Where I write is different for every project and every mood. I’m writing this post in the cafe/bakery down the block from my house, a place I’ve adopted as an office since leaving my 9-to-5 job in June. But coming here means changing out of pajamas, which sometimes seems an insurmountable task. So on those days I work from home, lately from our kitchen/dining room (they are one) table.
I thought about writing this post about my newly acquired “office,” with its Beatles soundtrack and free wi-fi and to-die-for olive oil granola. But then I wouldn’t be able to show off my most favorite possession, and the truth is I could never write a book here.
The coffee shop is for emails and research and blog posts and magazine articles. It’s my replacement for the water-cooler banter of coworkers. Sometimes when I work from home I forget to turn on the lights. It’s dark, it’s quiet, and it’s depressing. That’s when I come to the cafe, to join the living, breathing, productive members of society. Currently, in the upstairs area where I’m sitting, there are two men on business calls and four women meeting about the local food-and-fashion market they run. (See, I’m a regular! I know my “colleagues.”)
But to write my book, I needed quiet and concentration (and easy access to my fridge), so I turned our second bedroom into my office. This picture makes it look clean, because I went on a Labor Day spring cleaning binge, and computer-less, because at the time my laptop was in the bedroom. But you get the idea. During memoir-writing days, I had a Mac laptop and Roget’s thesaurus permanently stationed front and center.
But the point of this picture is to show off the big red wall hanging above my desk. My favorite gift ever. Screw jewelry.
If it’s too small to make out, let me explain: It’s a canvas reprint, stretched out on a wooden frame, of the cover of The Beatles’ “Paperback Writer” single.
Get it? Get it? ‘Cause I’m a paperback writer! (MWF Seeking BFF is being published as a trade paperback original.) My husband got this for me for our first anniversary and I’m in love with it. It makes me feel all writerly, and when I’m stuck in one of those writer’s block who-even-cares-or-wants-to-read-about-my-life-and-my-friends-or-lack-thereof rut, I find myself just staring at it in a trance. The husband did good.
Other desk accessories of note: My nameplate from my old job. I’m thinking of hanging it right outside the door to our second bedroom, as if the room is actually my official office. I’ve never had my own office (cube dweller all the way!) so maybe this would make me feel important? There’s also a ballerina picture over on the right, because I’m convinced I wore a tutu and pointe shoes in my previous life. Two pics: one of me and the husband, the other of my old work BFFs (another way for me to feel like I’m in an actual workplace). And a small print of an Andy Warhol quote: “Everybody must have a fantasy.”
Basically a bunch of stuff to get the creative juices flowing. Which works sometimes. Other times I drop everything and turn on Drop Dead Diva.
Oh, and who are we kidding? I don’t sit in that chair. It’s pretty, but when it’s time to hunker down, I trade it for a chair with a back. Practicality above all else!
Not to be all braggy, but isn’t that gift awesome? What’s the most unexpected and fabulous gift you’ve ever received?