Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Julie Luek

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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 Julie Luek, author of that fun blog A Thought Grows.

Welcome Julie!

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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?

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Julie Luek

Writing is my red sports car. As I approach 50 and the empty nest, I realized I needed to make a life change. I quit my career and took my dream-leap into writing. Two years later, I’m writing, finding a few successes, loving it, and still trying to find my direction a bit.

I mostly write nonfiction, freelance articles and essays. To say I do this for a living would be a gross misleading of the income I’ve earned. But I have managed to bring in a few paychecks and tuck them away.

I live in the mountains and love to be outside, hiking, biking or on the lake with my kayak. I bought a mandolin several years ago and am still trying to find the time to teach myself how to play. I hesitate to call that a talent. If you heard me play, you’d hesitate too.

 

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Here’s a picture of me hiking the 14er, called Sunshine Peak, near Lake City, Colorado.

 

On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

You’d think this would be a simple answer, but not so much. When my son was in college, I took over his bedroom, painted the walls, took his stuff off shelves and added my own personal, girly touches. He has since graduated from college and is back, temporarily, in his bedroom, which means I’m booted out. Fortunately, I have an alternative space in the living room and work at an old secretary style desk that was my father’s when he was a boy. It’s not quite as roomy, but it works just great.

 office spaceJulie’s workspace

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

The desk I usually use in my son’s bedroom is an old relic we found in an attic of a house we once rented (the owners gave us permission to take it). It’s a heavy thing and has been repainted many times but it’s nice and roomy with big drawers and serves me just fine.

Currently, as I said, I’m at an old secretary style desk with glass cabinets. It’s a pretty piece of furniture but not quite as functional.

summer desk

Julie’s summer desk

 

I need space for my computer, a container of pens and pencils handy, a few decorative items that remind me of my family, and I’m good to go.

 

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

Pens, pencils, my calendar, my computer and index cards. Otherwise I can be flexible about what is on my desk.

 

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

I have a couple things that my kids made me when they were small—a little shelf that my son made with my father before he passed away, and a ceramic container that says “Sing” on it that my daughter made for me in middle school, I think.

When my office is set up in my son’s room, I love my window view of the mountains and a few retro items I have like a funky (and ugly) brass lamp and my 70s era clock radio.

 

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

I almost always have my pink thermos of green, mint tea on my desk. If not tea, I like to have water. Sometimes, if the wearies hit, I like a cup of coffee in the afternoon.

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This the view outside my usual office window (in the winter)

On Writing

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

When I was a girl, I was a voracious reader. My favorite books back then were Black Beauty, Anne of Green Gables and The Secret Garden. Now I gobble up almost any book by Barbara Kingsolver, Anne Lamott, and Michael Perry.

Authors who’ve inspired me lately include: May Sarton, Brenda Ueland,and Joan Anderson—all nonfiction, lovely with words and poetic prose and rich with meaning.

 

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

I’m the type of personality who does better with structure. I like to get up early and start my day with a quiet time of reading, journaling, praying and sipping my coffee. I put in a little time for social media mid-morning then like to take a workout break—maybe a hike or jog with my Wiemaraner, Blue. The rest of the day I like to spend on writing projects.

I don’t know that I have any unusual quirks or writing rituals. Maybe I need a few?

 

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

I work on writing every weekday. I treat this like a full-time job and usually devote 8 hours to writing-related activities, whether it is writing a post for She Writes or my blogs, keeping up with social media, or working on an article or essay. I’m also involved with Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and help maintain their Twitter account and soon their blog.

Oh easy-peasy answer for distractions: the internet. I love my online writing friends and can easily fall into a chat with them and avoid the harder writing stuff.

 

4. Why do you write?

Gloriously, because I can. This is a gift I’m claiming later in life. I love words. I love playing with them and putting them together so they sound pretty and communicate meaning. I love when something I write evokes a reaction in a reader—a feeling they can identify with or an experience they can share.

 

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

I keep a couple writing quotes on my desk by Daniel Pink :

“Writer’s block is bunk. It’s simply a sad excuse for not confronting the blinking cursor and your own inadequacies.”

 Also:

“Muses are for amateurs—the rest of us just show up and get to work.”

And finally,

“Don’t worry about what other people think. And work harder. Persistence almost always trumps talent.”

I like these quotes because they remind me that writing isn’t just about some mystical talent. It’s about loving what you do, actually sitting down and doing it, and being focused and determined to make it succeed.

 

 

Writing Credits tGoogle+

t Blogs: A Thought Grows: Writers’ Interests  &  In Fine Company: Essays

Facebook t Twitter  t LinkedIn

 

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Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your writing life, Julie!

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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33 Responses to “Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Julie Luek”

  1. Shelly says:

    Love the choice of quotes and the nice window in her son’s room.

    Hugs and chocolate!
    Shelly

  2. mooderino says:

    Wow, that’s some view. Here in the UK it is, of course, raining. Nice peek into Julie’s writing life.

    mood

  3. Good advice from Daniel Pink. Just do it Julie! Another stellar interview.

  4. Great interview! Love the pictures and especially that view!

    Just write! Go for it!

