My son and I rearranged our office area this week. Hooray! (This has been the long-awaited reward for completing the revisions of my novel, The Swallow’s Spring and sending it off to editors I’ve met at conferences who asked to see it when it was done). Now it has winged its way off into the world, I could finally give myself permission to reorganize my desperately cramped and cluttered office.
My son and I share the living room/dining room area in our home. His area is the living room, mine is the smaller dining room.
In simple terms what we did was rearrange the living room bookshelves (which he has to share with me) so I gained about twenty-four inches in my office zone. This enabled me to turn my desk so that the computer display no longer blocks the view out into the back yard and to leave enough room behind my desk so I no longer have to sit down in my chair and swivel in order to get to the other side.
Also, this is a biggie, my file cabinets are now well-lit and easily accessible (which was MOST necessary). My two-year old pile of filing (which includes many files from my years of teaching and, all combined, is about four-five feet tall) has been removed from the low cabinet where it took up space. That space is now occupied by more useful things—like reference books, and marketing and novel binders.
The filing has now been consigned to the “Punishment Pile” (punishment because I have had two years to deal with it and all I have done is add to it!) Until I deal with it, only one of the two pathways around my desk will be available. Somehow, I haven’t determined when just yet, I need to incorporate a chunk of time for filing into my daily routine. I will be so happy when it’s done. (It would be so much more fun to just get to work on another novel!)
Alas, clutter is one of the hallmarks of a reading/writing lifestyle—little slips with written notes for one story or another, paragraphs/snippets from magazines that interest or inspire me, stacks of sticky-noted books I’ve read and want to journal about, publisher and agent information, expense receipts and income records and a tracking system for what manuscripts are out where, not to mention cans of colored pencils, mugs of pens and mechanical pencils, containers of paper clips, binder clips, erasers, and a three hole punch.
Everything is going to have a place. I can’t wait!
What does your writing lair look like? Do you have some tips for dealing with all the odds and ends so necessary to our craft?
Someday, when I get the art (and bulletin board) hung and the file pile cleared away, I’ll post a picture of my beloved creative place. In the meantime, tell me about yours.