Everyone chooses the space in which they work. Well, to some extent. If your career of choice lands you in an office or cubicle, you probably have less choice over your working surround. (Been there, done that, burned the t-shirt) Your workspace determines your frame of mind when you approach each and every day. That’s where you spend a solid chunk of your time (probably most of your day, depending on your schedule). And – unless you’re somewhere that dictates the kind of images and knick-knacks you’re allowed to import into the spot – you get to choose the kind of materials your eye falls on and glimpses from the corner. So why, WHY do so many freelancers see to strive for magazine perfection with their desks?!
Seriously, it’s an epidemic!
I peruse different blogs, plenty with spots reserved for spotlights on workspaces. And I started to feel guilty over my eclectic corner. Image after image of antique desks, laptops, trendy desk lamps, and MAYBE a token item in the corner (complete with a detailed history as to its presence – emphasis on the history bit). Then I’d look at my delightful cornucopia of stuffed toys, fairy stones, shark teeth, and Pop! figurines and wonder where the wiring in my brain went wrong. Did the fact that stickers adorned various surfaces in my visual field make me less talented of a writer? Was reliance on a double monitor to streamline my work cheating? (It isn’t that I DON’T have a laptop – it sits in my Nightmare Before Christmas case. I just don’t work from it on a daily basis)
I started questioning myself: as a freelancer, a writer, even a tiny bit as an adult. (Don’t worry – that last bit didn’t last long) Then I thought over the work I produce. Seeing a tiny stuffed dragon out of the corner of my eye makes me smile. And, really, how do you not remain light-hearted and humorous with dinosaur Deadpool facing you? My workspace removes tension, fuels creativity, and keeps me happy. So why in the world do I need to aspire to a photo-ready standard set by people that DON’T write the kind of copy and fiction I do?
[Insert lightbulb moment here]
That’s when I decided to put my weird writing corner on display: “Living in a Geekster’s Paradise.” (As a head’s up, I do participate in Medium’s Partner Program. So reading my post contributes a few cents towards a new notebook – which I whole-heartedly appreciate!) Turns out I’m not the only person who appreciates NOT having everything in precise lines or a workspace with an ancestry.
If the place you sit down to every day doesn’t set off ideas and get your fingertips tingling, then you need to change it. A workspace isn’t meant to drain you. (That should be a hint to more corporations, but I don’t think they read this blog) I’ve worked in Prairie Dog land and traditional offices. I did the best I could to liven the spaces up – and I usually garnered raised eyebrows and remarks on my weirdness. They seemed to miss the fact those odd mementos represented my personality, kept me productive, and prevented daily screaming fits in the enforced silence (or, worse, the selected office muzak). Now that I call the shots, you better believe I’m going to create a workspace that speaks to ME and the work I’m completing.
Am I worried that no one’s going to beat down my door, desperate to photograph the writing room for whatever magazine? Of course not. I didn’t set up the space in the hopes of garnering the attention of an elite design audience. It’s for my creativity, my sanity, and my personality. Beyond that, it’s somewhere for Tonks to parade around and issue orders. (When I try to work on the laptop, she usually sprawls over the keyboard. Not the most productive assistance)
Why be anything more?
What does your workspace look like? Is it boosting your productivity? Are you feeling inspired by the artwork or objects surrounding you? Have you adopted feng-shui or another tradition into your decorating? Or are you like my husband – “organized chaos?” As long as you feel comfortable and welcome whenever you take your seat, there’s no wrong answer to that question.