One Writer’s Journey

February 14, 2018

Office Update: Valentine’s Day Our Way

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:23 am
Tags: , ,

“Why is your third bedroom an office?  You could get a laptop and work anywhere!”

Um, no. Let’s just say – no.  You may be able to work anywhere and I assume that many people can.  Why?  Because people seem to think that I can too.

But, nope.  Not this girl.  I have the attention span of a toddler hyped up on way too much sugar.

Yes, I can sometimes work in my dining room.  When no one else is home.  Or at least when no one else is in that part of the house.

But I cannot work in the library or a coffee house.  I look up every time someone walks past me.  I have to see what book they have.  Do they have a snack?  Ha!  Funny t-shirt.


I work best when I minimize my distractions.  That’s why my office has its own room.

But I’ve also had this room as my office for something like 15 years now.  Fifteen years with only one big change when we painted it and added the desk.  Suffice it to say that this space is in need of cleaning out and updating.  Step 1?   A new set of shelves.

Over the weekend I cleared off a bookcase and the boys moved it downstairs.  Monday evening, my husband finished installing these shelves.  My grandfather reclaimed the wood, cherry, from a log cabin.  These are shelves with history and a lot of dings including the new one I added when a bracket slipped.

Don’t wait fifteen years. Every now and again, take a look at your work routine.  Evaluate your space.  Don’t resign yourself to working just anywhere.  Instead, make the updates you need to make to give yourself an enjoyable, productive work space.  Off to recreate my author’s copies shelf and my library books shelf.

Yes, my library books get their own shelf.  Don’t yours?



August 7, 2017

Your Work Space

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:04 am
Tags: , ,

Where do you work?  I’m a full time writer so I have a dedicated work space.  I have writer friends who have laptops and just flit around wherever.  They work in coffee shops.  They work in the park or a public garden.  They work in the library.  They get together and work.

Really?  I don’t get that.  I have the attention span of a 3 year-old on sugar.  Or maybe I have the attention span of a 3 year-old looking for sugar.  Everything, and I do mean everything, distracts me.  Our third bedroom is the family office.  It contains a massive desk that wraps around three walls.  This is my section.

People distract me.  Noise distracts me.  Clutter?  Clearly the answer is no.  From left to right you can see:

  • A crochet project that I work on while watching the video lectures for the class I’m taking on Ancient Egypt,
  • A poem that is all but ready to go to Highlight Hello,
  • In front of the Chicken Little poseable figure are lip balm, 3 lotions and a glass of water. Clearly  writing is very thirsty business.
  • Behind the keyboard is one of Cynthia Reeg’s books, Monster or Die, a paint sample, and agent research.
  • That pile on the far right?  Filing.  Lots and lots of filing.

Clutter doesn’t phase me in the least but noise and movement make me crazy.  Do not chew loudly, rustle snack bags or listen to your ear buds or headphones so loudly that I can hear them.  Do Not.

Although my son has always had a spot on this desk, directly behind me, he has always worked in the dining room unless he’s on the computer.  That is on the desk in here.  Otherwise he uses our massive dining room table.

But change is good and he’s decided he’s ready for a change.  At 18, he’s going to college in town for two years so he bought his own computer.  He has that on the dining room table. He was convinced he’d be comfortable with a desk the width of mine and had plans all set to build.  But he’s used to a dining room table so when I saw someone was selling a partner’s desk, a showed it to him.  40 inches deep.  60 inches long.

This isn’t a very good photo but his room is dark blue and it is overcast.  That’s his dad taking the wheels off this huge table.  His space is about twice the size of my personal spot on the communal desk.

But that’s okay, we’ll both have more space and we’ll both have quiet space where we can’t distract each other.

You can work in a coffee shop or in the middle of the sidewalk if that works for you.  Us?  We need quiet.





February 26, 2014

Focus: Decluttering to help you write

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:36 am
Tags: , ,

DeskSome days I have no problem sitting down to write.  I come into my office, sit down and get right to work. Other days, my mind bounces around and refuses to settle on the task at hand.  While there’s no one cause for this, often my problem comes down to clutter.

I’ll be the first to admit it.  I am not naturally neat.  If anything, I am just the opposite.  This is obvious at my desk and in my home office.  I move from job to job leaving a trail of files, books, papers and craft supplies in my wake.  Sure, there are those rare times that I pick up after myself before moving on to the next task but those times are rare indeed.

As much as I loathe picking up and putting away, I have to admit that once my work area reaches a certain level of entropy, it is distracting.  I am pulled out of the task at hand when I can’t find what I need, can’t find someplace to put down my coffee cup or get caught in what I lovingly call a crap-alanche.

I may never be a truly neat person but I have learned that to be productive I have to keep certain areas of my office semi-neat.  These include the spare chair and the area immediately around my computer.  I’m slowly but surely reducing the clutter throughout the room as a whole but for now these are the places i am focusing on.

The other area that distracts me if it becomes cluttered is my to-do list.  Maybe it’s because we are natural list makers but many writers I know admit to having out-of-control to-do lists.  For me, a list that is too look keep me from working efficiently.  To find out what I do about this, read today’s post at the Muffin.


April 14, 2010

Digging Out: Office Maintainance

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 2:23 am
Tags: , ,

I can't get far enough away for a good photo but on Thursday this book case was full of clutter. Not bad for just a few days work, 15 minutes at a time.

In addition to working on how I set my goals, I think there is something else that is helping me be more productive.  I have been shoveling out, almost literally, my office.

My husband got the shelves hung about three week ago.  I cleared off the old book case that I want to get rid of — finally, I’ll have room for a chair that isn’t a desk chair!   But instead of pulling the old book case out right away, I’m piling it full of things that need to be de-cluttered.

First up was everything off the floor.   In less than a week, three quarters of that has been put away or recycled.  Next will be the piles on my desk.  Then the stacks under the desk — the desk is about 20 linear feet so between what is on top and what is lurking beneath, that is some pretty serious clutter.

How is this helping my productivity?  I’m finding that the neater my office is, the more willing I am to be in here working.  It feels less claustrophobic.  I know, I know.  Big duh on that one.

I’m not saying that your work space has to be an actual home office.  But if you are trying to work in chaos, that could be hampering your productivity.  Try picking up.  It might be just what you need to get back to work.  If being in a neater work space doesn’t help, maybe just the fact that you now have two choices will.  What would you rather do — pick up or write?


Blog at

%d bloggers like this: