Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Daisy Carter

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Every Wednesday, I feature a writer and his/her workspace.  My aim is to get to know fellow writers better through their workspace and writing habits, and have them  share some of their writing wisdom here.

Today, I am most eager to welcome Daisy Carter, author of that fun blog Fresh as a Daisy.

Welcome, Daisy !

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Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do for a living? What genre do you love to write? What are some of your hobbies or interests? Do you have a hidden talent?

1 Daisy Carter

 

Daisy Carter

Well, I don’t make a living at it yet, but I’m trying to turn writing into a day job.  I’m also proud to be a mom, so most of my day is all about my kiddo – cooking, cleaning, darning socks, building pillow forts and having indoor snowball fights…you know, the usual.  I have a lot of hobbies that don’t really look like they belong on the same list: knitting, parasailing, and road-tripping are just a few.

I’ve written mostly contemporary YA, but my current WIP is contemporary MG, and I have an Urban Fantasy YA in the works.  I adore picture books and would love to write one someday, but it’s not in my skill set (yet – I’m working on it).

 

On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

I do most of my drafting (and rewriting) at my local Panera Bread. The ladies in there know me – and my order – because I frequent them so often.  But I do the rest of it at home.  I plan, make line edits, revisions guides, and plot maps at home.

6 panera desk wide view

Daisy’s Panera desk

 

2.  Where did you get your desk?  How did you go about arranging your work area?

I got my “desk” at K-Mart when I was 18.  I was moving into my first place right out of high school and needed a kitchen table.  Best $80 I ever spent, and that included the chairs!  My family is in transition right now, so my work area is a corner of the office-slash-dining room-slash-playroom.

I hung the cork board and desk calendar first thing because I like to see where I’m going and what I’m creating.

7 - writing calendar

Daisy’s writing calendar

 

3.  What are some important things on your desk?  Are there specific things you need to have around you as you work?

I can’t stand having ANYTHING on my desk other than what I’m working with that day.  I don’t really need anything to work other than my computer most days, although I do usually have a notebook and pen nearby.  Right now, I’m working with these.

4 home office

Daisy’s workspace at home

 

4.  What do you love most about your workspace? Do you have any favorite objects on your desk, or things you use often?

Call me a minimalist.  What I love most is a clean work surface.  My walls, on the other hand…I really love having inspiration hanging around.  And I adore my cork board.  I’ve heard some writers use a digital cork board for notecards and such.  I can’t imagine it.  I like having a tactile, visual map of my work.  I use my corkboard for everything, and I tend to plan my writing goals out each week so I know what to work on each day.

2 Daisy corkboard

Daisy’s corkboard

I’ve also started a writing log, which has helped me tremendously.  I open it first thing, jot down the date and time, and check to see what I worked on last and any notes I made about what to work on next.  It’s a great reminder of where I’ve been and where I need to go now.

 

5. What’s your writing beverage?  What do you love to drink while you’re writing?

At Panera, I rotate between water, Dr. Pepper, and Chai lattes depending on my mood and the weather.  Usually, it’s Dr. Pepper.

 5 panera desk

Daisy’s drink of choice at Panera

On Writing

1. Who is your favorite author?  Who inspired you to write?

Favorite author?!?! That’s like choosing a favorite organ; I need them all to function!  If held at gunpoint, I’d probably choose Harper Lee.  Or Judy Blume.  Or Mo Willems.  Or Jandy Nelson.  Or Ruta Sepetys.  Or…yeah, I’d be dead by now.

My writing inspirations are definitely Judy Blume, Ann M. Martin, and Mildred Wirt Benson (you may know her as the original Carolyn Keene).  I read Superfudge, the Baby-Sitters Club series, and Nancy Drews around the clock as a kid.  If not for these ladies, I wouldn’t have grown up with characters in my head.  And if it weren’t for my mom, who read to me every single night of my childhood, I probably wouldn’t have become such an avid reader in the first place.

