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 Shannon Lawrence, author of that fun blog The Warrior Muse.

 Welcome, Shannon !


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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Author Shannon Lawrence

I procrastinate for a living, or at least it seems that way these days. Actually, I’m a stay-at-home mom and consummate volunteer for local writer’s groups. At this time, I’m Director of Non-Conference Events for Pikes Peak Writers, as well as the Managing Editor for their official blog. I write horror and urban fantasy, in addition to freelance articles on various topics like parenting and travel. My hobbies include photography and hiking. I have many hidden talents, but they’re hidden for a reason. Okay, just kidding, but I’m having trouble thinking of what my hidden talents might be. This is why I was never Miss America (among other reasons).



On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

I do most of my writing in my brand spanking new office! Actually, I do most of my novel and article writing here in my office, but my short fiction gets written out and about, for the most part, at places like Village Inn, Pikes Perk (a neat little coffee shop here), Blue Sage (a restaurant walking distance from my house), or yes, even Starbucks.


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

My desk came from Craig’s List. Well, that’s just a website, so it would be impossible to get the desk from there directly, but we found it via CL. My office isn’t a perfect square, and it has French doors (I’m such a fan) and a nice big window, so we had to arrange my “L” shaped desk where it would fit best. Everything else was arranged according to the space remaining.

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This is my workspace. The little board on the wall to the right of the computer monitor is for daily word count.

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

I have a statue on my desk of End of the Trail, the sculpture that inspired my blog name, The Warrior Muse. It always inspires me. I don’t see him as a beaten warrior, but one who has fought and survived. Also necessary on my desk is my mint and rosemary lotion, which I love to put on my hands before I start typing (the smell now signifies time to start writing), and my journals for each novel, as well as my overall idea journal.


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

I love most of all that there’s no longer a guest bed taking up ¾ of my workspace! Don’t get me wrong, I loved my old office just by virtue of having an office. My office used to be the dining room table. But I find it so much less distracting to really have an office that is JUST THAT. The aforementioned lotion and journals are favorite items that are used often.

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Some of my favorite things in my office, including my giant boring mug o’ water

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

Oh man, I’m going to be boring on this one. I mostly drink ice water. I’m terrible at hydrating myself, so I keep a giant mug full of ice water on hand at all times so I’ll remember to drink. I also like various herbal hot teas and an evening snack of chocolate milk (Ovaltine and vanilla almond milk).

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One of my favorite pics (hubby and I)

On Writing

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

My favorite authors right now are Stephen King, Kelley Armstrong, and Kim Harrison. Stephen King was my original inspiration to write. I’m not a squeeing fan-girl type, but I if I ever get the opportunity to meet him, I will squee my brains out (likely just in my head, but still). I actually missed getting tickets this past week when he was in Boulder and I’m still depressed about that. Sob.


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

I’m a sprint writer, so I don’t necessarily have a typical day. I may sit down to write every day, but I’m just as likely (if not moreso) to go days without writing then sit down and churn out thousands of words in one sitting. My ritual is to slather on my rosemary mint lotion.


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

I don’t necessarily write every day. When I do, I try to spend several hours at it. There are days where I write from morning to night, with breaks to cook dinner and such. My worst writing distractions are six- and eight-years old, but Facebook is a close second.


4. Why do you write?

This is probably a clichéd answer, but I don’t know how NOT to. The stories live within me whether I write them or not, but they want so badly to be written down. I love to put them down “on paper,” to read them again later. I enjoy developing the worlds I’m writing about. I’m at peace when I’m writing.


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

My biggest tip is to do what you can to keep learning, but also to stay true to yourself. I firmly support attending conferences, workshops, free writing events, and writer/author gatherings. You can learn so much, and you also leave any one of these things feeling inspired, your creative juices flowing. The second part, though, is that no matter what you learn from others, don’t let it kill the way you write. These are your stories, not collective stories created by you and those around you. Advice and education are fantastic, but they don’t replace the story that lives within you. Ever.

“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” E.L. Doctorow




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

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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19 Responses to “Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Shannon Lawrence”

  1. Sheri Larsen says:

    I love that you can write out and about. I’ve yet to do that. I tend to feel more comfortable snuggled up in my writing cave. But venturing out would probably be good for me.

    I love Kim Harrison, too. Being from Maine, of course, Stephen King is a favorite, too!

  2. I love the posters on your wall, Shannon! I have postcards that I always wanted to put into a frame, but I don’t have a wall to put them on :-(

  3. Your desk is so organized! I am envious.

  4. mooderino says:

    Nice office. Makes me want to start writing just looking at it.

    Moody Writing

  5. Andrew says:

    I want a space…

  6. Thank you for having me over today, Nutschell!

    Sheri, being out and about seems to work best for short works for me. I have trouble doing anything other than editing novels outside of my office.

    Annalisa, my husband and I met working at a movie theater, so we have an insane amount of movie posters. I like to switch them out. Framing postcards would be a cool idea! I hope you can figure out someplace to put them. When I lived in a cubicle world, I would put magnetic frames up on filing cabinets and tape things wherever I could.

    Alex, haha, it’s not quite that organized anymore, though I do try to keep it clutter free. If it’s a mess, I find I’m too distracted with the mess to write much.

    Mood, awesome! Go forth and write. 😉

  7. Andrew, is there anywhere you can set up any kind of space for just you? I once had a cabinet desk that I could lock.

  8. Susan Gourley says:

    What a nice big desk. I would definitely have more junk on it.

  9. Mary Pax says:

    I’d love my own office. It’s a beautiful, bright space, Shannon.

    Happy Wednesday Shell :)

  10. Shannon that is a great workspace. Obviously you have a love for the Crow.

  11. Susan, haha, sometimes I do have more on it!

    Mary, thanks!

    Maurice, I do love The Crow!

  12. Mr. Dude. says:

    First of all and I’m still wondering. Why are you called “The Writing Nut”? Your icon is a peanut and a peanut is a bean. I do so hope you answer me this time, thank you.

    Okay, hey Shannon. Your office looks very impressive. Very neat and conducive to your focusing on your amazing writing skills.

    I shall see you on “Farcebook.” Now go slather yourself with rosemary mint lotion. Wonderful photo of you and your hubby.

    Mr. Dude aka Gary :)

    • nutschell says:

      Hey Gary,
      I tried looking for the comments section on your blog but couldn’t find it, so I’ll just have to answer your question here. My name (my real one) is Nutschell and back home in the Philippines my friends used to call me “Nuts” so The Writing Nut is a play on my name, and on my passion of writing. 😀 Thanks for dropping by!

  13. Nice to learn about you Shannon–a sprint writer who loves to procrastinate!

  14. Gary, what is this Mr. Dude thing you’ve got going on here?

    Theresa, indeed! I hope I’m not the only one.

  15. Fantastic interview! Loved getting a peek into Shannon’s space. I also love that final quote.

  16. LD Masterson says:

    That workplace puts mine to shame. SO organized..

    Lovely interview.

  17. LD, no worries! It’s not always that organized, ha!

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