Matthew Stibbe’s Bad Language blog posted a series of photographs of writer’s rooms, and while I’m always willing to peek into the life of another writer, I’m reminded why I close my eyes when I walk into my office, at least compared to most of these.
First, let me say I’ve got a great office; we live in a nice house on three wooded acres on the flank of a 14,000′ stratovolcano. The view out the window is just right; not the stellar vistas of the upstairs rooms, but a glimpse of the outdoors — enough to remind me I should finish work and go play.
The problem is that it’s been a long winter, and the office is in its pre-spring-cleaning state. If you photographed it for a post like Stibbe’s, you’d want to disinfect your blog after posting.
I’ve got three unused desktop PCs and monitors stacked in one corner, a wire document rack stuffed with fly rods in another. A rack of winter clothes is pushed up against the wall, and bookshelves (which attract clutter like politicians attract scandals) line the back.
Small stacks of paper, fishing gear, office supplies and other junk cover 75% of the floor.
And I can’t really see through the detritus to the top of my desk.
It looks like a sporting goods warehouse fell out of the sky and landed on a combination library/copier room/computer repair depot.
Still, there’s hope.
We’re in the midst of our first sunny, 70+ degree days of spring. Line up enough warm days end-to-end, add in a pinch of freedom from deadlines, and eventually even I throw open the windows, shovel out the expired paperwork, and store the winter clothes.
I don’t think I’ll ever quite achieve the stately, dignified writing rooms featured in Stibbe’s post (I just noticed the post was by Clair Dodd, the potential Dr. Who companion who writes for Bad Language), but then, they’re mostly British, and cleaning their writer rooms is just the kind of stiff upper lip kind of behavior you’d expect from them.
Keep writing (and try to keep up with the cleaning), Tom Chandler.