Friday, September 3, 2010

So Where's Your Workspace?

Where do you write? You don’t have to rent an office. You can write anywhere! It doesn’t have to be formal or fancy.

I have a home office. But I didn’t at first. It wasn’t until the last of my sons got married and moved out that I got my own office. Of our three bedrooms, one is designated as my workspace. 

But it’s not state-of-the-art. I work on a scuffed up oak desk – built in the days of solid wood and it weighs a ton. My mother used to own an auction gallery and the desk once stood in her office with a matching credenza (I have it too). Certainly, you wouldn’t find this furniture in a penthouse office suite. But folks, they just don’t craft furniture this well anymore! For that reason (and for the memory factor) I love it and it’s part of my workspace.

As for the rest of the décor, it’s a hodgepodge of framed artwork and other memorabilia. On the bulletin board, I have pictures of friends and family –including my precious grandchildren. I’ve tacked up silk flowers from weddings and Bible verses that help to keep my thoughts on Christ.

I also have a painting that my 11-year-old niece made for me on my 50th birthday. I’ve entitled it “Celebrate.”

My great aunt Agnes painted a picture decades ago that’s called “Storm.” I inherited it from my grandfather’s cousin, and I cherish it. I’ve hung it on the wall near the window if my workspace.

My aunt Naya Rydzewski, a noted artist in Key West, painted a beach scene just for me. It occupies the wall directly across from “Storm” (I thought it quite appropriate).

In addition, I’ve framed a few of my book covers and hung up an award I received from ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers).


Impressive? Hardly. Are these things in my workspace of great value? Probably not. But they are priceless to me and they make me feel creative. That’s not to say I draw upon these items for creativity. I don’t. My gift of writing and creating comes from the Lord and through much prayer. Simply, I enjoy feeling surrounded by the finished products of artistic loved ones.

I must admit that sometimes my health issues get in the way of my ability to sit in my office and work. When that’s the case and still the deadline looms, I go to office #2….and everyone’s got one (an office #2, that is).

Yep. Grab that laptop and crawl under the covers! I’d be interested in learning just how many authors write in their bedrooms. I’m sure there are plenty who do!

The question to consider when selecting a workspace is, where do you feel the most creative? At the kitchen table near the window so you have a view of your garden? In the corner of the living room? At the dining room table?

Years ago, my husband and I toured the poet, Carl Sandburg’s home in North Carolina. His workspace is adjacent to what was his bedroom and we learned Mr. Sandburg preferred to work at night. I took heart when I surveyed his organized mess. The tour guide said that wherever Mr. Sandburg worked there were piles of papers, files, and books. Sometimes he worked on orange crates as opposed to his desk or a table.
Not exactly the hoity-toity environment you'd imagine for a famous poet, is it? But it worked for him.

What works for you? Where's your favorite workspace?

Please leave a comment and let me know. And have a fabulous Labor Day weekend!

**A version of this article is printed in Christian Fiction Online Magazine and my column "Ask Andrea."


Liz Tolsma said...

I wish I had a dedicated work space, but I still have 3 kids at home. I write on my front porch when the weather is nice, or in my sunroom, the living room, the family room, and yes, my bedroom. I've found that sitting on an exercise ball is very comfortable, but it would be nice to have an office where I could hang up my character charts and other pictures to help me when I write. Someday. Love your bedroom, by the way, it's beautiful!

Lisa Lickel said...

Fun - We're chatting about this at the Classic Romance Revival blog the last couple of weeks. I shared my desk on Sat: