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:~: Thursday, August 25, 2005 :~:

The Office

See ya, babe! I'm off to the office.

A full day of work looms ahead of me - eight hours with the WIP, full steam ahead. No interruptions, just me and my muse, the computer, a few research books and a gallon of coffee (with half-n-half and splenda, of course).

Yeah, right. In my dreams.

My 'office' is a spot on the living room couch with my laptop perched on my knees, research books scattered across the coffee table and floor, and my half-empty cup of cold coffee on a coaster (okay, generally NOT on a coaster) on the table in front of me. More often than not, the older two kids are bopping in and out or screaming in a nearby room, and the baby is at my feet playing on the floor.

Eight full hours of writing, uninterrupted???? I don't know what I would do with myself!!!

I have learned to be quite prolific amidst general chaos. So much so that in the evenings when the kids have finally gone to sleep and the DH is in the great room watching his gigantosaurus TV, I'm sometimes at a loss. I can write 5 pgs during the day here and there, but give me a couple hours of complete silence and I freeze up. (IM doesn't always help. LOL Although it's great for brainstorming!)

I often wonder if I would be more productive if I had my own "space". We have an office, but it's DH's office. And he has his own unique filing system where his work is generally laid out in feverish piles all over his desk. Do I want to move his laptop, clear a space and work in there? Uh...not. You never know what could crawl out from underneath that pile of clinicals. I find sitting on the couch is more comfortable, and it's easier for me to get up and down to deal with the next big trauma in the house if I'm actually IN the house and not hiding in the corner office. Of course, when I'm printing, working on queries or need to feel "official", I do work in there, but not all that much.

Do you have a set office where you write? Or are you like me...kinda all over the place and more? I sat in a workshop at Nationals - Writing Unforgettable Love Scenes with Christine Skye - and she addressed workspace briefly. She had a good trick for getting into her characters' heads...headphones. And not just any headphones, but those great big orange ones you can get at Home Depot to block out sound - the ones you see controllers wearing on the tarmack at the airport. Now there's an idea...I could block out my kids screaming. Oh wait....might not be the best idea. That could get me in some serious trouble.

Then she went on to talk about office space and got into a bunch of stuff I'm not sure I'm all that into. Like don't put your desk between the window and door because your creative energy will flow right out of the room. (huh?) Or don't put your desk in a place where your back is to the door because people can sneak up on you and you won't ever feel comfortable. Hmmm....not so sure about these. In Nora's chat she said her desk is against a window, she has a view of the woods...and yeah, her back is the to door. And I'd say that hasn't hampered her creative juices.

So where do you write? If you have an office, where's your desk? What time of the day are you most productive?


Anonymous kacey said...

hm, my desk is in the corner of a back porch. full windows on 3 sides. I face the woods. It doesn't get much better than this. (except in the get COLD out there). Though even though I have a cool office, I love sitting on the couch or in bed with the laptop. Or in front of the fire...

5:19 PM  
Blogger Carol B. said...

Alison's blogging about office space, too. Y'all must be on the same wave length today.

I have my own little corner office and face the wall (or rather my computer screen). I never really notice the wall because of all the books covering the open shelves above.
I have two corner windows to my left, the door is behind me on the left and the laundry closet directly behind my desk. It can be hot or cool, depending on how long I have the dryer on. LOL
It's messy, but it's mine, and only my space. DH has his own space in the basement.
I also sit in the living room, on the bed and sometimes out on the deck. Just depends on my mood.

6:20 PM  
Blogger Christine Keach said...

The guest room is my office. Rarely are there any guests in the single bed. My desk is set up to face the wall (with a big corkboard & my awards on it) and I can see the door out of the corner of my eye. I'm most productive up here and late at night. Many times I'll still be awake typing when I should be sleeping and waiting for that alarm to go off. Then again, I don't have a hubby or kids, so I can literally be productive anywhere in the house!

8:04 PM  
Blogger TJBrown said...

My office used to be in the same place as yours! Then I moved to the corner of the living room. Now I moved the diningroom table out and have taken over the dining room.Even bought myself a new spanky L shaped desk. I just needed the room.

6:56 AM  
Blogger Piper Lee said...

My "office" is in our living/family/dining room right smack dab in the middle of the action. The big screen tv is to my left and up a bit so that I'm not blocking it, the couch is directly in front of me and to my immediate right is my husband's "office". His desk is butted up to the side of mine. I have a really nice desk and leather chair. It looks like some executive's desk that's been misplaced and wound up in a chaotic family room.

Behind me is a huge bare wall that was supposed to be the garage door. It will be someday, when we finish our house. But for now things are the way they are and all the bitching in the world hasn't changed that fact.

As far as when my most productive time is, well, that would be in the shower. I need one of those "note to self" recording machines that's water-proof to take in there with me. I get my best ideas in there because none of my five children or my husband bug me for the 15 minutes I'm in there! (Well most of the time anyway.)

My other most productive time is when I have too much to do. My brain gets really active when I should be doing the wash, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, whatever so instead of doing all that I write up a storm. All of it garbage unfortunately but at least I write or do research.

My ideas do tend to go out the door and through the window just like Christine Skye said. I have 5 kids running in and out of the house all day long.

The way they jerk the door open sucks the ideas right out of my brain and splats them on the sidewalk. The impact they create when they slam the door shut smashes the remaining ideas I might have used right out the window; they get broken up into a zillion pieces as they're forced through the tiny holes of the screen, rendering them completely useless.

Someday I will have my own office with insulated walls and locks on the door!

4:36 PM  

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