Writing Space: Renee Johnson

I’ve been a regular reader of Renee’s blog Writingfeemail for almost a year and have come to enjoy her observations about life and writing. I am often amazed at some of the similarities writer’s share as they pursue their craft. I hope you’ll enjoy Renee’s guest post here at No Wasted Ink.

Renee Johnson Writer and BloggerReading consumed me as a child and the resulting nickname – Bookworm – stuck to me for many years. I wrote my first novel around the age of nine in pink ink on lined loose paper. But growing up in the late seventies and early eighties, I was advised to follow the trail of business, not passion. Pursuing one’s bliss didn’t come into fashion until I was knee deep in the professional world with a business degree under my belt. Although my creative writing professors always encouraged me to continue with my writing, it was thought to be something one did as a hobby instead of a career.

Then I married, had a child, and followed him around baseball fields until I woke up one morning and realized that he was at college three hours away and I had newly acquired free time.

So, I ran away to France to a little village named Essoyes and the Writing School taught by teacher, editor, and writer – Janet Hulstrand. There, I found the validation and confidence that I needed to pursue writing as a second act in my life.

I returned home and began to put the many things I learned into practice and started the blog: Writingfeemail. But it took a while to get a writing space set up that was comfortable and user friendly. I found that I was constantly looking for things like staplers, post-it notes, paper clips, ink pens, etc. So I found a great divided organizer that matched my writing desk and it has been the single best piece of furniture that I have ever bought. Nothing is further than a fingertip away and the dividers keep it all separated so that I don’t have to dig around to find what I need.

Renee Johnson Writing Room

And the desk is in a room upstairs away from the bustle of normal traffic coming in and out of the house. That way I can get a bit more privacy. The small sofa and love seat are perfect for kicking back and proofreading my work or just offering a bit of a rest after hunching over the keyboard for too long.

Renee Johnson Writing room with sofa

There is a second writing tool that I use, especially when traveling. It is a laptop computer. And I have a brown leather journal that I love to carry around and jot notes in. But lately I’ve found that the notepad application on my blackberry has replaced the handwritten notes and that is probably a shame. Combing over my little notations often sparks the fire again for a project in a way that a typed note in the phone just doesn’t!


To read more about my experiences in Essoyes at the Writing School visit writingfeemail.

14 thoughts on “Writing Space: Renee Johnson”

  1. Thank you, Wendy, for devoting a post about my journey into the world of words. You offer so much great writing advice, useful and creative links, interviews with fellow writers, and reviews of good works. I am constantly learning something new from you – especially about the tools you and others use.

  2. Reblogged this on Writingfeemail's Blog and commented:
    Wendy Van Camp at No Wasted Ink has been gracious enough to allow me to guest post ‘Writing Space’ this week about how I found my voice as a writer, where I prefer to work, and the tools I use. She features different writers here as well as kick-ass links about writing, reading, publishing, social media…the list goes on and on. Please take a minute and visit her great site. I think you will all find something new and useful in one of her posts.

  3. Renee, how lovely to see your work space! I’m with Philosophermouse–that couch would inspire me to edit, read, and relax, not necessarily in that order,I hope that you will soon write a post on the little village of Essoyes! 🙂

  4. So many have written about attending a writers’ conference/camp/retreat. I need to keep my antennae up for a space of time when something like that could fit in what is already a busy schedule.

  5. I loved reading about your journey from businesswoman to writer. It reminds me of my own–from lawyer to writer (who had always been a writer but that doesn’t pay, or so they said). And my gosh, I wish I had your organized desk setup. IKEA Run!!

  6. Renee, I love the evolution of your writing space. I can totally relate to not being from a time that encouraged you to follow your passion. I’m just happy that I finally was able to, when I started this blog two years ago. It’s the best feeling, this putting words into sentences, and creating essays, stories, poetry and so much more. I love, love the written word!

  7. I also enjoyed reading your story and seeing your writing space Renee.
    I’ve wanted to do a writing course for the longest time. There are so many out there how did you come to chose the one in France?

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