A few months ago, I posted about my overwhelmingly busy life and my need to make some changes, to reprioritize. I had made a list of things that I considered my priorities, and family, friends, and writing were at the top of the list. Then I’d made a list of how I was spending my time, and all the top spots were filled by the same thing – working at ‘the day job’, which had actually become a day, night, and weekend job. So when I finally got a chance to take a breath, I started making some changes that I’ll share here over the next few weeks. Something I expected to stay the same, though, was my home office/writing cave. But all of that changed this past week.
This is how my office desk looked a few days ago. The desk is one I bought several years ago, when I finally decided my writing pursuits were worthy of their own space and desk in our house. It was fairly cheap and I put it together myself, but it was perfect for my needs and I love it. That shelf along the window is actually a pullout shelf to give extra work space and provide additional storage underneath, but that can be rolled back under the desk to save space. It was the best of both worlds – a space-saving desk with a pullout work station – when I was in more crowded quarters.
When we moved into our current house, I got a whole office to devote to my passion! (And to use for ‘day job’ overflow when I had to do work from home.) I agreed to use an additional piece of furniture, a china cabinet I’d always hated, as my bookshelves. It had been heavy and dark and depressing, so I removed the doors, sanded it down to bare wood, gave it a light stain and tung oil, and decided I could tolerate it. The fact that it provided massive storage capacity for my book addiction was a big point in its favor. The finishing touch in the room was my writing chaise. I’d wanted one for years and I finally had the room for it. I dragged my husband to DC in a friend’s borrowed pick-up truck to buy it from some wonderful hipsters. Adding a portable computer desk my husband had bought me years earlier made this the perfect spot for writing, especially for early morning writing sprints with a cat or two to either side of me on the chaise (it’s big enough for them to share with me, when they deign to let me join them there).
By now you might be wondering why I decided to change my office if it was so perfect for my purposes. Well, it was kismet. Friends contacted us with good news and bad news. The bad news is they’re moving out of state. The good news is we will have friends to visit in a warmer climes the next time we have a miserably long and cold winter, and we were able to buy some beautiful furniture that is much nicer than anything we would even have bought new. I thought long and hard about it, even agonized over it. After all, this is my creative space. Creative space is very personal, and we writers can be a neurotic bunch. Changing our habitat can be an uncomfortable or even creativity-killing endeavor. But after measuring out the space and looking at the pictures they sent and agonizing some more, I realized it was a chance I couldn’t pass up.
And so, after a Sunday morning furniture delivery, my office now looks like this. The furniture is really beautiful, even better looking in person that in pictures. There is one more piece coming to complete it – a tall bookcase, of course. It will go in the empty spot on the wall beside the credenza (there’s more room behind the chaise than the picture shows). Kitties have already given their seal of approval, using the new desk as a perch for bird-watching out the window. My husband is suitably jealous. My daughter has observed that we buy much nicer things now that she has moved out of the house.
And most importantly, I love it. It feels grown-up and professional, and makes me excited to create new and fun stories, and collages and puzzles and whiteboard lists to support those stories, in my office. It also sets me up perfectly for some other changes that are coming soon in my life, but that’s for next week’s post.
Do you have a designated space for your writing or creative pursuits? Have you changed up your space lately, and if so, has it helped or hurt your creativity?