Sunday, March 24, 2013

What is your perfect writing place?

By W. S. Gager
What is the best environment to write in? Do you do it with a fruity drink pool side? How about on a balcony with a view of the ocean? Do you have a dedicated space or is it the recliner in the living room with a laptop? Or a small desk in a cramped corner?

The room before we purchased.
I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what the perfect office space would be. The ocean and pool aren’t in the cards but I’ve been dreaming. That may be because in the last four years I have lived in two rentals for six to nine months each knowing they were temporary and neither had an office space. I’ve lived in two houses and only the first had an office. Now we are in our final resting place if you will. And best of all, I have an office space. A loft that was billed as a bedroom when we first looked at it but my mind quickly took it to the perfect office space.

After some delays, we have moved in. My office space is the last priority after the kitchen (we need to eat), the bedrooms (we need to sleep) and putting the things I know where they go (we need to move in a sea of boxes). Finally Friday I was able to tackle the space I had been itching to get my hands on. Many things erroneously made it into the space and during the packing process many extras were shoved with my many books. A dozen books, three towels and a bunch of miscellaneous items in a single box and there were a dozen boxes just like the first.

Before I started to unpack boxes.
But I digress. This blog isn’t about my unpacking but offices. How do I arrange an office? What is the maximum efficiency? Feng Shui says a person should never have their back to the door or face a solid wall. So do you put the desk in the middle of the room and face the balcony in my loft office? The sloped ceiling also offers a kink but works for some bookcases but I can’t find the little pegs that hold the shelves…

Trying to organize my perfect office space for maximum efficiency, creativity and organization is turning into a harder project than I expected. Any suggestions? Please let me know what your perfect office looks like. How do you organize your materials? Stay tuned for the finished office photos. (Hopefully soon!)

W.S. Gager is the author of four books in the Mitch Malone Mysteries. Her main character is Mitch Malone who is an edgy crime-beat reporter always on the hunt for the next Pulitzer and won't let anyone stop him. Her third book, A CASE OF HOMETOWN BLUES, was a finalist in the 2012 Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. A CASE OF VOLATILE DEEDS is the latest in the Mitch series and now available.



Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I didn't just move in , but my office is a mess.

Billie Johnson said...

Wendy, my office is a mess too, but I am a total Feng Shui believer. I face the door of my office and can see the back door of my house, which is my primary entry spot, my Ch'i. My favorite book on Feng Shui is 'The Western Guide to Feng Shui...Room by Room by Terah Kathryn Collins. This was a gift from my savvy and smart daughter. It's very informative and easy to adapt the info to one's own life and circumstances.

My office is very small...some things are situated in other rooms, but this is where I consider command central for OTP. I've tried to make the small area work for me by having many things just an arm's reach away. Also, I think it is important to have things that inspire you nearby and in line of site. When I peer over the top of my monitor, I see a big poster of FALLING WATER, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house in western PA. The FL Wright lore/career has always inspired me and has become symbol for possibility thinking. I also have a couple of 'wall pocket' vases where I have fresh flowers most of the time...that inspires me too. And there are plenty of kitty-cat spots for Frida Kahlo, always a must.

Since I spend 12-16 hours per day in this room, it is important to me that is 'feels right'...I think that is what you have to shoot for. Good luck making just the right space for Mitch #5 and more!!


Joselyn Vaughn said...

My desk faces a solid wall. Hmmm. I do have some prints above the desk, but that may explain why I don't like working there. I'm sure my husband would love to rearrange furniture.

WS Gager said...

Marilyn: I don't know if my desk will ever be clean, Marilyn. I call it organized chaos.

Billie: I really want everything within reach. I'm just so happy it is all in one room. It has been on opposite sides of the state for too long! My desk now is in the middle of the room and faces the bank of windows that views a golf course (for my husband!) Now to arrange around that!

Joselyn: You need to face the door so you can keep an eye on the little ones. I'm so sure your husband would love to move it until it is just right!

Thanks so much for the comments!

Holli said...

I would sit with my back to the window so I would be facing door/entrance, but could turn and look out of the window whenever I wanted.

My office was first our garage, then Julio's band room, then a nursery (which my kids never slept in because they slept in my bed) and then my office. At first, it was really nice and neat, but now is full of clutter because everyone uses the desk for storage of things they don't know what to do with. And my desk faces the window, which puts my back to the door, which is a problem.

I have been trying to clear it out for a while, but it is a slow and painful process. I do most of my work in the living room on my laptop.

JL Buck said...

I moved three years ago and for the first time set up an actual office by taking over one of the bedrooms. My workspace is in a U with my desk overlooking the windows and the door is on my right. I love having a dedicated space but it is never tidy. How could I ever work without the clutter? :)


Beryl Reichenberg said...

My space is a mess too. Someday maybe I'll clean it up. I'm a person who likes to pile my papers rather than put them away neatly in a file drawer. Most of the time I can find what I need, but I wouldn't want anyone else to see the mess. Beryl

WS Gager said...

Thank you all for your comments. I think a prerequisite for a writer is a messy office at least from your comments. Too busy writing to clean it!

Kris said...

Love this post and the discussion. I bought my house with writing space in mind; specifically, I planned to set up an office in the extra room. Ended up creating a couple of nooks instead, and the extra room/office state neglected. When my husband and step-son moved in, I lost the office I had never used anyway, but the nooks stayed.

Jessica said...

My writing happy place is my back porch, i write some of my best articles when i am outside and have the sounds of nature around me.