Every Wednesday, I feature a writer/blogger and his/her workspace.  My aim is to get to know fellow bloggers/writers better through their workspace and writing habits. I also wanted my bloggy friends to share some of their writing wisdom here.

Today, I am most eager to welcome Misha Gericke, author of that fun blog My First Book.

Welcome, Misha!

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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?

Misha Gericke

I’ve been creating stories since before I could read, but I started writing novels when I was thirteen. Genres that I write include fantasy, paranormal, dystopians, historical etc. Yes. Lots of them. Because I have lots of characters telling me what to write.

When I’m not talking to imaginary people, I sing, blog about writing at My First Book and life at Taking Charge of My Life. I’ve also recently started taking guitar lessons. Interests will take a page to list, so I’ll settle for saying: pretty much anything. Hidden talents… I don’t really hide my talents, but I do neglect them, so they get hidden in dust. Two ones I think of would be my knack for languages and visual art.

On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

I write while reclining on my bed. I’d love to have a desk. After all, a bedside table is a terribly small space on which to stack things. But I’ll definitely buy one when I have my own room again. My cousin occupies mine now.

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

My current bedside table is bolted to the bedstead.

Misha’s bedside table

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

Well… actually 80% of the things in the picture are important to me. But writing-wise: My baby name books, maps of my fantasy world, notebooks – most of which are in my drawer. And the two notebooks currently containing the draft of the Doorways sequel (currently unnamed). I always buy pretty notebooks, because I find writing by hand on good quality paper really inspiring. Then there’s the pen. The one in the picture is the Parker fountain pen that I bought after the only shop selling the v-tipped black pens I favor kept letting them go out of stock. Sadly, the Parker and the five refills I got with it contain blue ink. And yes. The fact that it’s blue does make me twitchy. But now it’s motivating me to write more so that I am justified to buy black refills.

Doorways

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

The fact that I can relax and be comfortable while writing. My favorite writing item on my bedside table at the moment will be my current notebook. It’s also now my blackberry’s background. Yes. It’s geeky. In a pretty way.

Doorways sequel and pen

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

I actually get sucked into writing. So usually my writing beverage is cold rooibos tea that someone in my family brought and that I promptly forgot as soon as the family member left. I have now developed a taste for cold, very strong rooibos tea. Because they always keep the bag in the mug.

On Writing

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

I have too many favorite authors. But C.S. Lewis inspired me to write. Reading Chronicles of Narnia is what had my favorite character appearing in my head.

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

I spend most of my week waking up between 3 and 5 in the morning in order to get writing/editing done before my family wakes up and my work starts. Quirk: My preference for black fountain pens. Bigger Quirk: I almost always rough draft by hand. Especially when the story’s being difficult. And choosing a notebook to write in has becomes a ritual all of its own.

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

I try to write every day. But don’t always succeed. I try for at least two hours a day.

Worst writing distraction would be editing, since I struggle to jump between draft and edit modes. Still, there are worse things that could have proven a distraction.

4. Why do you write?

Remember the many characters who talk to me? They drive me nuts if I don’t get them onto the page.

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

Don’t edit until you’re done with the draft. In fact, don’t edit until you’re done with the rewrite. And try to know how the story ends if you’re a pantser. It really helps.

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Thanks, Misha, 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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49 Responses to “Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Misha Gericke”

  1. It’s great to find out a bit more about Misha. Amazing that she gets up so early. I wouldn’t be able to function if I got up that early in the day. Like Misha, I have a thing for notebooks and pen. Don’t do a lot of writing though. It feels like double work to write and transfer to computer, but outlining works notebook-wise and yeah, I always have a good reason to buy a notebook. New project. New Book. :)

  2. Shelly says:

    Ooooo. Nut, this is great. I always wanted to know what Misha’s workspace looked like. I love these posts. It’s like walking through the nieghborhood and peeking into the open windows to see what the houses look like inside.

    Hugs,
    Shelly

  3. Misha says:

    Thanks again for having me over! :-)

  4. DG Hudson says:

    Nice to know a little more about you, Misha. I’ve had a few different places to write too before hubs bought me a desk.

    Good luck with Doorways.

  5. Misha you have the smallest desk I have ever seen!

  6. Jemi Fraser says:

    My tea always goes cold too! :)

    I don’t have a desk either – I mostly use a chair in the living room or out on the deck in the summer :)

  7. Misha is one compact writer! Just goes to show, you don’t need much space to write stories. You just need that huge space inside your head. Thanks for showing us your writing space, Misha.

  8. Aloha Misha,

    I agree with Lee… I’m in awe that you can write in such a small space – and with a pen….. I have such bad penmanship that *if* I wrote longhand, it would never be deciphered…. evah :)

    Thanks for sharing – and thanks Nutschell for the great series :)

  9. Thanks for sharing your writing space with us, Misha! I try to get in a few hours a day too, but sometimes I’m lucky to get a few minutes.

  10. I hadn’t realised how similar we are Misha – pretty notebooks, longhand drafts, Parker fountain pen… although for me it has to be blue, and I don’t always get around to writing everyday.

  11. Karen Lange says:

    It’s great to get to know Misha better, thanks to both of you for sharing this. I love hearing about how other writers work and think. It’s inspiring!

  12. tara tyler says:

    i love writing the first draft by hand! choosing notebooks and pens is part of the creative magic! get stuck? need a new color!

    lovely interview! love how you get to know the writer by asking about their workspace!

  13. Great interview! I’m so impressed by how early Misha gets up! And writing first drafts by hand! Again – very impressive. Love the pictures!

  14. Laura Eno says:

    Nice to know some about you, Misha! I write drafts by hand too, but on yellow legal paper with a pencil. Your notebooks are beautiful – too pretty for me to write in. :)

  15. mooderino says:

    Great interview. I like to write in bed too, tends to give me terrible back ache though.

    mood

  16. Shelley Sly says:

    What a fun interview! Thank you, Misha and Nutschell! I can relate to a lot about Misha’s writing experience (characters of several genres begging for my attention; the use of baby names books — so helpful! And I’d so put a notebook cover as the background on my phone.) It was nice to learn more about you!

  17. Misha, I loved learning more about you. I’m picky about my writing implements and notebooks, too. I can’t draft in longhand without the page looking like something created in a mutant kindergarten class, but I do my first revisions in hard copy. I hear characters in my head, too.

  18. Bish Denham says:

    Hi Misha! I like that you write your first draft out by hand in a pretty notebook. And with a fountain pen! I’m impressed. If I did that, my notebooks would be a big blurry, splotched mess. So I use a pencil… primitive but effective. :)

  19. Mary says:

    Glad to hear you’re working on the sequel, Misha. I love a good journal, too.

  20. Nutschell, it’s always fascinating to hear the mechanics of writing. Misha, here’s hoping you get a huge desk and tons of black ink!

  21. Spacerguy says:

    I enjoyed reading about Nutschell’s driving force. Thanks for the inspiration, Misha!

  22. Susan Kane says:

    I keep journals all over my house, so that wherever I happen to land, there are writing materials. And, I love interesting patterned journals, like yours.:)

  23. Being comfortable when writing can make a big difference.

    Great interview!

  24. I used to get up at 4 am, until I did the math. I was only getting 5 hours of sleep. Wow, Misha. What time do you go to bed????

  25. Brinda says:

    Writing two hours a day takes a lot of dedication. That’s very impressive. And I’ve always wanted to play the guitar. FUN!

  26. I’m impressed by how much you get done while sitting on your bed. I fall asleep within seconds of going to bed.
    I love nice notebooks and fancy pens too.

  27. Ciara Knight says:

    Hi, Misha! It’s great to see you here. Okay, I have to ask. What is Roobios tea?

  28. Gwen Gardner says:

    It’s so interesting reading about other people’s writing habits. We’re a quirky lot, aren’t we? I’ve read about other writer’s getting up so early, too, just to get a couple of hours of writing in.

  29. Misha says:

    Hahahaha it’s more of a habit, Joy.

    Shelly, that’s exactly what I was thinking when I saw the first Wednesday Writer’s Workspace posts.

    Thanks DG!

    Hahaha yeah Alex. I write on my lap. Which is probably why my new desk will be as big as my room will allow. I have a need for space now. 😀

    Jemi I like that I can migrate when I write, but I think it’s time I took my writing to the next level.

    So true, Lee. I guess I could have moped about not having any space, but I thought it’d be better to write instead. 😉

    Hahahaha Mark, my penmanship isn’t much better. I can at least make out what I wrote though. Only challenge: my n’s and u’s look identical when I write fast.

    Christine it’s the same with me. I sometimes get too tired to wake up early, and then my writing day is screwed.

    Hahahaha Annalisa, that’s awesome! I’m always looking to see if someone else drafts long-hand. I think it’s the best way to do it ever, but people don’t agree. 😀

    Great pleasure, Karen.

    Tara I know exactly what you mean! Nothing wakes up the muse as me buying a new notebook.

    Thanks, Kimberly!

    Hahahaha Laura, my muse’d get the heevie jeevies if I tried writing on a legal pad. 😛

    I’m actually used to that now, since I’ve been studying and writing in bed since the first year in university, Mood.

    Shelley I adore name books. They’re just so useful and it’s fun to page through them and pick names I like.

    The revisions in hard copy sound intriguing. I’ve never tried that before, Carol.

    Bish I considered pencil at first, but it’s too easy to erase.

    Yes Mary, thought I wouldn’t be, but it won’t let go. 😀

    Thanks Maurice!

    No problem, Spacer. :-)

    Susan that sounds good in theory, but I’d never be able to fit the Doorways stories back together if I wrote them in different books. 😀 Still, my books also lie scattered all over my home, from my putting the notebooks down when I stop working on a specific story.

    Definitely, Golden.

    Stina I aim for at least 6 hours of sleep, so 9 or 10 at night. Failing that, I’ll wake up at 5.

    Brinda guitar is a lot of fun, but takes up a lot of time.

    Susan I learnt to stay awake when I studied in bed and a 10 pound textbook fell on my nose because I fell asleep. 😛 Luckily for me, the inside of the spine hit my nose, otherwise it would probably have been broken.

    Hahahaha Ciara, I was waiting for that. It’s actually herbal infusion made from the rooibos plant. VERY tasty and very healthy, since it contains no caffeine and lots and lots of antioxidants. Also, it makes stunning iced teas. South Africans are starting to export it to the US, so you should be able to find it.

    Gwen, yep. Whoever thinks writing doesn’t take commitment is delusional. :-)

  30. Michael says:

    Your writing routine is so inspiring. I struggle to get myself up at 5:30. 3am is out of the question. I hear you about knowing how your story ends ahead of time. I need to start there. Great interview!

  31. I tend to get up between 5 and 5:30 a.m. I’m just old and can’t sleep that long. lol
    Great interview!

  32. Great interview! Wow you do have a small desk!

  33. Waves hit at Misha. Nice to get to know you better!!

  34. L'Aussie says:

    It’s always fascinating to read how other writers write. Misha sounds very dedicated to her art. Very inspiring.

  35. Hi Misha. EEP! *sips coffee for you* Love that you put notes in those pretty books!!

  36. Misha says:

    Michael, I sometimes wish that I’d remember how rare it is for people to wake up that early, but when it’s winter, and the sun is hours away from rising, all I want to do is sleep. 😛

    Hahaha thanks Donna.

  37. Misha says:

    Thanks Denise. ^_^

    Hahaha Christina, I actually don’t drink any caffeine except in extreme circumstances. Reason being that I drink filter or nothing and filter’s too much trouble. And now after prolonged periods of not drinking, I bounce of walls when I do, only to have epic crashes when the caffeine leaves my system. :-)

  38. Interesting, especially hearing the long hand writing. I relate to the feel of the paper. Have or have not bought journals just based on the paper alone!
    Interesting post.

  39. Damyanti says:

    Great advice on editing Misha– it is my biggest distraction too!

  40. Jess Haight says:

    What a great post. I always enjoy finding out more about authors and the story behind them. I love that she writes in beautiful notebooks and I was laughing about the pen and ink. I am quirky like that too- but I prefer blue. :) I am hopping over to check out her blog now.

  41. klahanie says:

    Yay, it’s Misha!
    Hi Misha and hi there, you, my friend, “The Writing Nut”. “Why do you write?
    Remember the many characters who talk to me? They drive me nuts if I don’t get them onto the page.” And nuts seems to be quite the operative word, noting the title of this site :)
    Anyway, enough of my silliness. Fun, informative and interest points about how you set out do get some writing done. And you know, as I often seem to comment on your blog, Misha, writing should be done without feeling forced or pressured. Misha, you star, this shy, humble and unknown blogger, would like your autograph. And yours to, eh, The Writing Nut.
    Your starstruck fan, Gary :)

  42. Nick Wilford says:

    I thought I was being hardcore getting up at 5am! Very inspiring! I haven’t really embraced fancy notebooks. I can see how it would be nice, though. However, no way could I write a whole rough draft by hand! I’d spend twice as long trying to decipher it!

  43. I adore Misha! What a great post!

    I totally get wanting a certain colored pen. I recently lost my green gel pen that I do my editing and journaling with, it’s driving me nuts using another color. :(

  44. Misha’s an amazing individual and blogger! I love to write in bed. My laptop went kaput so I need to finally splurge for that iPad. Wifey and the kids are constantly on hers.

  45. Lynda Young says:

    I love your writing space, Misha, but wow, waking up at 3-5am eek! I don’t think I could do that. I’m impressed.

  46. Leslie Rose says:

    I want to go out and buy some cool notebooks and pens now. I am in awe, MIsha that you are functional between 3 and 5 am. It must be cool to be writing when the sun comes up.

  47. Misha says:

    Sharon, it’s surprising what a difference good quality paper can make.

    Glad to know I’m not alone, Damyanti.

    Hahaha Jess looks like I’m the only one who prefers black ink.

    Gary, I’ll send you an autographed copy of my book one day. 😉

    Nick, the funny thing is that once I’m done with the draft, I plan out the structure and rewrite the whole thing, pretty much without looking at the original. For some reason, my mind remembers the important details.

    Sharon, I adore you too! 😉 And I know what you mean. But you know what REALLY bugs me? When someone else uses my writing pen for a mundane task. Used to happen a lot with my ballpoints, because I always picked them based on how comfortably they write. Once a pen is used for something else, it can’t be my writing pen any more. So when I bought the parker set, I made a point to explain how expensive it was and why that means they don’t get to use it. So far it looks like I got through to them.

    Stephen I’m also thinking on splurging on an iPad. Wanted a kindle at first, but then I realized I could use an iPad for a lot more.

    Hahaha Lynda. It becomes habitual eventually. I usually wake up at 6 on Saturdays.

    Leslie, yes it is awesome to write when the sun comes up. But now it’s winter here, so the sun rises hours after I’ve started writing, and I miss it because I’m in too deep.

  48. deniz says:

    Great interview! I love Lewis too. And ooh! on fantasy maps!

    How interesting that you write in bed! I only ever do that when I wake up in the morning with an idea and need to scribble it down.

    That drink-getting-cold sounds all too familiar :-)

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