Writers in Residence

by Linda O. Johnston 


Lock downYes, this is The Writers in Residence blog.  And what am I posting about here today?  Writers in residence.

That’s pretty much all of us writers, I assume.  Some writers can write anywhere, and I know of many who prefer taking their laptops to a Starbucks or a Panera or similar place and spending many days there, ignoring the crowds and discussions around them and getting a lot of their writing done.

Prefer it? Maybe so, but even though a lot of towns in this country appear to be “opening up” more than they’ve been recently during the Covad-19 virus pandemic, the most logical locations still require social distancing and, mostly, masks. Sitting at a table nursing cups of coffee as you write may be a beloved memory, and a beloved aspiration for the future, but I doubt that many people are engaging in it now.

Maybe some writers who also have outside jobs are able to write at their offices, at lunchtime or other off hours. At one time, years ago, I arrived at my in-house law office an hour earlier than our scheduled starting time and used that hour as my writing time. My coworkers knew that’s what I was up to, so for them, I wasn’t there during that hour.

But now–well, most offices currently also allow, or even insist on, their employees working from home.

kaitlyn-baker-vZJdYl5JVXY-unsplashSo most often these days, I assume we’re writers in residence. We all have homes–houses, apartments, condos or whatever–although maybe there are some homeless people out there who write, too. In any case, we reside somewhere.  And write.

Those of us who are members of The Writers in Residence all have homes, not necessarily near one another. And as far as I know, we also all have home offices, or at least places within our homes where we write.  If I’m wrong with respect to anyone, please tell me!

Me? Yes, I’ve been a writer in residence for a long time, no longer working as a lawyer. I have a messy office where I write, sitting in front of my computer nearly all day–except when one of my dogs comes in and stares at me and I need to figure out what she wants, which usually isn’t hard to do. But yes, I write a lot in my residence. I did so even before. And now, while we’re mostly confined to our homes, it feels even more appropriate.

virus readingOh, and by the way, I was very impressed by our last Writers in Residence blog, written by Rosemary Lord–focusing on independent bookstores near us in Southern California.  It’s a great idea to buy books from them, probably online and either have them shipped or pick them up outside the store.  And it’s not only the independents doing that now. I’ve picked up several books from outside my nearby Bookstar, which is part of Barnes & Noble.  I want that store, and the entire company, to survive, and the indies, too!

So how about you? Are you a writer in residence? A reader in residence? Both?


Linda O Johnston
Linda O. Johnston, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, currently writes two mystery series for Midnight Ink involving dogs: the Barkery and Biscuits Mysteries, and the Superstition Mysteries.  She has also written the Pet Rescue Mystery Series, a spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime and also currently writes for Harlequin Romantic Suspense as well as the Alpha Force paranormal romance miniseries about shapeshifters for Harlequin Nocturne.
This article was posted for Linda O. Johnston by Jackie Houchin (Photojaq)

Author: Jackie Houchin

First, I am a believer in Jesus Christ, so my views and opinions are filtered through what God's Word says and I believe. I'm a wife, a mom, a grandma and now a great grandma. I write articles and reviews, and I dabble in short fiction. I enjoy living near the ocean, doing gardening (for beauty and food) and traveling - in other countries, if possible. My heart is for Christian missions, and I'm compiling a collections of Missionary Kids' stories to publish. (I also like kittens and cats and reading mysteries.)

12 thoughts on “Writers in Residence”

  1. I always have written at home, but it does feel different knowing I am basically “forced” to stay here. I don’t like the feeling. I do write, currently on Richard’s laptop in the living room just to be different, and when it was hot here in Sunny California the living room was a lot cooler than my office upstairs. But I find a million things to distract me from the page which is starting to annoy me. But I guess that is life for the moment. Hang in there, folks. We can share stories when it’s all behind us.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good food for thought, Linda. My ‘office’ is set up in my apartment living-room – where I can look out of the window and distract myself. That’s if I’m not distracting myself by envisaging how I should re-arrange my apartment to be more streamlined and functional! Pretty soon, I will be really, really disciplined and JUST write. Although I am making great headway with a major edit on the first Lottie Topaz book. I love being a writer in my own residence – love being part of the blog, too! Thanks, Linda.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad I’m not the only one who find it hard to focus on writing. I haven’t been as productive as I feel I should be now, considering I have no excuse not to write. However, I keep thinking about that great line Bogart said in the movie, Casablanca: “It doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.” In my case the three little people are my characters.


  4. As always, I’m writing in “my residence.” But, like many of us, I’m not any more productive than I was pre-pandemic. I used to complain about social activities distracting me from writing. Apparently they weren’t the problem. I find that the days fly by.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Social activities do distract–but so do all the concerns we have now. And I agree–the days are flying by, each mostly imitating the prior ones.


  5. Yes, hermit here, writer in residence for sure and all the time these latter years, though also not writing as much as I could/should?? My excuse, I feel sort of “strange” similar to what Gayle said…somehow this is different. Very cool(dating myself) on picking up on “Writers in Residence” is currently us for sure! Great post. Keep safe all!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree that this all feels different, but it’s great to at least communicate with fellow writers no matter how productive we are feeling right now. You keep safe, too!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: