My Workspace Blog Hop

Albuquerque at nightWelcome to the My Workspace Blog Hop.  When smart, funny, and talented, Jo Robinson tagged me for this bloghop I did a double take.  “What workspace? ” I thought.

When I lived in the desert southwest I had a detached house with a little work room I used for writing and crafts.  It was not a large house by most standards, but it was much bigger than the townhouse I’ve been renting since I moved to my nation’s capital.  (And I’ve been lamenting the complete lack of storage space ever since…) So — I don’t actually have a workspace now, but here’s what I do have…

Workspace-1 blog

After hunching over my laptop on the coffee table for a few years, I found this perfect little tilt-able laptop desk on wheels. The photo isn’t really how the laptop desk is positioned. This was just the only half decent looking view I could give you.

I squeeze the tilt-desk between the sofa and coffee table, allowing the table to give me extra “desk” space and (as you see) room for my big coffee mug.  As the day goes on, the mug might contain tea (usually iced), or seltzer with fruit juice.  The coffee table is also a staging area for my editorial staff, pictured here.

When I’ve finished, I roll the laptop desk behind the sofa so that it’s mostly out of the way.

My living room is small enough that I can also run a cable from my laptop to my TV, to stream Netflix or YouTube. (I don’t have a smart TV, so it has to connect to something.) So sometimes I listen to Bob Proctor or Louise Hay or Mike Dooley while I work, for a dose of positivity.

How I Work

It seems like I can’t participate in any of these things without bending the rules.  Since I didn’t have a workspace or a story behind it to show you where I work, I’ll show you a little about how I work.  I haven’t tried any of the writer’s tools I’ve been hearing about. What I developed a few years ago works so well for me, that I haven’t investigated them.  Most of my process is electronic. For longer works I make a detailed spreadsheet. Here’s a snip of the one for Three Ingredients.

Electronic notes

I use “Styles” in word, and use the navigation pane to see an outline of what I’ve done and easily find things I want to further develop. This requires using the “headings.” I make headings for ideas, in the order I expect to use them. Then I convert the notes into manuscript as I go.

Here’s a snip from a work in progress so you can see what I mean. I break the outline structure down more while I’m working the idea, using headings down to three levels.  As I move from “ideas stage” to “draft” I cut back to just heading level-1, because I only want my table of contents to one heading-level for the book.  You’ll get the idea — below I have a draft of chapters 1 and 2, and part of 3, but the other headings are still notes.

Atonement 2 nav pane

Atonement, Tennessee by Teagan Geneviene
“Atonement, Tennessee” click here.

Sometimes I make hand-written notes, but not too often.  I don’t have the time/energy I’d like to focus on anything except work.  Ideas don’t often pop into my brain unexpectedly, since I’m preoccupied with non-writerly things.  However, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is an exception to that.  I carry a notebook with me during November, and I keep it beside the bed at night.  I’m not a good sleeper, so once in a while the midnight idea comes along. (I did the draft of Atonement, Tennessee during my first NaNoWriMo.)   Talk about scribbles — yeesh…

atonement notebook

You know how these blog hops work — I’m supposed to tag other people. You have also probably noticed that I rarely find anyone who wants to be tagged. So, as is my custom — Tag — you’re it if you want to be.  Anyone who wants to take up the torch feel free to do so. Hopefully you’ll link back to this post if you do your own.

However, Siobhan Daiko graciously agreed to be tagged. I can’t wait to see what she does. Her general environment is breathtaking and fascinating to me. No matter what her workspace is, I know I will be intrigued.  Visit Siobhan and learn about her excursions in Italy and her beautiful book, The Orchid Tree.

As you saw, I don’t have much to show you for my workspace. No interesting snacks, or anything very inspiring. I just realized I could have taken a picture of my office at work, but that’s even less interesting.  So here are a few writers at work who are much more intriguing.


Teagan sig

Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie
Terry Brooks
Terry Brooks
Charlaine Harris
Charlaine Harris

47 thoughts on “My Workspace Blog Hop

    1. Hi Colleen. I doubt a tutorial would cover what I do, and it would not be a beginner.
      I’m taking some random leave in November. We could get together on the phone for half an hour and I could walk you through it. Email me if you want to try.
      Hugs right back.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m quite scared by how organised your writing process is Teagan 🙂 It beats my scribbled notes all around the house! I do have a room that I can use as a work space, but actually, I tend to work most on my laptop on the sofa!


  2. I love your editorial staff… not too different from my own. They look rather grave… you didn’t misspell something did you? 😀 Thanks for the peek!


    1. Ha! If you only knew how horrible my spelling skills are! They were taking a break in the photo. I’m never fast enough with the shutter button, but they were both staring at the ceiling. And staring. And staring. I’m certain they make bets with each other about how long it will take them to weird me out.
      I’m so glad you took a moment to comment, Kev. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. they’re conspiring, hey, let’s see if we can get her to look up at the ceiling… pretend we’re looking at something. 😉


  3. I loved reading about your workspace, Teagan. I’m intrigued by your working methods. A bit of a techno-dinosaur and would love to use Styles in Word. Must look up a tutorial on the internet. We have visitors arriving tomorrow, but I’d love to blog about my workspace sometime next week. Thanks for tagging me! S x


  4. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    More on the Workspace blog tour and here is Teagan Geneviene who not only shares her work space and muses but some of her ‘how to’s for her Three Ingredients and other writing. If you enjoyed the series – Through the keyhole – then this blog tour is for you. Teagan has issued an open invitation to participate – over to you.


