I knew it was time to organize my work space when I couldn’t find my computer. When I did spy it over the Everest of clutter, by the time I made my way to it my writing time was over.
On one side of the room a zillion books are spilling over what used to be called a desk but now qualifies for a catch-all. On the second side of the room stands my proud six-foot long folding table. When I originally set it up I was delighted to have all this area for my writing materials. Plenty of room for articles on writing from the Christian Communicator and Children’s Writer, hard copies of manuscripts for submission, letters to and from editors, and writer’s guidelines. Since I admit to being a “scatter writer” the guidelines are for fiction and nonfiction, adults and children, Christian and secular. All those piles have grown over several years like weeds in my vegetable garden. The envisioned plenty of room has become plenty of clutter.
Added to that mass are writer’s market books on the same genres as my guidelines. Stacks of sample copies of magazines have collapsed over the mass of letters and rejections. On one end of the table various Bibles in various translations share the space with commentaries and a giant concordance that I use to put together my weekly Bible study. The table is bowing in the middle, and I don’t think it’s from reverence!
Against the next wall stands another bookcase, small but stacked with a dozen books on writing, piles of research papers, and inspirational books. Only one shelf has the books standing up straight. My computer desk sits at the center of the wall. It’s perfect for me, with a slide-out for my keyboard, and a more unique hutch that fits over the monitor, with a shelf and cubbyholes. (I do love cubbyholes!) On each side of the computer desk is a custom-made cupboard my husband fashioned for me with shelves on the top half, and a door to hide same. A small table space is on each bottom section, with two giant drawers. Wonderful for out-of-sight stuff. My 3-in-1 copy-printer sits on a typewriter table to my right. More table space.
You guessed right: every available inch of space holds notes, reminders, ideas, Scripture verses, e-mail printouts, writing tips and critique group and blog folders. Two small pictures of special people and some encouraging words they wrote sit on the shelf just above my computer to keep me going in the discouraging times.
Trying to write in this mess would discourage anyone. Organize, organize! So where do I start?
Check in two weeks to see if I’ve been able to accomplish anything. Matter of fact, if you haven’t heard from me in a week maybe someone should send out a search party to find me somewhere in these Himalayas!
Contributed by Shirley