My writer friend Sylvia Spruck Wrigley (I know, I have a lot of writer friends. It’s kind of cool for me, actually) who maintains the cool handwritten blog Can’t Backspace was recently reading my free eBook (or 99 cent eBook, if you buy it for the Kindle) The Writing Engine and let me know about one of her experiences with it:
I started reading The Writing Engine and got to “Your writing environment” and stopped. The bullet list really made me stop and look around.
So I wrote my thoughts on each point and then went through reorganising. I now have a big bag of rubbish, a clear cabinet in the TV room, an empty file drawer where my camera and peripherals now live instead of on my desk and a clean desk! I have a little mushroom corner with poppets and a bookshelf place of honour for James T. Kirk and a stack of notebooks and a bunch of new pens.
It’s all little things but I feel really good about it!
In case you’re interested, here’s the bulleted section she mentions. It’s followed by specific points to consider.
What could you do to the space where you work that would
- make you happier or remind you of things that make you happy?
- make it easier to concentrate?
- put things more easily to hand or more conveniently out of the way?
- attract you to your work?
- remind you of why you do the work you do? or
- put you in a good mood or a frame of mind to focus?
I was curious to see the details, so asked for a photo, which she obligingly supplied:
For the full effect, you need to know that the bookshelf was full of books that I rarely refer to and I had to clear the right side of my desk in order to write in a notebook there (in truth, I often got up and moved to the dining room table). I should have taken a before photograph but I didn’t realise how much junk I had!
I filed all my stationary/envelopes in the filing cabinet instead of in the desk drawers and I’ve taken the “desk stuff” that I generally need and put it in the drawers for fast access. I moved almost all of the books into the main bookshelf (which is not very far away) and then just spread around happy things that make me smile.