Sunday, January 11, 2015

Writer's Workspace - Barb Han

We're delighted to welcome our new columnist, Barb Han, to the Pink Heart Society today.  Barb is talking about her workspace and discussing the pros and cons of different places for different jobs.

When you ask a romance writer where she gets most of her writing done, you’re likely to feel like you’ve tripped and landed in a fairy tale world with three little pigs when she answers. This chair is too hard. This one is too soft. It’s too noisy there. A healthy buzz and loads of chaos keep me energized. I doubt any two writers would give the same response…unless it’s Starbucks. Plenty of writers end up there.

For me, it’s all about the rain (more about that in a minute). 

But I was most curious about what others thought. After a quick (and totally non-scientific) poll about where my family and friends think I write, I learned the following… 

 Where my Mom thinks I Write 

Pretty, but who can see the computer screen with all that glare? And, seriously, I’m on the beach to write? 

Heck no, I’m running through that sand, frolicking, and probably wearing a bikini just to frighten the neighbors away. 

Where my friends think I write 

Also nice but the floor is rather shiny. Don’t you think that that'd end up being more than a little distracting? 

Where I’d like to write 

Now we’re finally getting somewhere. 

My non-writing family and friends are most surprised to learn that I don’t like writing in bright, sunny spaces. I guess they think of writers as they do other artists, like painters. 

Not me. 

Give me a dark cave and a thunderstorm and I’ll give you 5,000 solid words a day. 

But since I don’t live in Seattle… 

Where I actually write 

Since I live in the sunshine state (Texas) and there are no caves within driving distance (or awesome dark libraries), I settle for bouncing between a comfy chair in the living room and the kitchen table while listening to Thunderstorms on YouTube. 

Hey, whatever gets the job done, right? 

And where I never get any writing done (my office) 

It’s a great space, really. I promise that I have nothing against it. I even picked out the furniture myself. So, you’d think that I’d be uber-productive there. But this is where editing gets done and my creative brain needs to be on the go when it’s thinking up a new story. 

But enough about me. I’d rather hear what works for you… 
Do you have a special place to go when you need to concentrate? 

Barb Han's latest book, Gut Instinct, is available now:

Reunited… by a murderer

FBI agent Luke Campbell has never been more determined to catch the serial killer who’s eluded him for two years. Because this time the monster is after Julie, the ex he walked out on when he returned from Iraq, emotionally scarred and burdened by a secret. Now Luke will do anything-even risk his life-to protect Julie and regain her trust.

But it’s a tense race against time. Defying FBI rules, Luke keeps Julie by his side throughout a harrowing chase. Once they’re finally at a safe house, it’s clear to him that the passion they once shared hasn’t cooled. Can Luke redeem himself and keep evil away from the woman he refuses to let go of again?

Since selling her first story to Harlequin, Barb’s written seven books for Harlequin and is hard at work on her eighth. You can find out more about her writing on her website and Goodreads.  Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for regular updates and pretty pics!


  1. Pretty office! Once I trained myself to write in mine, I've kind of lost the ability to do it anywhere else. When I take the laptop into the living room, I find myself playing Solitaire and reading other people's blogs. :-)

    1. That's so funny, Liz. We're such creatures of habit, aren't we. Once I get used to something, I have a hard time breaking out of that routine.

  2. From MarcieR

    I write longhand in a spiral notebook in the living room and sometimes in bed. The TV is on to a show I'd watch if I wasn't writing.

    I have a second bedroom where my desktop is and where I type up the pages I'd written during the week. I also edit at this point.

    1. Writing longhand works for so many people, Marcie. I wish it did for me. So much lighter than lugging around a laptop. I get a crazy amount of words while sitting on a hard bench waiting for my daughter to get out of dance class. LOL. You're one of the few people I've met who can write with the TV on. How very interesting and cool. I'd never be behind on Castle episodes if I could watch TV and write. :-)

  3. Thank goodness I'm not the only one!
    I have a wonderful office that I have decorated, making into a lovely space...but the majority of my writing gets done on the couch or recliner in the living room! I have a portable lap desk with a little light on it that helps me get comfy and stay productive!
    ALSO I cannot write in the quiet! The best work I've done has been with Netflix on in the background or Boy Tyler talking with friends!
    It's so weird how we're all so different!

    1. I love that we have 2 writers who can write with the TV on, Tyler. I think I saw a pic of your office....does it involve a fabulous mustache? It does look like a great space and isn't it funny how that doesn't always translate to a great space to write. LOL. I don't like quiet, either. I blame it on being the youngest of three and then later always have kids around. I thrive on chaos and have occasionally been known to lug my laptop to the nearest Starbucks just to change up my writing energy. I love that you also write on the go.

  4. Hi Barb,
    Great post. I love your office, by the way! I'm like you. I have a pretty desk, but I rarely write at it. I move around the house depending on my mood. Count me as one of the writers who can write with the TV on. However, when I'm doing edits or the last read-through, I prefer headphones with white noise or instrumental music. TV is good for the initial "get the words on paper" phase. Sometimes it's the only way I can sit still and write.

    1. Wow, Alison. Writers with the TV on seem to be outnumbering non-TV on writers. :-). I've been listening to study and concentration music on YouTube for edits. Love it! I think that's great that the TV helps you sit still and write.

  5. As a teacher, I did my writing, grading papers, reading with TV on. I wanted noise since I was the only one home. Now, since I am retired I still need the noise to do my writing so I guess I've set my pattern.

    1. I love it, Mary. I think it's great to set a pattern because it trains the brain to work when it's supposed to, doesn't it.

  6. Beautiful office (love the desk, and all those books)!! I have an office, too, but I tend to write at my dining room table, overlooking my backyard (where there's a lot of light, actually) and all the bird feeders. I also hit Starbucks at least once a week to write with my critique partner.

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! How fabulous that all that light and those birds inspire you to write more. I love Starbucks, too. That place holds magic for many of us. :-)