Thursday, May 29, 2008

My New (Old) Office

I think I've found my new summer "office." I do have an office, but it's messy, and that's where the Internet is, so there are a lot of distractions in there. That means I get more writing done when I go elsewhere. In the winter, that elsewhere is usually the chaise lounge in my loft/library, which is a warm, cozy spot. However, that's a warm, stuffy spot in hot weather because it's right under the peak of the roof and there's no fan in there. When I have the AC on, I have an arrangement of fans that makes the spot bearable, but I like having other options, especially for open-window weather.

When I was working while stuck due to weather at my parents' house, I found that it was pretty comfortable working in the guest room. I have this big backrest there that turns a flat surface into an easy chair. It was a gift a few years ago, and I've kept it there so I could work there. I opened the blinds and was able to look outside at the rain while I sat on the bed and worked. At home, my bedroom is the coolest spot in the house. It's the first vent off the AC, and it gets the least sunlight. The rest of the house is very, very sunny, with windows and a skylight upstairs, and with the only exterior wall in the living room that isn't all window being where the fireplace is. But the bedroom has just one little window overlooking the front porch. So, I put the backrest on my bed, get my lap desk, and presto, I can sit on my bed and work while looking out the window, but with no distractions like the Internet or shelves of books.

The irony of this is, that room used to be my office. When I first moved into this house (nearly ten years ago!), I put my office downstairs and my bedroom upstairs, where my office is now. I was working full-time then, and I figured that having my office convenient to the other living areas would mean I could multi-task and get more writing done, and then when I was through with work for the day, I could retreat upstairs to my bedroom. But when I started telecommuting, I found myself working at my kitchen table because I couldn't stand to work in my office. It was dark and felt like a prison. It didn't help that I had one of those computer desks with the hutch over it that faced the wall, so I had my back to the room's one window. Meanwhile, having a skylight in your bedroom is not such a great thing if you like to sleep late or take naps. So I rearranged the house, moving the office upstairs, getting an L-shaped desk to go in the middle of the room facing the door and window so I didn't have to face the wall, and moving the bedroom downstairs to where it was cool and dark.

However, the old office/current bedroom is more pleasant to work in as a bedroom than it was as an office because of the furniture that's in there and the way the room is arranged. And I'm not spending the whole day there. I still do the work that requires the Internet in the office where it's bright and sunny. I even sometimes manage to write in the office and might get even more work done in here if I ever cleaned the place up.

Aside from the Internet temptation factor (it's far too easy to check my e-mail when I get stuck, and then from there I find myself checking lots of other sites, and next thing I know, an hour has gone by), I like moving my workplace around because I think that shaking things up helps with the creativity. Perhaps doing revisions in a different place from where I wrote the first draft will help me look at it in a different way.

In other news, the Fangs, Fur, Fey LiveJournal community has a fun interview with me here.

No comments: