Tuesday, September 25, 2018

THIS POST HAS NO PICTURES (HOLLY SCHINDLER)

Believe me, you don't want 'em.

Because wherever I'm doing my writing, trust me--it's a mess. 

It's not just my office, either--which is a perpetual disaster zone. Wherever I'm working, if I've been there more than ten minutes, it is covered with:

* manuscript printouts--especially if I'm engaged in a rewrite
* a cup of coffee
*another cup of coffee, which I got when I couldn't find the first cup of coffee, which I later found under my chair
*a bowl for breakfast oatmeal
*a plate for my lunch sandwich
*a few random utensils (spoon, butter knife with mustard on it, etc.)
*a bottle of Vitamin Water and / or a Sonic cup
*dog hair
*more dog hair
*my phone
*my calendar
*the long-sleeved shirt I had on earlier over my T-shirt, but took off because it started to get hot
*a crumpled-up pair of socks, for the same reason
*my current knitting project, to work on during "think" spells
*a bill I'm contesting (why is it I'm ALWAYS having to contest a bill???)
*if I'm outside, a can of bug spray
*if I'm on the deck, my mosquito plant
*damp towels (because I guarantee I knocked the Sonic cup or my coffee over a couple of times)
*the mail
*still more dog hair
*spiral notebooks filled with to-do notes
*spiral notebooks for book ideas I get int he midst of the current WIP
*pens
*more pens
*pens I got when I couldn't find any of the other pens, which somehow migrated under the spiral notebooks
*my camera
*a couple of thesauruses (thesauri?), because I like them better than online synonym-finders
*my dog
*my dog's leash
*the socks I put on because it was starting to get cold again
*the long-sleeved shirt I put back on, for the same reason

It finally dawned on me that my workspaces are always cluttered because my mind is always cluttered. (Big surprise, eh?) I'm always thinking about ten things at once. But the thing is, the more I try to fight it, the tougher time I have. I'm better off letting my head ping around, writing twenty minutes and then bouncing to emails and then coming back to writing and then handling a phone call, etc. It sounds like working in a constant disaster zone. I'm sure that's how it looks. But it works. It's what's comfortable for me. 

That's the thing. Your workspace (and by extension, your work schedule) should be what's comfortable for you. Maybe that includes wearing your favorite knit hat. Or writing to show-tunes. Or writing every other day. Or writing in the early morning hours. Sometimes, I like to draft in front of the TV. The past several months (ahem, two years), I've also written while keeping several news feeds open on my computer. Maybe you need silence (I do when I'm revising or copyediting). Just be honest about what works. And remember: one writer's disaster zone is another's ah, this is just right.

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