Home Office

“I come to the office each morning and stay for long hours doing what has to be done to the best of my ability. And when you’ve done the best you can, you can’t do any better.”
― Harry S. Truman

Today is a bit of a frantic day at work for me kittens, following two incredibly late nights in a row – the Oscars and a much needed girls night out while Jeff is in Peterborough. But my pace, chipper as it’s making me, got me thinking about workspaces, so let’s talk them today. Step into my office.

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It’s not fancy, but it’s a world of difference from where we started, which is in turn a world of difference from the floor, which is in turn a world of difference from a kitchen table in a parent’s house. That cork board is probably the best and most important small amount purchase I’ve made in months, and it’s a mass of lists. I keep a running one of the jobs and work I’ve applied for with updates for successes and failures, short editorial calendars for certain projects, individual pitches with the current state of the submission and follow up process, notes to self about publications and sites I’ve heard about and want to investigate, even grocery lists.

I’ve been accused of too many notebooks (blasphemy! There’s no such thing), but aside from my major planner I’ve got one for project notes, one specifically for professional pitch ideas and interview notes, and one for my creative stuff. Plus scratch paper for the lists I’m so fond of.

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There’s fun stuff too. I don’t hoard things typically, but since we’ve arrived I’ve saved tickets from shows and events that have blown me away, Coriolanus and The Drowned Man have places of honor. Aside from pictures of friends and family (all but one removed to protect their privacy, but please do admire one of my two handsome brothers!), I keep photos from magazines that I like to give me something pretty to look at. Clearly my true inner style is ball gowns paired with sweatshirts – can’t say I’m surprised. Comfortable and inappropriately dramatic.

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That other picture is of a Russian socialite and couture maven/designer named Ulyana Sergeenko – frequently photographed bedecked in turbans, bright lips, and emeralds, so of course she plays the role of a muse!  I keep most of my lipsticks and glosses in a used candle holder; easy to hand since I wear it daily, even sitting at my desk. My colored pens and markers, essential for keeping track of different clients and projects I store in Victorian marmalade jar – reclaimed from a period rubbish dump, cleaned up and sold by an enthusiast at Portobello Road, who really deserves his own post because he was a delight!

The other essentials: iPod for podcast listening, business cards (which I always keep on hand, just in case), and takeaway menus to favorite local places. For the nights when making dinner straight up isn’t happening.

Not pictured: the pile of mail, random receipts, whatever lotion or hand cream I’m currently using to keep my skin from coming off in chunks, and a plastic tray that sits on the windowsill and usually contains a dumping of breath mints, thumb tacks, my address book, and keys. Do not believe for one second that things are always this tidy!

And that’s where I work most days! Work from home types, freelancers, and other writer friends, weigh in. What does your typical workspace look like? I’m nosy and want to know.

6 thoughts on “Home Office”

  1. Ugh… so jealous. My creative office is a couch. We live in a studio flat so zilch on the extra space. My real desk is in an office and it’s so cluttered with things I swear I need but really don’t. Yours is so tidy it makes me want to cry. I have three half drunk bottles of water on my desk right now. THREE.

    1. I reiterate, things are never this organized. As I type this I have a pile of papers on my desk as part of my search for new contributing and freelance opportunities, a water bottle, a used plate from lunch, and a fistful of pens. To call it untidy would be a hilarious understatement! Think of this as the ideal, not the reality 😉

  2. since my “real” job keeps me sitting at a desk all day, i’m partial to sprawling on my bed to write when i’m at home…or stretching on my pilates mat while typing (ballet habits die hard). and i’m sure you’ll be unsurprised to know i still carry a notebook at all times, in case i think of something in church or in the car or at the gym, etc. (look at me, so pious and athletic.)

    i’ve got the exact same size of cork board at home, though–mine is for moving around plot points in the three timelines of the manuscript i’m working on.

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