I have been saving this picture for a glorious Before and After post. The ragged dorm-room chic of it all was supposed to be completely eclipsed by my Shiny New Big Girl Work Space.
But I am not getting a new desk- not right now, anyway. Times being what they are, it seems a little indulgent to go out and buy a fancy office set-up for, let's admit it, a stay-at-home mom whose work consists mainly of blogging and Facebook. (Yes, Facebook is work. Building my mafia takes time, y'all!)
The new desk, the dream of the new desk, is really just vanity. I'd convinced myself that the real origin of my writer's block is my inadequate workspace and lack of privacy. If I could just have a professional office, I could be professional, organized and productive. It's the chicken-or-the-egg argument of time management.
But a desk does not a writer make. By letting my mismatched furniture off the hook, I can now focus on the reality of trying to put words together again. Really, it doesn't matter where I work, only that I do it. And let's face it, some of my best writing has been born in the local coffee shop, so where's the point of a credenza in that?
It's not really for writing that I wanted my desk. Writing was my excuse. Take a closer look at that picture. Closely encroaching the prison-style (if only it were electrified) fencing, you'll see a large purple tent. To the right is a plastic dresser full of crafts with a pile of coloring books and construction paper nearby. That small enclosed square-footage is my island in a sea of baby dolls, picture books and stuffed animals. It is the only place in our entire, rather large, house that I can call distinctly my own. The children are not allowed to enter- though this rule does not keep them from throwing themselves against the fence with barbaric screams when I am inside. (Picture the Jurassic Park scene where the velociraptors are testing their enclosure for weak spots.)
This brings up the question, too: Is the fence to keep them out or me in? A little of both, I think. I really want a place to go where they can't get me. They've learned to give me at least a little bit of a break when I'm in my cage before they start Whining Workshop. And they've learned, without a doubt, NOT to throw toys inside. Don't taunt the tiger, my friends.
I admit to a certain amount of jealousy when it comes to Kurt's oasis of a music studio down in the far reaches of the basement. It's quiet there. When he closes the door, he can't hear a whisper of a shrieking banshee (me) taking on the ravaging hordes (them). No one goes into his studio, no one moves anything or touches anything or even really LOOKS at anything in there. It's the definition of privacy. And I want it, dammit, I do! (I'm not ruining my marriage with this outpouring, by the way. Kurt is well aware of my envy.)
What I have to be honest with myself about, though, is that when I want privacy and escape, I usually need to LEAVE THE HOUSE SO HELP ME GOD. I spend most of the hours of my days and nights inside these beige walls. The location of the walls, whether in a private studio or a scraped-together corner of the playroom, doesn't really matter. When the time comes for a break, I have to take a break and in that event, I'd probably be leaving behind my fancy desk anyway.
So, for inspiration I will not be looking to a new office but instead to a new perspective. Another one, that is. Isn't it funny how often these new perspectives seem to be necessary? Someday, perhaps after my new outlook has been invested in new projects when result in new income, I'll splurge for that ultimate vanity plate: A shiny new office. For now, my functional, albeit besieged, little work space will just have to do. Before and After.