On Offices and Pavlov's Author

I think the fact that it’s Friday again is a good thing, though the speed with which all my deadlines are screaming towards me is a bit daunting. I need to find a more efficient way to get stuff done around the house, so I have more time to write. I did get a bunch done last night, so hopefully I’ve broken that little block into smithereens.

I’m planning a writing office. I have the desk and a small aquarium, so I’ll have company up there. A huge whiteboard is the next purchase, then a bookshelf to keep all my research books on. For some reason, I can’t read non-fiction on the ereader. So a bookshelf to collect the pretties is a necessity. You might think an office dedicated to what is essentially a part-time job is a bit–self-indulgent? Pretentious? Unnecessary? It could be.

But I’ve come to the conclusion that I need an environment that encourages me to be in ‘writer mode’. If I’m going to take this seriously (and I do), I need a dedicated desk. Maybe even a dedicated computer. I need a place to brainstorm where I don’t have to pack up and put away my work somewhere awkward because I write in a space that’s also given over to a million other activities. I need a place to keep track of receipts and income and–ugh–income tax. I need a place where I can put reminders to myself all over and not have to worry about other people getting the wrong idea. (Okay, that last one is a bit silly–if they read any of the notes I leave myself, there wouldn’t be any chance of the wrong idea. 😀 )

Mostly, the office needs to be a place where I’m comfortable, but not too comfortable, and where I can train myself to drop into that odd ‘writerspace’ as soon as I walk in–Pavlov’s writer. Yes, it’s great having my desk in the kitchen, because I can nip over while making supper and throw fifty words onto a story, but it makes it too easy to be interrupted. You might be working, but you’re right there. Whereas, out of sight really does often mean out of mind. And I wonder if having that physical transition into the writer space will help trigger the right mindset with more regularity than any of my usual routines.

With another room, on a different floor, Pavlov’s writer might have a chance to write, and Pavlov’s writer’s daughter might decide it’s easier to reset the modem herself than to yell “Mom!” and drag me out of the pivotal moment of the best scene in the book. Or the hard parts where I’m gritting my teeth and promising myself ice cream if I’m good and finish just 200 more words.

I think I can do it, without too much trouble. I need to move some things out of this spare bedroom, clean up the junk and triage it into keepers and non-keepers. Find a whiteboard in a size I like. (Wonder if work has any that they’re throwing out? Hmmmm) Decide on a fish.

And find a reliable warlock to put a curse on anyone who disturbs me. Anyone have Harry Dresden’s number? I need to talk to Bob.

About the author: Kate Lowell

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