Author Doris Lakey offered a lot of info about her office. Her daughter called it clutter. Doris called it "sensory rich." Here's what she said:
"I designed my office/studio/craft center the year after I retired, in 1999. One of those longheld dreams come to fruition, long after the need for a "closed door" space to shut out family expired. But it feeds my spirit, keeps clutter out of the rest of the house (I chose the sleeper sofa--the exercise equipment is in the converted garage, with heat, a/c, phone and cable--everything is there but me! You'll find me in the office.)
"Some writers need a bare landscape to avoid distraction; I need a sensory-rich environment to trigger memories and feelings and my own history. My room is wall to wall paintings and prints, foreign postcards and maps, sewing machine, a u-shaped computer work area (desk plus 6' table and bookshelf), 2 filing cabinets, 2 large bookcases, foreign travel souvenirs, mementos from early childhood, a glass case filled with Victorian miniature rooms and an 1890s general store to remind me of a great-grandfather I never met. Wherever my eye wanders, there's something to write about."
My own office is a bit chaotic. I have a large bulletin board, about 8 feet long by 4 feet tall that is covered in notes and pictures. The picture above is of a Texas map I've pinned. Another author and I are beginning to plan a book tour for 2014. Then there's a desk with computer, monitor, printer, Kleenex and other assorted stuff, including a cup continually refilled with tea. To the side of the desk is a folding table with books, notebooks, Texas Book Festival volunteers schedule, and an ever-growing to-do list. And, yes, I have stacks of stuff on the floor or a side table.
At first sight, my office is unorganized, yet I don't have trouble finding things. The only distraction is that my desk faces a big window where deer, roadrunners, birds, cats and an occasional fox saunter by.
What does your office or writing space look like? Is it a hamper to getting your writing done? Or does it help your writing or your creativity? Do you like background noise or quiet?
Helen Ginger is an author, blogger, Coordinator of Story Circle Network's Editorial Services and Chair of the Texas Book Festival Author Escorts. She teaches public speaking as well as writing and marketing workshops. You can follow Helen on Twitter or connect with her on Facebook and LinkedIn. Helen is the author of 3 books in TSTC Publishing’s TechCareers series, Angel Sometimes, and two of her short stories can be found in the anthology, The Corner Cafe. Her next book, Dismembering the Past, is due out in 2013.