What Do You Need In A Workspace?

What do you need in a work space to feel comfortable and get those creative juices flowing? Natural light? A comfy chair? Things neatly organized and in their place? These are some of the things that are essential to me. It took me awhile to figure out just what it was I needed.  My first office was set up in my daughter’s room after she left home. It wasn’t as bright as I liked and it was still . . . Jessica’s room. I suppose it will always be her room – not my office. I tried a sunnier spot in the house – the living room where a beautiful antique desk resides. While I loved the spaciousness of the desk, and the flood of sunshine streaming through the french doors,  there were always distractions:

The dogs outside the glass door, their happy faces begging, “come play with us!”

The refrigerator right around the corner.

The food pantry next to it. (It’s amazing how those two beckon when I’m trying to write!)

The TV.

I finally settled on “The Zen Room.” This was once a patio off the master bedroom that was converted (poorly) into a hot tub room before we moved in. We tossed the ancient hot tub, put up dry wall, and added beautiful windows. When we first renovated the house, this room would be the “exercise room” complete with Yoga mats, a treadmill and plenty of UV light. However . . . the room never got used. I started taking Yoga classes at a nearby gym. I ride horses and play tennis and relish the fact that these activities keep me outside. And really, who wants to use a treadmill? Don’t get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for folks that do – I just don’t have that kind of attention span!

So – the Zen Room became my office. I purchased a swanky glass and metal desk and a nice cushy chair. Don’t underestimate the importance of a comfortable chair! I used to write while sitting on a straight backed wooden kitchen chair. Why do we do things like that to ourselves? No wonder I could only sit there for 30 minutes at a time while my poor back screamed in protest. I also have a sweet little armchair for reading and relaxation. Unfortunately, the cats have taken possession. As you can see, Louise (of Thelma and Louise) is comfortably napping on a manuscript cushioned by a pillow.      

The ribbons and trophies you see are not writing awards. (Alas!) They are horse showing awards. While they once resided in a plastic storage container, I decided to hang the most important ones along the long wall of my office. I wanted to be surrounded by my accomplishments. As most of you know, the writing business is rife with criticism and rejection. While we are supposed to take it like a champ, rise above it and work even harder, sometimes it sucks. A lot of times it sucks. Every once in a while we need to be reminded of our successes – even if they have nothing to do with our masochistic yet preferred craft.

I can happily say I love spending time in my work space. It’s too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter, but with an oscillating fan and a space heater, those problems are remedied. The cats think it’s their room, but luckily they are willing to share. Whether I am staring into space in an attempt to come up with ideas for new stories or diligently at work on a story in progress, my work space is conducive to creativity and long hours in the comfy chair.

What do you need in a work space? Please share your thoughts!

8 thoughts on “What Do You Need In A Workspace?

  1. I have a nice office, but what I need most is PEACE. Everyone in the house thinks it’s okay to come in and distract me. Or work behind me at the other computer. It puts in the ugly position of kicking everyone out and being accused of… menopausal outburst.

  2. My radio is on my desk. I need to have noise in the background. If I’m not listening to a Baseball game, the sound of Classic Rock fills the room. By the way, you have a great looking website. I like your color scheme.

    • Thanks so much Angela. I try to listen to music but I find it distracting. Although when I was working on my novel about Lady Jane Grey my husband made me an Elizabethan radio station on Pandora and I found that inspiring. I may have to revisit the music thing. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I’m quite jealous of your office space. I have a small desk in my bedroom, but no desk chair, and the desk is covered with the printer and my files. So I write in a comfy chair in the family room and keep whatever books and items I’m using on the end table. Thank goodness for laptops. Someday I’ll get my own room. It’s ironic that I’m the only one of the five members of my family who’s home all day, and I’m also the only one without my own room. But since my husband pays the bills, he gets the office. I may take over the dining room since we rarely use it, but it’s open to the rest of the house, so not exactly what I’m looking for.

    • I say commandeer the dining room! Maybe some of those beautiful Asian screens would help to give you more of an “office” feel. Space can be luxurious! Thanks for sharing!

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