Friends, I’ve never truly appreciated the wisdom of Ernest Hemingway until this week, after having moved into my own clean, well-lighted office at the Huntington Library. My office at Baa Ram U. serves mostly as a place to meet students and colleagues, and to shovel out my email in-box–I don’t write there. Ever. I did most of the writing and revisions on my first book while reclining on the couch in my office, and wondered if I’d be able to work sitting up at a desk like a fully-functional adult.
But from day 1 here, I’ve been writing! My book! And contemplating revisions on an article, too! I’ve learned that I’ve overlooked too long this marvelous technology one calls a “desk.” My desk at home is too frequently covered in stuff I’ve been meaning to file or put away, and the cat likes to nap on the desk chair when she’s not sitting on the desk looking out the window at the squirrels and bunnies frolicking under the horse chestnut tree, so I use it as a combination unfile-cabinet and cat bed/lookout perch. I know: what a waste of a nice old desk.
I’m sure that part of my productivity is due to the tidiness of an empty office, too. Perhaps part of it is just that it’s a new space, one in which I’m not burdened by psychic or material reminders of all of the other stuff in my life I to which I really should attend. In any case, my empty and so far super-productive office here at the Huntington is making me more determined than ever to do a major repainting, reorganizing, and reconfiguration of my home office space.
After all, book #3 isn’t going to write itself without a little spark of inspiration. What have you done in the past to make your work environment more productive, and/or what do you want to do to your current space?