 

2. What’s your typical day as a writer like?  Do you have any writing related rituals or quirks?

On writing days I get to Panera after dropping the kiddo at school.  The ladies say hi, swipe my rewards card and hand me a cup, and I snag my favorite table (a corner with an electric outlet).  I fill up my cup (Dr. Pepper today), and settle in.  I make sure my wi-fi is off, silence my phone, and open my writing log.  After I’ve entered today’s date and time, I check the notes I made to myself last time.  Then, I open my documents and get to writing.  At 1:22, I pack up my stuff and hit the road.  Sometimes, I get up for refills…and bathroom breaks.

3 current inspiration

Daisy’s current writing inspiration

3.  Do you write everyday?  How many hours a day do you spend writing?  What are some of your worst writing distractions?

I do try to write everyday, but I’m only gauranteed two writing days a week.  On those days, I write at least five hours.  Other days, I might get an hour or two in first thing in the a.m..  My “worst” writing distraction is my kiddo, but I don’t consider that a bad thing.  Kiddo comes before writing on my list of priorities.

 

4. Why do you write?

The same reason I breathe – I have to in order to survive.  And, you know, I love it!

 

5. Any writing tips or techniques or words of wisdom you want to share with us?  How about a favorite writing quote?

Don’t give up.  If this is what you’re meant to do, if you’re itching to tell a story, if your characters wake you up in the middle of the night to say, “I’m druuuuuuuuunk!  Let’s TP my crush then get cheeseburgers!” – wait, is that just the dysfunctional teenager in my head? – then don’t give up.

Also, don’t compare yourself or your work to anyone else’s.  You are unique, so your journey will be, too.  It’s okay if it takes you two years to write first draft.  So what if the woman next to you at a conference wrote a book in a month, sold it in a week, and signed a six figure deal?  Just because your path doesn’t look like that doesn’t mean you’re not going to be successful.

 

 

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Thanks Daisy, for giving us a glimpse into your writing life.

Wednesday Writer’s Workspace is an ongoing series, and if you’re interested in being featured here, simply leave me a message in the comment box, and I’ll be sure to email you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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44 Responses to “Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Daisy Carter”

  1. Loved hearing about Daisy and where she writes. Awesome that she can write 5 hours at least two days a week.

  2. Nutschell, thanks for hosting Daisy.

    Daisy, you look like you’re nice and comfortable at Panera. I think it’s awesome that you have a writing calendar. I should do the same!

  3. The writing calendar is such a great idea. I’m terrible at both discipline and organization so I really need to use one of those myself. And I totally love Panera so I love your writing place. :)

    Nice to meet you, Daisy.

  4. Now that’s a Spartan Space, but with lattes and convenient bathrooms nearby. I see the positives in this choice.

  5. M.J. Fifield says:

    I love my cork board, too. It’s such a helpful tool. I haven’t tried a writing log, but I think I just might do that.

  6. tcavey says:

    Nice meeting you Daisy. Good luck and God bless you as you endeavor to follow your dreams! You help inspire us all to do the same

    Love your cork board, I need one of those!

  7. Laura Eno says:

    Nice to meet you, Daisy! I like your organisational skills. Wanna come clean up my desk? :/

  8. mooderino says:

    i like a clan work surface too, but slowly, slowly stuff accumulates out of thin air. No idea where it all comes from.

    mood

  9. Pat Hatt says:

    A clean work space is the best. Although the more room i have the more the cat wants to stretch out.

  10. PK Hrezo says:

    Nice to meet you Daisy.

    You’d hate my desk. It’s cluttered, but everything has its place and I like it there. :)

    Great advice!!

  11. Jay Noel says:

    Great interview, Daisy.

    I like Panera too (although we call it St. Louis Bread Company, since they’re HQ in here in town). But they kick you off during peak hours!

  12. If we had a Panera, that’s where I’d go hang out, too.

  13. Lexa Cain says:

    Gosh, Daisy’s workspace is so neat. Mine’s pretty messy by comparison. And she’s very focused when she writes while I always have my wi-fi on and take writing breaks to surf and post in forums every 20 minutes or so. (Yeah, I have a short attention span.)
    I really enjoyed the interview and getting to know Daisy! :-)

  14. Wonderful interview and great advice. :)

  15. I love the idea of writing a in coffee shop. I couldn’t be as minimalist as Daisy though – I need lots of paper, lots of notes, scissors and sticky tape :-)

  16. VR Barkowski says:

    Great interview and excellent advice. I sense neatness and organization in Daisy’s writing life—two things I aspire to. *sigh* One day maybe…?

