On Writing

Office Clean Up – When a messy office messes with your writing mojo

I haven’t spent time in my office in months. That’s sad, really. But it happens this way for me. I go through chunks of time where I work well and I work hard in my office, and then it stops. The desktops get filled with bills, ‘must-read’ books, submission guidelines, and stacks of half-completed writing. The messy-ness begins to turn me off and I stop going into this space I built from a dream.

Also, it’s summer and the kids are home with the sitter which means if I want to write, I need to leave the house. This is what I’ve been doing the past two months – writing outside of my home and office. I’ve been writing in libraries, restaurants, coffee shops and I even had the gift of writing at a cottage in Grand Bend!

Needless to say, what all of this out-of-home writing has done to my office is made it an overwhelming mess. I start to not be able to breathe as well when my office gets this messy. I can feel like a thick rope lasso-ed around my chest pulling me to my office. And when this happens I go through these stages of office yearning:

1) I stand and stare at it. Wring my hands together like a nervous old lady. Then I walk away.

2) I make piles of stuff that needs to go into the office from rooms in my house. I bring them down and put them on the messy desk. Then I walk away.

3) I clean every inch of my house – all inches but my office.

4) I tell myself that it’s time to clean my office the day before I actually do it because I need to psych myself up to go through the mess that is on the desks. Because going through these piles means going through my writing life – specifically, the parts of it that I haven’t been able to keep up with.

5) I clean my office. This is what my desk looked like when I got all the small piles into one big one.

Today it took me about three hours to clean and organize. As the time passed as I put books on my shelves…

…and as I dusted and vacuumed, I started to breathe more easily and I remembered why I love this sacred space.

One of the things I really love about my office is my keyboard. It’s old-school clackety. I can hear the words literally being typed out as I write them and this is sweet music to my writing soul. Don’t get me wrong, I love using my laptop as well, and there’s no shortage of sweet music my fingers can make, but the sound is different. I like the loudness of this clackety-clack board here beneath my fingertips.

Now that my office is tidy, now that I have three distinct small piles that I am not afraid to tackle, my writing mojo will even out. It will shift from being a lasso around my chest to being a fuzzy bear ready to snuggle up.

How does the cleanliness of your writing space affect your writing mojo?

 

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