Most of my adult life, I have not had the luxury of a dedicated work space at home. I’d carve out a small corner of my bedroom when I had roommates, and shared both desk and computer with the husband for quite a number of years. Even when I got a laptop, followed by an iPad, there still wasn’t anywhere I could call “mine.” I worked at my lunch place, in bookstore cafes when I had a Barnes & Noble and Borders near me. (Remember Borders?) My local Starbucks is a real favorite, even if it’s not available to me at the moment.
A year ago, that all changed when I left the corporate world and began writing full time. For the first month or so, I got by at the kitchen table, the same place I’d put my laptop when I had to bring work home from the office. While I had a lovely view of our local neighborhood and the cats often joined me, the table is on a major traffic route, and it was easy for me to be interrupted “for just a moment.” That’s when I decided I’d move myself into the infrequently used living room (we have a family room where the TV lives), and carve out a small space in one corner. Still plenty of space if we are entertaining visitors, but I’m not in anyone’s direct line of sight as the move around the house.
Such a difference. Now, I get up, feed the cats, and head in what has most definitely become my space. I’ll meditate for a ten minutes, then move to my desk and settle down. The idea is to get writing done in the morning while I’m still fresh, then move on to email, social media, and other project in the afternoon. It doesn’t always work out that way, especially given the current disruption of everyone’s schedules, but that’s the plan. The space is not large, about three and a half feet wide, but my back is to the wall and I have a view down the living room to our pool. Beyond that, when the air quality is good, I can see out to the north ridge of the San Fernando Valley. The only disadvantage? No door.
That issue was solved with a few stern discussions about boundaries and working hours with my husband, along with my Bose headphones. If you want to shut out the world around you, a decent set noise-cancelling headphones are a worthwhile investment.
With the computer on and headphones in place, I turn on my choice of music (I’ve been listening to the Metropolitan Opera’s free livestreams of late), then focus on getting the story down on paper.
Of course, I say “my space,” which our cats graciously allow me to share with them. They lie on the couch, flop by the sliding glass door out to the pool — or decide they’re going to occupy my desk or chair and the writing can wait. What can I do? They’re cats.
But it is, most gloriously, my space where I spend my days, something I’d always wanted, but didn’t know if I would ever had until a year ago.
What about you? Do you have a space you call your own? Let me know in the comments, then hop on over to Jenna Da Sie to her story about her writing space.
Until next time, stay safe, stay healthy.