Archive for 'workspaces'

Creative Spelunking
by Annette McCleave on August 25th, 2009

Although I write at a desk that’s in my living room, my working space is far more like a cave than an office. When I’m in full writing mode, my desk is piled high on either side with research books, notes, calendars, incoming mail that doesn’t need drastic attention, receipts I haven’t logged yet, snacks, snack wrappers, and a coffee mug. The only two things that remain perpetually clear and center are my monitor and keyboard. When I’m writing, the rest of the world falls into the shadows and the only thing that exists is the world I’m trying to create.


The cave analogy works for me. The light is always behind me (that’s where the big picture window is), I’ve got the professional tools I need, and I’m venturing into the great unknown with only a small flashlight of an idea on in my head. Writing is creative cave diving, so it makes sense that my writing area resembles a cavern.

Come to think of it, I even have a cave scene in my September release, Drawn into Darkness. Write what you know, as they say. :wink:

The only advantage I have over a real spelunker is the proximity of a coffee pot. Oh, and there’s no bats or bat droppings in my house. My family can groan all they want about my housekeeping skills, but even they would acknowledge I haven’t gone that far.

Here’s a pic of my actual workspace. I cleaned up the wrappers for you, but couldn’t quite summon the energy to tackle that little table under my color inkjet printer. That’s where I stuff paper, printing supplies, old research, and heck, just about everything I don’t look at until I need it. Stuff. Yup, that about sums it up.


As you can see, my office does not follow good feng shui guidelines. But it’s comfortable, inspiring, accessible, and close to the kitchen. I could always add a soothing little water fountain, I suppose. The dripping sounds would be suitably cave-like.

Which do you prefer–a neat, tidy desk or a busy, cluttered desk? If we took a picture of your workspace right this minute, which would it be?