy of my own. My fingers are crossed.

Camy's website is a lot of fun, too.

Sherry Kyle

Anonymous said...

Oh, me, me, me. ;) I'd love to win a copy of Camy's book, but I have to say, this post resonated with me a lot. I'm going to have to assess my creative space and then GUARD my creative time. Camy, you had some terrific suggestions with the Tier One and Tier Two.

I'm a gonna hafta do some thinkin'. Me thinks. :)

Camy Tang said...

Thanks so much for having me here, Delia!

Danica Favorite said...

Camy's book is wonderful!

I like the desk idea!

C. H. Green said...

This really made me think.. I have a quiet place, my guest room, but never use it because I like it to stay uncluttered. I have an office, but I find it hard to write there because it is my transcription office. I usually end up writing with my laptop in bed...but you can bet I am going to make a bigger effort to get that "space" and use it. thanks.