Two years into her career as a writer and struggling with a two-year case of writer’s block, Emma Harris realized the solution to her problem was simple: She just needed to create a cute new writing nook. “I knew that embarking on my very first redecorating project would totally be worth the time investment, since having a super adorable environment is important for writing,” says Harris, while browsing Pinterest. “I wanted it to look good enough to get repinned, and also write a screenplay in it.”
Harris’ breakthrough came while at her local Starbucks, a frequent haunt she visits to gather inspiration, open and close Microsoft Word a few times, and text her parents. The free wifi and communal tables made it an excellent place for her to get cracking on her screenplay, “or even a novel, who knows?”. She’d spend hours there, seeking inspiration from Facebook and a varied collection of lifestyle blogs. Staring at a blank screen while the hum of steamed milk and barista flirtation filled the air, it dawned on her: With the right tapestries, she could probably also write at home.
Doing so would require an overhaul of her current home office. “A home office is for doing work,” says Harris. “But I needed somewhere I could write.” The room had been housing an unused desk and a bookcase full of books and movies on DVD – all written by other people. With the exception of a short-lived recipe blog in 2009, Harris has yet to produce content of any kind, though she remains dedicated to her work of creating her dream writing nook.
A newbie to home projects, Harris enlisted the help of her friend Mindy to sew curtains, while her dad agreed to build and install floating shelves.
“My friends and family have been so supportive of my new career’s nook,” says Harris. “They’ve all offered to read drafts, brainstorm ideas, and even teach me some Microsoft Word hacks,” she shares, while quickly adding, “Once we get this nook up and running, that is!”
Work is already underway. Harris has begun a list of supplies she’ll need for the transformation and has spent much of her week curating a Pinterest board titled A Nook for Notions. She’s filled with resolve to work on her writing and has even begun mentioning an interest in going to the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. “Just as a visitor, though. I want to see what kind of nooks they have.”
No matter what her screenplay becomes (“a dystopian YA series maybe?”), the fabric-covered bulletin board above her desk will be the perfect place for her to attach index cards filled with character notes and plot points once she come up with them.
“Ultimately, nothing is going to get the words from my head onto paper like just parking my butt in the seat,” admits Harris. “It just has to be the right seat. Maybe a cute Parsons chair with a white linen slipcover. And it should face a window that overlooks a garden. Maybe I should make a garden? That’s actually a really good idea. I should probably do that before I start the nook.”