Guest Post: Emma Burcart on a Writing Room of One’s Own

Emma Burcart put a lot of thought and time into creating the perfect place to write.

I’m so excited to introduce author Emma Burcart today. Her fiction merges women’s issues and literary sensibilities into a tantalizing blend of humor, relationship wisdom and beautiful language.

Emma’s one of the most driven people I know in terms of creating and sticking to a daily writing routine. So it’s especially wonderful that she has put together a guest post on that very subject. I’m also thrilled that she’s sharing photos of her colorful, stylish writing room. The space she has created for herself is so inspirational.

Welcome, Emma!

Making Time and Space for Writing

By Emma Burcart

Emma Burcart

When I first started writing it was a hobby. I wrote sporadically, when I felt like it, and without a plan for what it was going to be. Somewhere along the way I took a few writing classes and joined a critique group. Over time writing became a bigger and more important part of my life. I stopped writing with my laptop balanced on the coffee table and dug my dad’s old desk out of my parents’ garage. I set up a desk area in a small corner of my living room, with a book shelf and small side table for my printer. I felt like a writer.

Then I became a real grown up and bought my own condo. More important than a guest room was a writing room. I was ready to make writing more than just a hobby. It had become such a big part of who I am. A writer needs a room.

I started to research colors as soon as my offer was accepted and the contract signed. It turned out that orange inspired creativity. Exactly what I needed. I picked out a black and white damask wallpaper for one accent wall and metallic silver paint for the ceiling. I wanted a room that not only inspired me to write, but a room in which it would be impossible to fall asleep.

Emma has outfitted her bold and elegant writing space with plenty of organizational necessities, including a bulletin board.

The day I closed on my condo my step-mom and I went in with paint and paper. My writing room was top priority. I could decorate the rest of the place slowly, but the writing room had to be move-in ready. While the orange paint dried we went to Ikea and I bought my very own desk and bookshelf. The first two pieces of brand new furniture I’d ever owned.

Moving in was pretty quick and painless. I had a few friends to help. When they all left I went into my writing room and set up. Desk, bookshelf, bulletin board, and my dad’s old desk as a printer stand. I set my computer up and put a coffee mug full of pens on the corner of my desk.

The next day, I got up and wrote. And it’s been the same thing pretty much every day since. With an inspiring place to write, it’s not so hard to get up early. So, I started a new routine. Every weekday morning my alarm goes off at 4 a.m. Yeah, it’s early. But I set the timer on the coffee pot so it’s waiting for me when I roll out of bed.

Every morning I sit in my beautiful orange writing room and write for two hours before work. In the beginning there were excuses to fight and days I didn’t want to get out of bed. But I always did. And now, a year and a half later, it’s almost easy. The hard part is when six o’clock comes and I have to stop writing to get in the shower.

I’m not sure if it’s the orange walls or the new desk that makes the difference. Maybe it’s just the commitment I made to myself and my writing. But since I made the time and the space to write, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. I’m a writer, after all.

What have you found inspiring? Are there any routines that make you a more productive writer?

Thanks so much for visiting, Emma! You can find out more about her and her work at, or by visiting her very entertaining blog, Occasional Epiphanies. She’s also on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. And if you’re interested in being a guest blogger here, please pop me a note at laurastanfill at hotmail dot com. 


About Laura Stanfill

Publisher, Forest Avenue Press
This entry was posted in Fiction, Guest Post, Writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Guest Post: Emma Burcart on a Writing Room of One’s Own

  1. Pingback: What is the Point of Zip-Off Pants?

  2. The orange walls and black-and-white wallpaper accent wall are stunning, but what I admire most is your work ethic, Emma. It’s tough to get up at four and work in two hours of writing before going on to the day job. Good for you!

  3. Heidi Craig says:

    What a beautiful writing room! I dream of the day when I can have a whole room dedicated as a writing space (with painted walls and everything).

    And I am super impressed for the 4 a.m. wake-up call. Staying home with my children I try to squeeze in my writing time in the afternoon when they nap, but they do not always nap regularly, or at the same time. I am going to dedicate the month of February to developing the habit of waking up at 5 a.m. to write. Thank you for the inspiration to take my craft more seriously and be more productive.

