Breaking Chains and Building Workspaces

So, as I have said before, I’m back at my parents’ house for at least the shortly foreseeable future. I want to move so that I can have better career prospects (presumably) and feel more independent (hopefully). Since there are quite a few variables involved, though, I’ll likely be here for at least 6 months, so I needed to do something yesterday that I have never actively done in all the years of my family living in this house.

I organized the desk in my room into a legitimate workspace.

Yes, okay, I’ve cleared it off before. Organized stuff into the drawers, moved things over, put stuff in little filing things. But as I mentioned yesterday, I want to get down to serious writing, and that requires some organization.

For a long time, my desk was little more than a depository for all of my things. Things I didn’t want to put on the floor but didn’t know where else to put, things that were sent to me while I was away at school, things that were found around the house and returned to me, despite not having their own official place in my room in the first place (probably why I left them somewhere else, not like I’d ever do that on purpose, oops). This year, though, I had in both my apartments desks to put my computer and on which to work if I was there. It was nice, and it’s something i realized I needed to try to emulate. Even if it’s just a cleaner and more organized place to play computer Mahjong, at least it’s an attempt at professionalism.

I wish I had a before picture. I never remember before pictures…but, anyway, my newly organized desk:

Imagine- if I actually become successful and famous, someone might actually try to emulate this… Or not.

Note, if you will, the cleared of central space; the books in two specific groups; the bulletin board, white board, and calendar overhead. Previously in the distant corner of my room, I placed them slightly lower than standing eye level so they’d be at eye level when I’m seated. That way I can easily write stuff on them or add a sticky note if I need to, from the stack in front of the pencil sharpener. Out of site and generous amounts of writing utensils. The books leaning to the right are books I own and mean to read; the books on the left are from the library. There are several Judaism ones- What I Wish My Christian Friends Knew About Judaism; Jewish Ritual: A Brief Introduction for Christians; The Way into Jewish Prayer; and a Hebrew Phrase Book. There are partly due to my own curiosity and partly to research my newest in-progress novel, which I can’t tell you a lot about right now, partly because I haven’t written much of it at all. I can tell you that it will involve a crossing of  religions, that some of it will take place in settings very familiar to me and some of it in settings very unfamiliar to me, and that it will require me to do a lot of research. I can also tell you it made me realize that if you want to research something that might seem strange to other, a really convenient excuse is to try to write a story about it. Not that Judaism itself is strange, obviously, but I imagine some questions from people I know around town if they catch me carrying half the library’s Jewish books in my arms. I do love having a library so within my reach again, though, and that this town has a seriously good one.

As for my writing, I’ve thought a lot about how to make sure I do it as often as possible and was reminded last week by another blog of the system suggested by Jerry Seinfeld, of which I am probably the millionth person to blog, so I’ll keep it short: Don’t Break the Chain. Basically, keep a calendar nearby and remind yourself every day to do the thing you need to do; the days you do it, mark the calendar (large X marks are popular for this). Eventually, this forms a chain, the chain gets longer, breaking the chain makes you feel guiltier and guiltier, and as Jerry would say, yada yada yada. So no, it’s not a revolutionary concept, but I’ll give it a go.

I am making one alteration, though; I’ve mentioned before my interest in the concept of a day of rest, and I think it’s valuable here. If I can keep myself writing six days a week- and marking the calendar- Saturdays my brain can rest and do other things and stew a little. This is the plan, starting tomorrow, at my not-so-new workspace.





Author: elizabethlorraine

Writer, actress, runner, knitter, and geek.

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