Work Space

Image from Web Design Hot!

Recently, another writer that I really respect told me that she thought every writer should have a space devoted to their work, preferably a whole office. I liked the idea in theory, but when it came down to practice, it didn’t work very well for me. I have exactly one room to my name, no way to put together a proper office. I’m also a bit of a rover. I tend to like to write in whatever room in the house is cleanest. Sometimes that means sitting at the kitchen or dining room table, others it’s the couch in the living room or the futon in the sun room. Sometimes I sit on my bed.

Note that my desk never entered into the list of possibilities. I’m still not sure why my desk wasn’t a good place for me to write.  I have a few ideas now, but no solid facts. It didn’t matter how clean I got the desk, I just couldn’t write there for very long. It was as if the desk had been designed to stifle creativity.

I knew part of it was that I have a crappy keyboard that does this weird thing where it will randomly reproduce a sequence that I’ve already typed (I think this means that its buffer is bad). It looks like this when it happens: sequencece, , is importatant. This tic makes writing a lot harder since I have to stop and edit out the junk every few words, but shouldn’t have made me feel like my muse had left me.

This problem had been puzzling me for a long time. Then I had a conversation with a friend about the pros and cons of being left or right brained, and we had a moment of confusion where neither of us could remember which side was the “creative side.”

“Don’t people look to the right when they’re coming up with a lie?” she asked. In the end we had to look it up to be sure, but that simple question sparked an idea. Normal, right-handed people do tend to look up and to (their own) right when they have to imagine something.

My desk was set up so that the monitor and keyboard were to the left. It made me wonder if I wasn’t hindering my own creative process by forcing myself to behave in an unnatural fashion, that is looking up and left while I was trying to be creative.

Based on this one sketchy idea, I came home and rearranged my desk. The monitor and keyboard are now on the right. I’ve also finally given in and ordered a new keyboard (my computer won’t use the USB ones I found at the local electronics store).

Here it is all clean and nice. I was going to do a before picture, but forgot. Let it suffice to say that I took three boxes worth of stuff off the desk before I could do anything with it.

Image by lamichaud

Image by lamichaud

The keyboard hasn’t come yet, but I have found that I can now work at my desk. It’s not as comfy as sitting on the couch with my lapdesk and laptop, but I can do it. In fact, my desk seems to be a better location to sit and edit than anywhere else in the house. I can’t say for sure that moving the monitor was the perfect solution to my problem (I’d still rather sit and write anywhere else), but I no longer feel like the creative side of me shuts down when I sit at my desktop.


~ by lamichaud on January 17, 2013.

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