Space. Not in the “Final Frontier” way, but in the “where you put it all together” intention.
I do not know about you, but I can write almost anywhere when the mood takes me. Coordinating different portions of the book – organizing all my notes – data entry from notebooks to the computer – updating this blog – the myriad of internet tasks surrounding my writing; these things must take place in my office.
This place had a wonderful concentration device called a “door”. I would shut the door, and intuitively it was known that I was busy. Perfect, right? Not so much. So very not so much, I wouldn’t get much done. In fact, I would open the door in worse shape than I entered, of this I am sure. There is nothing that beats you up more than spending a month or two puttering. What was going wrong?
When I had bought those first meaningful seven books on the process of writing, the last book I grabbed was Eric Maisel, PH.D.’s A Writer’s Space. It was a last grab purchase, because the book was cute. It was also small enough to be ignored until weeks after purchase, perhaps a month, I finally began to read it.
Get. That. Book.
I’ve never looked at my office the same way again.
There were so many things in there that had nothing to do with writing! Nothing! Some of them didn’t even have to do with my current interests. They were artifacts from interests past! I wasn’t a writer, my office proclaimed, I was a world class dabbler! Clearly by looking at my bookshelves, I was soon to launch an IT Network Center after I mastered no less than six programing/scripting languages and two operating systems; perhaps writing a small program or two along the way. Looking in other areas it would seem that I was saving up all the different cables, connecters, switches, and cases to create that center. My office was a changing room, as evidenced by the clothing strewn about; my desk doubling as a dining room table. I had kept books that had captured my attention so effectively, I could not recall a single plot point. I must not have removed them because a small army of pipes and toys were blocking the access to most books on the majority of shelves. Two harps, dusty and out of reach. Music CDs in cases by the bushel. The networking hub for the house.. did I mention the crate of LP’s waiting to be ripped? One thin track led from the desk to the door.
It struck me that even though I had been in IT for over 24 years, I still lacked focus. I was, in some way, still a youth, picking up things here and there and trying them on to see if they fit. If you wanted to be kind – my office reflected a wonderful sense of diversity and exploration. Personally, I think it clearly illustrated that even after making up my mind, I hadn’t committed to the relationship.
How does your space reflect your commitment?