  5. Thanks Teagan. Love to meet your assistants after hearing a fair bit about them. I’m impressed by the method you use. Spreadsheets…I thought I might get some training where I used to work but when I inquired they’d stopped offering that training and I know little about them…
    I’ve been itinerant for a while but hope to do my working space post at some point when I’m back home…
    And I’m looking forward to buddying up with you next month. I’m going to explore Scrivener at the same time, so NaNoWriMo is going to be a challenge in more ways than one…Must see about covers….


    1. Hi Olga. Thanks for taking a moment to comment. Great! I’m looking forward to doing National Novel Writing Month with you too! It’s great for building excitement about the novel you want to write — and helps get it done. Playing with the draft book cover yesterday helped me see the story better and even gave me a new idea to add fullness to the story. Wishing you great sales with “I Love Your Cupcakes.” Hugs


  6. I thoroughly enjoyed this post.
    After having had large studios, I am now based in London where space is always at a premium and so understand your situation. I have found that this has made me more creative about how I use my space. Screens, mirrors (to bounce light around) and everything has a double purpose. Have a superb day and I love the cats:)


    1. Thank you so much Janet — and thank you for reminding me of mirrors. Many years ago i had a condo that i used mirrors for decorating and it helped with light. One of the bad things about this place is how very little light i get. I have masonry walls, so can’t hang anything… but maybe i can set some up somehow. Their reflected light is gentler to me than electric lighting too. Hugs, and the kitties send love back! 🙂


    1. 😀 LOL… i’ll take the “artist” compliment Trisha… because i had to be an artist to find an angle to photograph that didn’t show all the stuff scattered across my room! Hahaha! Thank you so much for commenting. Wishing you great success with your poetry book. I hope everyone will check it out — it’s lovely. 🙂


      1. after you read it, i will love to read your views on it! I just will! It will mean a lot to me. Your buying it was a totally unexpected surprise.

        I hope it will be give you lots of joy!


  7. I reckon your workspace is very inspiring, because you’ve totally claimed it no matter the lack of space, and your assistants are CUTIES! I like your spreadsheets – my notes tend to spread around like crazy in all formats. Are you doing the NaNo this year? 🙂 HUGS!


    1. That’s sweet of you Jo — and i’m glad you tagged me.
      Yes I decided to do NaNoWriMo this year. I had a little more than “notes and planning” done on Atonement 2 (though unfortunately not much) for me to feel honest about using it. I could have bent the rules… But that’s just not me.
      So I’m going with different book, inspired by one of my “manuscripts lost.” During the planning i’ve done the past week, it’s starting to take shape in my mind — and totally different than the original idea. Do you NaNo?
      Huge hugs.


      1. I’ll be cheering you on all the way Teagan. I wrote Shadow People for NaNo 2012, and loved every minute of it – never been so tired in my life, although things are a bit too hectic to have another go this year. Exciting stuff with you working as well as taking it on – have remember to eat and not go to work in your pj’s. 😀 XX


        1. Yes… it’s particularly hard to NaNo and work. But i save vacation days for it. So I will be taking several days off work — that will help.
          Ha re the PJs!! I’m such a poor sleeper anyway… The other day i headed out the door to work wearing my house slippers. At least i noticed before i got off my front porch! 😀 I might be in serious danger of finding myself at my office desk in my night gown. (EEEK! scary thought 😀 )


    1. Thank you Tess. I’m like most people here, in liking to see just a bit if the day-to-day life of my blogosphere friends — i guess that’s why I accepted Jo’s tag. (Besides, i really am pleased with my tilting laptop table. LOL) 😀


  8. Teagan, I love reading posts and articles about writers and their work spaces! Your space looks so nice and neat (my is lacking in that area, LOL), and your spreadsheets are fascinating! I’ve written a couple of rough drafts of novels for Nanowrimo and I’ve often gotten myself pretty confused and lost. So I can definitely see how the spreadsheet really helps out in that department. Plus, it must help you to develop character as well. Loved reading about your writing process! 🙂


    1. Thanks Debra. Today I also realized how helpful it is to draft-design a book cover while I am planning a novel. (It is NaNoWriMo planning time now.) Collecting pictures related to my vague ideas helpde the story idea start taking shape better & gave me extra ideas for it. Big hugs to you & C-dog!


  9. How you work is more important that where you work. And I must say that I am impressed by the high tech process. Actually I shouldn’t because you are a technical writer too, right? I have wondered how you managed to keep up with the Three Ingredients, so now I know! I like that you keep a notebook during the month of November and in case you wake up. Best to you and your writing, Teagan.


    1. Thank you so much Evelyne! I admit that i’m rather proud of my spreadsheet. But i’m sort of a spreadsheet geek. 😀
      Actually, i guess the Excel sheet took root from my work as a tech writer/editor. I was using something somewhat similar (and at least as detailed) back in Albuquerque. I supervised a lot of software documents. To meet my deadlines and be proactive with the multiple documents that went with each SW package, I and had to track what the programmers were doing (the stages of their work) Because there were so many different software document packages to keep up with, i came up with a spreadsheet. There were a ton of details, and to manage that volume of work, i had to be on top of not just my work, but a lot of other people’s work as well. So the level of detail i tracked for that job gave me the idea for the Excel sheet for my novels.
      Looking forward to your next post. Huge hugs!


  10. It was fascinating getting a glimpse into your workspace, Teagan the world is your workspace. I see your mind like a machine whose wheels are constantly turning, you are amazing and talented and I do love your space. It’s homey, comfortable and pretty much how I envision for you. You are also so organized, wish some of that would rub off on me.


    1. Ha! I’m organized at the office, and i suppose in how i work things. But my home is so… overcrowded that it’s hard to recognize that in myself. Thank you for the reminder Suzanne — I don’t just need to work on my positive thoughts, i need to remember to see what i’m doing right. Mega-hugs to you my friend. 🙂


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