My writing space

So I have a new friend (real life here people) and I recently was invited over to her house for coffee. I love coffee, so this is clearly an easy route to my heart. While we sipped on some South American blend she took me on the house tour. *Side note here: I love looking at houses. I go to open houses because I love to see real, lived in spaces.*

She calls her office the “situation room.” The best word to describe this space was organized. It had an air of seriousness, of efficiency and industry. I found myself in the center of sturdy maple furniture, all matching, the centerpiece was a grand desk free of clutter. Did you get that? FREE. OF. CLUTTER.

A quick swipe of the finger would have revealed a dust-free space, I am positive of that because it was gleaming in there. The desk was flanked by filing cabinets, full no doubt with alphabetized files and book shelves with volumes all lined up in pretty rows. It looked like the kind of office you see in the pages of a magazine. I was, for all intensive purposes, amazed.

My office, by comparison, lacks all that clean, orderliness. My office looks like a hackneyed, adolescent laughing at stupid jokes compared to that refined space.

Here is one view of my office, the two bookshelves smooshed together and loaded with my treasures:

So the neon fake flowers are a little garish, I will admit that. I love my Thomas Jefferson bobblehead with a passion. I’m not exactly sure why I have Garfield coffee mugs, a tiny red car, a jar full of change, or a hunk of 2×4 on top. The gathering of life, I suppose. The cat clock hanging on the wall is one I made in 7th grade. It has long since stopped working. But hey, I made it with my own hands so there it is in a proud place of honor. I refused to use power tools of any sort because on the first day of class a boy cut off the tip of his finger. Do you know what it is like to look for part of someone’s finger on the floor? If no, trust me on this one, you don’t want to.

Here is another view, you can even make out my wall of shame (rejections):

The old typewriter is moderately classy, writerly even. I’ve got crayons – everyone needs crayons for when they feel cray-zy. Oooh, look! Get out of hell free cards. Want one?

Let’s move to the real work area, here is a photo of my bulletin board:

This is just above my workspace. The painting in the bottom left is by my son (he’s a genius with acrylic). Some Appalachian Trail stuff here, a photo of my own hand (there is a butterfly you can’t see) the clock in the Orsay museum from the inside, a Birthday card, a snoopy patch, a story I wrote that was published last year “Going Places” and this weird ass flier I got in the mail for a farm magazine. It reads, “There’s a farmgirl in all of us.” Sure there is.

Anyway, I’m not trying to torture you with all of this. My point is simple – my space is amateur at best. I can only imagine what my friend would think. Sure, she had a bulletin board, but it had useful stuff on it – like a calendar.

I am not even going to show you a picture of my actual desk, the piles of paper, or all the books that don’t fit on the bookshelves and now line up in towering stacks on the floor. But you get the picture, or rather my word picture instead. Trust me, it is a mess.

So, where do you work? Is your space neat or does it look like a paper monster threw up in it?

2 thoughts on “My writing space

  1. Okay, that “farmgirl in all of us” cracked me up. That’s just plain weird.My workspace is an embarrassing nightmare that causes my family to vacillate from mockery to outrage at the condition of it.Part of our problem is there are too many of us living in a small space (four of us in a 2BD/1BA house). I sit around all day dreaming of an addition we want to put on our house. Ah, wouldn’t that be heaven??By the way, thanks for sending me that link to the Time Bank web site. I’m going to feature it over at < HREF="" REL="nofollow">Spread Change<> in a day or two (and give a link to your site). I appreciate it!


  2. I don’t even have a set workspace; I work either sprawled with my laptop on the bed, in my ‘work chair’ situated by the living-room window, or at the dining room table (which has to be cleared off by dinnertime every day so my roommates and I can use it for its proper purpose). I miss having a desk and a bookcase dedicated to work/writing stuff. Next time I move, I swear I’m making sure I have space for a desk!To answer your question, though, when I had a desk it ranged from tornado-stricken to mostly-clear. I found I worked better when I took the time before writing to straighten up 🙂


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