Blog 05

Anna’s pre and post-writing workspace

Where do you write?

We are continuing our Issue 3 blog series, exploring the writer’s space. Previously ‘Estranger Danger’ author Keysha Whitaker wrote about her space in A Writer’s Room of One’s Own. Next up Anna Forsyth, whose short story ‘Running to Hamilton’ appears in Issue 3, tells us about where she writes.

Anna is a writer, poet and musician (Grace Pageant) from Auckland, currently living in Melbourne. Her work has appeared in FourW, Landfall, Cordite and n-Scribe, among other publications. She is currently working on a radio play and experimenting with amateur theatrics.

*Note – this post was written back during the colder months, but we are great at using our imaginations aren’t we?

Anna’s pre and post-writing workspace

2015-07-14 14.13.57

It’s very cold here in Melbourne at the moment. The words “arctic blast” have been used more than once in The Age recently (South Islanders are rolling their eyes right now). I must say, it does feel that way. Hence the set up you see here. If someone invented a productivity meter and measured my output levels from this vantage (pictured), they would be virtually nil. But there are several elements to these environs that are going to make me more productive than ever as a writer, I can tell. These are scientifically proven methods for being a successful writer. The first thing is warmth.

Sports people know that warming up is vital. They wouldn’t think of participating without first warming up their muscles. I’ve ticked that box. I have my trusty men’s hiking socks that I bought at Kmart in Auckland last winter, for a Bear Grylls-inspired tree planting adventure to Tāwharanui (don’t ask – it was to impress a lady). Anyhoo, these socks now have no heel, hence I will be encasing them in my trusty snuggle blanket pictured in a few moments. I just braved the arctic blast for this pic (you’re welcome!). (On a side note – sometimes I feel like Linus from Charlie Brown, lugging this trusty blanket from room to room, but I’m telling you, it is the ultimate in fake mink luxury. This post is obviously sponsored by Kmart…)

Now, the next feature of this photograph is of course the glass of red wine. This is basically melting my brain and is scientifically proven to do nothing except put me into a stupor. But sometimes, as writers, we just need a good old-fashioned brain melt now and then. Hang it – it’s warming and it tastes damn good!

I was asked to write about my writing workspace. I call this my pre and post-writing workspace. This is where I go to relieve tension (urm … yes that means what you think it does), to sleep, also known as a good-old detox for the brain, and just to lie there and let the ideas and events of the day percolate. It’s the equivalent of letting the coffee breathe and brew before squashing it together with the plunger and getting that good stuff out.

Some of my best ideas have arisen in this state. I let my brain do the work of making sense of all the thoughts and ideas that have found their way into my addled psyche, giving them some sort of semblance of order in there. I don’t know how it works, but it does! When you live a life of words, sometimes it’s really nice to just rest in silence for a bit. Sometimes I will journal or write poems, but usually I just stare at the ceiling. I’m practising mindfulness at the moment. It’s amazing how building your awareness of your surroundings and being present allows you to tune into the fascinating machinations of humanity that every writer wants to capture. And let’s face it – who doesn’t want an excuse to lie in bed and drink red wine? Thought so.




Anna Forsyth

Anna Forsyth is a writer, poet and musician (Grace Pageant) from Auckland, currently living in Melbourne. Her work has appeared in FourW, Landfall, Cordite and n-Scribe, among other publications. She is currently working on a radio play and experimenting with amateur theatrics.

Previous PostA Writer’s Room of One’s Own
Next PostSeeds of a Story