Saturday, January 9, 2010

Bless This Mess

What does it take to bring comfort and keep the creative vibes flowing for a writer? Some of us like complete silence and others prefer the background sound of music pounding out a beat to fit the mood of our story.

What about our physical surroundings? For me, warmth is the top priority and after that is something to put my feet up on. My day job, the bill-paying one, expects me to be on my feet all day. When I write in the evenings and on weekends, I like to rest my poor tired legs on a soft stool.

Then there are the tools of the trade. I used to think that meant my computer and the journal I kept all my characters and world building straight in. Now I know better. Convenient to hand must be my Flip Dictionary which I love over any Thesaurus and my massive Websters Universal College Dictionary with the incredibly small print. On the other hand is my 2010 weekly schedule book. One or two reference books helping me with my current WIP. This book they happened to be my mineral and crystal reference, Herbal Medicines and a lore book about all kinds of legends.

Spinning my desk around I can grab one of my three ring binders I use to keep my different series and all their paperwork organized in. Since I'm published with three different publishers I often refer back to their guidelines for formatting issues. Each one has a few different things in the style they prefer. Here I have lists of contact information, copies of contracts, hard copies of any interview or review for those books and of course, color copies of the covers. There is one for my newest fantasy series but since I haven't sold it yet the binder is a bit empty.

As you can see from the pictures, I actually work at two desks. One is a simple writing desk ($99 at Office Max) where I work on my laptop. Often the surface is covered with sticky notes reminding me of tasks I must complete or simply the time of an appointment. The other desk holds promotional items, files of things I'm getting to someday and usually one or two magazines I'm going to read someday. Here is my the folder I toss my tax receipts in until I take the time to organize them. There I put my alpha smart until I'm ready to use it again. So many untended but not unloved folders languish there with half started or outlined novels. Someday.

My chair is a simple one I paid less than $50 for at another office store. And a little bookshelf with my most used reference books on sits by my left hand. I have a bunch more of those but I have to get up to get them.

The room itself is a small sitting room at the front of the house I made into my office. It even has a fireplace and gets the morning sun. Completing the entire comfy set up is a folded paper towel I use as my coaster for cups of coffee or hot tea, iced seltzer water or perhaps a goblet of chilled wine. I'm finishing up my ice coffee right now and will probably had one glass of wine later tonight.

How do you arrange your writing area for comfort? Is it private or does the family interrupt you constantly? Do you do anything special to keep different WIPs organized and separate in your mind?


  1. I like the looks and description of your space -- sounds like a wonderful place to work. It's only my wife and I here now, so there's not much to interrupt me. My writing office is in an upstairs corner of the house. It's one of my daughter's former bedroom converted into a wonderful office space for me alone. I miss my daughters now that they are on their own, but it does have it's perks.

  2. I like to be tidy when I start work but by the end of the day if there is a mess at least I know I've worked hard at making it. When you have time please drop by and pick up an award for being a great blog to visit.

  3. I know what you mean, Arlee. I miss my boys when they go back to college, but I get so much more done.
    I also tidy up, Jarmara, but the mess soon overtakes me again. I comfort myself thinking it wouldn't get out of order if I weren't working.

  4. I love your office. It's quite organized.

    My office is in the guest room. When there's no guest, it's my office. When there's a guest, my office becomes a folding table in the upstairs bedroom. I have to have quiet. That means sometimes I have to put on headphones and close the door. I like my office and miss it when I have to move.

    Straight From Hel