Commandeering Creative Space

I mentioned earlier this week that I’d made some changes to my work space. Those changes were inspired by the lovely Hyacynth’s Creative Oasis Simple Swap series, where she challenged us busy women to find ways to renovate our personal space in 15 minutes or less. Just the simple changes that make a space more welcoming, but that we rarely allow time for ourselves to do.

Mine took the better part of an afternoon, but I’m so pleased with the results. And pictures were requested, so I shall share!

I used to work at the dining room table (despite all the times I vowed, when we lived in a shoebox apartment in Santa Barbara, that I would never again work where I eat). Well the dining room table was an upgrade from the coffee table, I’ll grant you. But it still irked me to no end every time I’d have to clear my stuff away when we were ready to eat. And even when my writing resources were laid out in organized piles, it always simply looked a mess.

And all the while, we had guestrooms upstairs, just waiting to be used.

But I didn’t. Because they were guestrooms. And I didn’t want to invade their space while they’re here. We got a house with several bedrooms precisely so we could host people comfortably, knowing we would be having lots of guests. And so the guestrooms are for guests!

*facepalm* Oh, how our minds create little boxes for us. (Or is it just me? Could be just me.)

So when I remembered that this is in fact is my house, I pulled up an extra desk and moved it into the smaller guestroom. And still I had planned only to use a small portion of the room, until I remembered that I was still being crazy. I moved up my little library of important writing resources (which, thankfully, is super easy to carry despite being well over 100 books because they’re all on my kindle! – which, P.S. I just read that it takes 23 books on an e-reader to outweigh the environmental impact of the e-reader versus that of books) and favorite decor. I decided I need a desk with two sides: one for my laptop, and another for all the books and notepads and journals I constantly use for information, ideas, and inspiration. But I absolutely did not want to spend money on this. So I wrapped up an old dog crate with pretty sheets and use that as the second side to my desk. And since I was primed for dreaming, I converted the twin bed to a comfy couch (in my head) where I can retreat to read and sip my mint, lemongrass & ginger tea.

Are you ready to see?

Here’s my new work area:

This room has big windows on three different walls, so there’s lots of lovely natural light coming in. Perfect for sunny dispositions and pretty photos. And staring out into the garden.

The trees outside all have these sweet little white flowers.

And here’s my library on top of a dog crate. This is where I gather all my research and brainstorms.

But the part I love best are all the pretty little things I brought in to look at while I daydream and create. I don’t know if other writers do this, but with my first novel, I had totally had a soundtrack for the book running in my head as I wrote (Enya’s Watermark). With my current one, I have a very solid picture in mind (that I’d probably like to turn into the book cover) of this yellow suitcase standing upright on an emerald green background. But when I’m racking my brain for that perfect word, I like to rest my eyes on happy things.

(Look, there’s Harold! Hi, Harold!) Fresh flowers…these are called Curcuma Siam, or Siamese Tulips. They’re among my favorite flowers. I love how they just rise up out of the leaves like that, and that totally different little orchid-like flowers pop up out of the leaves, like so:

And this is Charlie. He was a gift from my mother, many, many years ago.

And Tuck keeps me company too.

And what writer would truly be a writer without her trusty companion?

I did tuck that doggie bed into a more appropriate corner (and out of the way of foot traffic), but when I went to sit at my desk Dot gave me a look of utter bewilderment, and came over next to me and whined. So I moved the little bed literally two feet closer (and totally in the way of foot traffic), and Dot promptly went over and fell asleep contentedly.

If we owned this house instead of just renting it, I would paint the walls a soft mint green and maybe find some pink or violet accents. Looking at this, it occurs to me the space I’ve created for myself is both childlike and feminine. I’m okay with that. I think I dream that way.


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6 thoughts on “Commandeering Creative Space

  1. It's LOVELY!! Wow. I love the view of your garden and the natural light streaming in. You did an amazing job.

    {My mind creates those boxes and I get stuck in them all.of.the.time. I hears you.} :)

  2. "Oh, how our minds create little boxes for us." Ugh, I do this all of the time!!

    I love those flowers! They are so unique yet they remind me of a cross between a cyclamen and a canna lily. BTW, I did notice the coffee cups in the photo! I was thinking your space was leaning towards shabby chic.

    You may have pushed me to do something about my space. Ugh!

  3. LOVE it! The light is so beautiful and restful in there!

    And I totally do the same sorts of soundtrack/picture inspiration things, too. My screensaver is actually a bunch of Google Image pictures of things I've described in my writing… all together they help me focus on the mood I want, if that makes any sense! Or I might be just crazy!