  17. Jemi Fraser says:

    I love that last bit of advice – it’s so true! I’ve never had the couage to write in public yet – good for you!!!

  18. Great interview. I’m glad you mentioned about everyone’s path being different. Everyone’ls process is, too. That’s one of the things I love about writers.

  19. Mary Pax says:

    Hello to Daisy. My desk is the opposite… I can barely find the top of it most days.

    Happy Wednesday, Shell!

  20. mshatch says:

    Nice to meet Daisy :) And holy cow that is one clean writing space!

  21. Diet Dr Pepper is my writing drink of choice, too. (Okay, I realize Daisy’s was the regular kind, but at least the Dr Pepper part is the same). 😀

  22. Wanda says:

    It’s always nice to get a behind the scenes peek into another person’s life. I like Daisy’s advice about not comparing ourselves to others.

  23. Shelly says:

    I love Daisy’s writing log idea. I usually make notes at the end of my chapters to help me navigate to the next one.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

  24. Nick Wilford says:

    Nice to find out more about Daisy! I could get used to writing in a coffee shop. Only tried it a couple of times.

  25. shell flower says:

    Great interview. Daisy, you are so organized and have your priorities straight. I know you will go far.

  26. Jagoda says:

    I really enjoyed reading about Daisy and seeing her photos. What a great Wednesday tradition.
    Jagoda

  27. Jeff Hargett says:

    Hey Daisy!!!!

    I don’t think I could write in a public place. I’m way too easily distracted. A clutter-free desk would be nice to try though.

  28. You are super organized Daisy, and Owners Bread sounds like a great place to stop and think. Better than a coffee shop.

  29. Meradeth says:

    Go Daisy! I love that you go to Panera–I beyond miss mine. Why they don’t have one in Montana I will never understand! Also, um, wow, you should never see my desk :)

  30. Julie says:

    Nice to meet you Daisy! I’m impressed that you can get so much accomplished at Panera. I would be too busy eating their cookies and bagels. Great interview Nutschell!

  31. Robyn Engel says:

    Panera is a yummy, cozy place. I really appreciate Daisy’s advise about not comparing oneself to others. Thanks, Nutschell and Daisy.

    xoRobyn

  32. Maria says:

    I’m with you on not being able to choose a favourite author – they’re alll necessary in my opinion.

  33. Maria says:

    I’m with you on not being able to choose a favourite author – they’re alll necessary in my opinion.

  34. Your workspace is so clean!!!

  35. I love you writer’s workspace day because I learn so many things from other writers. I love to hear how others manage their writing day and what motivates them.

  36. I love you writer’s workspace day because I learn so many things from other writers. I love to hear how others manage their writing day and what motivates them.

  37. Misha says:

    One of the saddest parts about leaving university was that I couldn’t write in my favorite cafe anymore.

    And then, when I made a special writing trip back, it had closed… :-(

  38. HI, Nutshell, Hi, Daisy,

    Terrific interview and spaces… I used to love to write at my local B&N, but sadly it was pushed out of the neighborhood because of skyrocketing rents. So now I work at home…. which I do love.

    And you are right Daisy.. Never give up your dream.

  39. Julie Luek says:

    I love the Wed. posts and reading about other writer’s work habits and desk areas. It’s so fun and inspiring to see. Thanks for sharing, Daisy!

  40. Daisy, I love Panera too, but I don’t know if I could focus writing in that setting. I guess it depends on how busy it is. I need to try it out sometime :) I also love your response to why you write… and I completely relate :)

  41. Hilary says:

    Hi Nutschell and Daisy – I love seeing how others cope – and you’d hate this place .. notes everywhere .. never mind I’m getting sorted (slowly!) … Good for you and many fortunes for the future with the little one and your passion for writing ..

    Cheers Hilary

  42. I’ve tried doing some writing in a public place, and it can be good–or a challenge. If there’s lot of interesting stuff going on, it’s tempting just to write down snippets of conversations.

  43. Wow such an organized writer! I could only dream of having my writing process be so neat.

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