Friday, March 29, 2013

Reorganizing my Writing Life

I’m back home after a wonderful two week holiday in Maui. It was beautiful, warm, sunny and restful, everything a good holiday should be. But now it’s back to the real world.

After having a chance to plan and think while away, I came home with renewed energy and an idea of what I want to do writing-wise in the coming year. I’ve decided that my favorite word this year is going to be…


Every so often I go on an organization kick. I madly clean and make an attempt to get my writing life in order, only to fall back into old habits. But this is different. To be an effective writer, I can no longer live in chaos. I can’t spend minutes or hours looking for some piece of information I know I put somewhere in the room I laughingly call my office. And the files on my computer? Please. I need to dump the junk I no longer need and organize and save the things I do need.

Brace yourself. Here’s a current picture of my desk.

It’s embarrassing. I’m naturally messy and something of a procrastinator, but in my defense, part of the problem is that I don’t have anywhere to put things. My filing cabinets are so full I can’t get things in and out of them (that’s why there’s a pile of paper on the floor).

So, in the spirit of organization, I made a trip to Ikea. And I think I found a couple of pieces of furniture that will help me organize my life and my work.

The filing cabinet will neatly store paperwork much more efficiently then my pile of paper on the floor. And the chest can hide away all the clutter from my desk and store my books. I’m hoping that a less cluttered workspace will translate into a less cluttered mind.

So the first step is to clear everything, and I mean everything, out of my office. Only those things I really need will get to come back. But before I put things back, I need to repaint. I’m done with the pineapple yellow. I need something calm, restful – wait, I don’t want to go to sleep in there! I need a colour conducive to creativity, but something that won't burn my retinas. Any suggestions?

Aside from colour, what’s the most important thing a creative space needs? I’d love to hear your thoughts as I reorganize my life.


  1. That's my word for the year, too. So far my office hasn't benefited. I cull things periodically but for some reason the stuff in my office is the hardest to get rid of.

    And I too have a pineapple yellow on the walls. And you're right, it's not the right color for an office. I have no idea what is though, sorry. The strange thing is I know what makes me happy. Simple. I don't like clutter or knicknacks. Except apparently for my office. sigh.

    I benefit from inspiration boards. A few pictures, writing tips and quotes. I post story ideas up there, etc. Ideas that inspire me. I think you should have a 'cover' wall. Put pictures of your covers up to show you how hard you've worked and what you've accomplished!

  2. Karyn, I love the idea of cover wall. That would give me inspiration on days when the writing's not going so well. I'm going to have do that.

    I really thought I wanted blue or blue/green. I got a couple of testers from the paint store and painted a couple of patches on the walls. It felt like I'd just moved into a cave. Way too dark. This room has a north facing window and so it doesn't get much light. Maybe the bright pineapple isn't the way to go, but I think I'm going to paint it a warm color in the yellow family, just to keep things bright and cheerful. Otherwise, this room is going to depress me!