Lisa Moore over at Redbone Press sent me this article on writers' writing spaces. The article focuses on British writers but their feedback could apply to any writer in the world (the link for the article is at the bottom of this blog). One of the things that resonated with me was a writer that said, "I really don't see anything in my office except my computer screen and what I am working on." I think that is true for me as well. I took this picture of my writing room after I read the article and was surprised to see what I saw.
My office is on the second floor of my tiny house. I call it the Hansel and Gretel cottage. The house was built in 1923 and from what the last owner told me- two parents raised four children (I think all boys) in this cottage. I find that hard to believe that more than two people could live in this space. But us 21st century folks are always craving bigger and bigger. My office sits at the top of the stairs in a foyer clearing with no door (one of the writers in the article has the same set up). Here is where I do all the my writing and work for the press. One of my Just Like A Girl contributors once jokingly sent me an email with the subject header "from the penthouse office of GirlChild Press." This is what the penthouse looks like. It needs to be painted! I never noticed how white the space was until I took the picture.
The walls are pretty much cluttered with my bulletin boards with my long list of projects. The white dry erase board that you see (to the left) has a list of short films that are in various stages of production or nonproduction. The wall behind my chair that you can't see is a wall of post-its and snap shots (with no frames). The post-its keep track of passwords (that I can't ever seem to remember), titles of upcoming book projects (the next book from the press will focus on short stories only), and my budget layout for this recent project. According to the budget I might be eating instant noodles for the rest of the summer:) The wall in front of my computer is a result of an Artist Way assignment that I did more than a couple years ago. You had to do something creative and motivational. I chose to write on my walls (and if you knew me - so out of character) something that would keep me going when I was losing faith in my abilities. It is actually a stanza from my poem "Girl Child" - Dream big, girl. Take up as much room as you need. Take up as much room as you want! The YES! was added in 2006 (there is a long, convoluted story that goes with that. Ask me if you want to hear it).
There are two desk in the space. Both have no drawers. Drawers are the work of the devil. You stuff them with things that you don't really need to save but never throw out. Besides I have long legs and they need room to move around. I got the desks from The Container Store (also a work of the devil). This particular day the office is much cleaner than it usually is. For you OCD folks - yes, this is clean! Usually, there are stacks of papers on the floor, on both desks, and in the extra chair. I think I must have just shredded all the submissions from the last project over the weekend - freeing up the space.
I eat in this space a lot. Hence the ginger ale bottle, salt shaker, and cup on the second desk. Once I get rolling on something I don't want to break away so I just turn from the computer desk and eat on the second desk. Now that I type that out that sounds so geeky writer. Except for the fact that the walls desperately need to be painted, I really like this space.