Welcome 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…
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.
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.
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…
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.