    • This sounds so familiar, Heidi. I write at the kitchen table whenever I can cobble some time together between caring for the kids. Emma’s routine is so inspirational, and I love your idea of setting a wakeup goal for the month. Hopefully you’ll get into a routine and be able to keep it going year-round!

  4. Debra Kristi says:

    Wow, 4 a.m.! Sometimes I’ve only been in bed for an hour or two at that point. I couldn’t do it. I’ve tried getting up at 5 to write, but I fell off that wagon. Your writing space is beautiful. I would love to have a room dedicated to writing. Then I wouldn’t keep the hubby up. Maybe I’ll hurry up those kids so they can move out. Nah. I’m really impressed Emma. I can’t wait to see how that orange has let your creativity flow and we have an end product to view. 🙂

  5. I’m the opposite, I guess. I write everywhere (n the subway, on break at work, on line at the movies) and even when I’m home I write in differen rooms, using different computers, different programs, and different pens. I think the variety is helpful, at least to me.

    What I admire s the daily discipline. My ex-wife is like that. No matter the goal (from learning he drums to getting a black belt in karate), she will put in the hours every day to get there.

  6. Love that black and white designed wall and I agree with Pat, Emma’s work ethic is also an inspiration.

  7. gingercalem says:

    Love your room. Very inspiring! In our next house, I hope to have a ‘room’ of my own. Or maybe once the kids are off in college, I can take over one of their bedrooms. For now, my office shares space with the master bedroom. 🙂

    Great discipline w/ 4 am wake-up call. I used to do 5 am and I was very productive.

  8. What an inspiration Emma! Love your office and workspace. Uh, 3 am, no can do. More power to you girl! But I’m ready to go to work now! Thanks Emma! 🙂

  9. lynnkelleyauthor says:

    Your writing room rocks! And your dedication to writing by disciplining yourself to get up at 4:00 a.m. is awesome! Wow!

  10. I think having a dedicated space to write, where you can leave your stuff, is really crucial. It does not have to be a separate room. In my case, it’s my corner on the couch and the adjacent side table where my files and notebooks live. Having that dedicated space is indeed a commitment to the craft and how seriously you take it.

    • Well said, Annette! I’m without a space of my own at the moment, since we’re turning an old concrete shop into a real office, and although I like to work at the kitchen table, I miss having a desk and a place for my papers, synopsis diagram, etc.

      Emma’s room and all these comments are inspiring me to turn my part of the new office into a writing oasis of some sort. A place that inspires me and reminds me of my commitment (as you put it).

  11. That room is GORGEOUS!! I love the accent wall. Stunning!!
    4 am – girl – that is commitment. I am super impressed and hats off to you! The discipline and commitment to your craft is what will make you a roaring success.
    You’ve inspired me to redo my writing room – it’s in dire need of an overhaul. It needs to stop playing double duty for storage!! Thanks for the inspiration…woot woot!

  12. Emma Burcart says:

    Thanks, everyone, for all the decorating love and the support to get up early!

  13. I can see why your writing room would inspire creativity 🙂 Unfortunately I don’t have a dedicated space as of yet, but when my husband and I finally buy a home, I’ve old him one thing I want is an office of my own.

  14. Sorry for being late, Laura. I was knocked off line for two days and I am still playing catch up.

    It harkens back to A Room of Her Own in a real sense. A place to carve out that is for us only. That special space and place where only you count, where you can for a short time, be the Queen of your private Kingdom. Whether or now it’s my bedroom or a private corner of anther room, I put on blinders and it becomes my room and my space. Great room by the way … orange speaks to your personality 🙂

    • I love the idea of creating a private space within a room, since I’ll be sharing our new office with my hubby and a kiddo craft table. But turning my corner into its own place is a wonderful challenge, and I hope to make that happen!

  15. Emma says:

    Emma, I love your room. I’m currently doing what you used to: writing with my right hand with the laptop perched on a cushion on my lap, and holding a steaming cup of tea in the left!

  16. Pingback: A Corner of My Own | Laura Stanfill

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s