In Which I Follow My Own Advice

Okay, so I finally snagged myself a room in my house in which to write - a room of my own, with (and this is important) an actual door. I've been actively writing hardcore for a while now in what is supposed to be the "formal living room." That's the room that, when you open the front door and enter the house, is immediately to the left. No door whatsoever. For a typical study, it's cool. Two desks, my desktop computer and the husband's laptop, a big whiteboard, the networked printer, all the stuff to make sure the bills get paid, his finance books and my English lit and writing books...

But then come the inevitible tests:

(1) It's Saturday. I came down for coffee (thanks, baby) and never quite went back upstairs because while sitting on the sofa waking up, I got a prickly thought. An inspiration. I wandered in and booted up the computer, started to write... and now it's 2:00 pm, the husband brought home Taco Bueno an hour ago (thanks baby - now please leave, I'm writing...), and I have yet to brush my teeth or put on underwear. And then: Ding dong! Oh look, it's ________ (son's girlfriend, in-laws, neighbor, cable guy) at the door, and I'm trapped in this room looking like a homeless person.

(2) It's any given night. Husband and son are watching television... in the room just behind the "study." They are boys. Thus, television is not to be watched, it is to be experienced. Sadly, headphones and I do not get along. Stuff in/around my ears is annoying. So if I am inspired to write, or have to write, I am attempting to hold at bay a frickin wall of sound while doing so. Yeah. Good luck with that.

(3) People in my life are curious sorts. They do not come up to a person sitting at a computer and have a normal conversation, looking at said person. They walk up and immediately and without fail start reading the screen. Now, perhaps some people are not bothered by this. I am not one of these people! I don't need my son to say, "Impossible has one 'm'." I don't need my mother-in-law to say, "Oh, what are you working on?" while I wonder if I just typed the f-word multiple times in the last paragraph. They do not understand the idea of a rough draft.

(4) I have cats. If you have cats, you understand. If you don't... well... just trust me. This is a good fourth bullet.

Two weeks ago, I decided that my son's PS3 didn't need a room of its own, but I do. Now I have it. Small round table in front of a south-facing window with (bonus) live oaks right outside, laptop, plenty of pens, pencils and paper (because yes, I still use those) and a wall of bookshelves filled with my favorite books. And my favorite part... the door. The lovely, wonderful, magical door.

Tammara Webber

New York Times and international bestselling author of contemporary romantic fiction