Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Where we write

After coming across one of my old blog posts featuring pictures of my home office, a writer e-mailed me to complain about the neatness of my little writing space. He accused me of destroying his perception of what a writer's office should look like. You know--books stacked to the rafters, manuscript pages covering every flat surface, including the floor, and so on.

Here's what I wrote back just now:

In fact I have seen many writers' offices that are just as you describe, and it seems to me that there might be some correlation between an author's success and the degree of mess in his or her office. I am beginning to believe that my books might sell better if I trashed up my office a little.

I came across a slew of pictures of writers' offices at The Guardian just this morning, and have photographed my office again with a view to blogging about it in a few minutes. Sadly, my desk is still clean--which probably means that my latest book, which is being released today, won't be hitting the Times list or garnering a Pulitzer.


Clearly, I'm too organized to ever become a great writer. But at least I have a neat, pretty office to mope in.

Here's what my little 12X12 room looks like today.
There's a bit of a mess in the closet, which can be seen behind my desk. But I guess for a closet, it's still pretty neat. [Sigh.]


Becky said...

It looks like a wonderful space to write...or just sit in! And it's very nicely decorated, with a warm, inviting feeling to it. How nice to have a separate space, too! My home office is the space formerly known as the dining room, and I must admit isn't nearly so tidy, especially the desk!

Lori F. said...

I guess I'm destined to wallow in obscurity! I can't write when surrounded by mess. This may be a throwback to my high school & college years when I would clean to avoid studying... I think your office looks cozy & peaceful!

Amanda said...

I think that your office looks wonderful! It looks like a place where it would be very easy to concentrate and let yourself just sink into your writing.

Carolanne said...

I love your office! It looks how I think a writer's office should look like I especially love the table.

As for me, well I cleaned up my office yesterday and made a space on my desk so that could mean anything... :)

Shauna said...

I think, were I to write, I would like a nice comfy chair in a clean space. My mind is cluttered enough and having a place where I don't feel the impulse or need to "straighten up" would allow the ideas to flow more freely. Oh, I would probably have a bulletin board of notes and pics to jog my mind and put me in the setting of my story and the minds of my characters. Just my thoughts...*shrug*

Brenda Coulter said...

Becky, I wrote my first book on the dining room table. Then our eldest boy moved out, and I snagged the extra bedroom.

I think my office is pretty neat compared to most of my writing friends'. I'm not a pack rat, and I can't work amid clutter. But most writers seem to have books and papers everywhere, which suggests (to me) that their minds are crammed full of wonderful thoughts and ideas.

Shauna, I do have a bulletin board (next to the closet) and a big whiteboard (on the back of my office door).

Anna Adams said...

I love when you post pics of your office. It's so cozy, and I like to see what's blooming! :-) Glad you've mentioned your book is out, too. I must go buy!

Hope all is well with you!


Anne said...

Oh, my! What a beautiful space! Can I borrow it for my living room?

I love the flowers. No wonder you write romance.

If success is measured by mess, I'm guaranteed immortal fame. That is, if they can find me in here. Sometimes I can't even find myself.

Think I'll go clean up now.

Thanks for sharing your personal space.

Brenda Coulter said...

Hi, Anna! It's always good to see you here.

Anne, some people don't want any distractions when they write, but I need lots of pretty things to touch and smell and look at while I'm dreaming up story ideas.