  5. M.J. Fifield says:

    Love the view outside the office. I live in the mountains, too, but they’re all on the other side of the house. My view is of my driveway.

    Great quotes…best of luck with your writing, Julie!

  6. It’s great to see Julie here! I absolutely love the idea of writing as your red sports car, perfect. And I am envious of that view outside your window, even though I’m sure I’d be a total baby about the snow.

    Thanks for sharing this with us, Nutschell.

  7. I could live with that view…
    Your son wanted his room back? The nerve!

  8. Julie Luek says:

    Thanks for hosting me, Nut. I’m highly flattered. I love that view too and miss it. Now I just have the wall– but it’s all good. I can still just look out any window and be in mountain bliss. I do love having my son home (although not necessarily the circumstances). There are blessings everywhere!

  9. ML Swift says:

    Love the glimpse into your space, Julie! Pretty, and roomy! Believe me, I know the feeling of getting kicked out of your office…been typing on my bed now for too long. No wonder my organization is suffering!

    And what a view!

  10. Arlee Bird says:

    What a nice tidy office space! And that view is incredible. Nice when kids are back, but bad to lose a nice office. At least you’ve got your back up.

    Lee
    Special report today on the “Story Sprouts” book launch in L.A.
    Lot’s of pictures in this one!

    Tossing It Out

  11. Sabrina Bullock says:

    This was great…love the quotes, especially the one about the muses.

  12. Hi, Nutschell & Julie,

    In Jamaica, that desk with the cupboard would have deeper shelving and we’d call it a breakfront (dunno why). I have a teeny-tiny desk too. :)

  13. I agree, Julie. Writing is about loving what you do, loving the process.
    I enjoyed reading more about you and seeing your writing space(s). :)

    Hi, Nutschell. *waves*

  14. I do love the mountains! I love my office, but houses block my view of Pikes Peak from it. My son, on the other hand, has a spectacular view of Pikes Peak from his room, along with a window seat. Too bad he’s only 8, so I have to wait to steal his room (just kidding, of course…I’m in no hurry to get rid of him!)

  15. Persistent and consistent. Talent with no effort is meaningless.

    My work week is a bit chaotic. It would probably drive you bonkers.

  16. What a cute site – and I love the name: The Writing Nut! Aren’t we all?! LOL
    I’m here because I’m a friend of lovely Julie and popped right over to read all about her and see what I already knew, if anything! Great to find a new writerly place!

  17. Julie K Pick says:

    I also love your “red sports car” analogy! Seeing your dad’s secretary reminded me of my mom’s. Of course we were never allowed to sit there, or heaven forbid touch anything! It was fun learning more about you Julie! Thanks for hosting Julie, Nutschell!

  18. Lisa says:

    What an incredible view! I imagine I might space out a bit and NOT write…I loved learning a little bit more about Julie.

  19. S.P.Bowers says:

    Love the quote about Muses are for amateurs. I also loved finding out more about you and your writing habits. All a writer needs are words. Though nice computer and someway of backing up is also good.

  20. Great interview. Glad to learn a little more about Julie. I remember when I went to college and came home for Thanksgiving and found my room transformed into my mother’s study. I was so hurt. I felt I wasn’t welcome at home any more. My teenaged narcissistic view of the world. It never occurred to me that she might deserve a room of her own. (I hadn’t read Virginia Woolf yet) But now we have “boomerang” kids who come back. Good you’re making the best of it and you still have a place to write.

  21. Michael Pierce says:

    Your office space is so clean and tranquil looking, great to get the creative juices flowing. I love that last quote…and I hope it’s true! :)

  22. susie klein says:

    I loved reading this peak into your writing life and habits Julie!

  23. How fun to find you over here, Julie. Thanks to Nutschell for featuring your space. Now I have a good picture of where you are when you write your inspirational blog posts.

  24. Very cozy spots, Julie! :)

  25. As always, Julie, I love getting to know you better. Absolutely love your answer to #4. It hits home with me that way, too. And I love the bold statement of, “Gloriously, because I can.”

    Also enjoyed seeing the pictures—they say a thousand silent words. I learned so much more about you from them. Thanks for sharing pieces of yourself.

  26. Reese Ryan says:

    Fun interview. I always enjoy seeing the workspace of other writers.

  27. Reese Ryan says:

    Fun interview. I always enjoy seeing the workspace of other writers.

  28. Reese Ryan says:

    Fun interview. I always enjoy seeing the workspace of other writers.

  29. Trisha says:

    You have such an inspirational view out that office window. I’d love to live in some mountains, but only if there was a city on the other side of them, within reach. 😛 And a coast nearby!

  30. What an interesting interview! How wonderful to change careers and do what you really love! I love it! :) Wishing Julie the best of luck.

  31. Jen Chandler says:

    Wonderful post! I found your site thanks to Julie’s link. I really enjoyed the interview :)

    Jen

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