Have you ever wondered what people’s personal offices look like? I know that I do. I get this idea in my head about what a person might be like, in particular authors. Often times the only window into their world is the books they write. You have to put together an image in your head. Are they neat, are they messy (like me), do they have everything all cutesy in color coordinated folders?
Cynthia Mock Burroughs, author of Remember Della, (be sure to check out my review of her AMAZING book here) was amazing enough to give us a glimpse into her world. Not only that, but she is so awesome, that she even wrote up a post just for us. Check out what she has to say about her office space.
“I always wonder, do professional writers have neat and clean professional offices? I did not start out to be a writer so my office is multi-purposeful. It is a 10 X 10 space tucked into the corner of our TV/family room upstairs. The side with the “doorway” is made up by the back side of my daughter’s computer desk and unorganized, unaddressed papers. On the opposing wall, tucked under the window, is the desk for “business purposes.” It is lined with electrical supply books and references. Being the bookkeeper for my husband’s electrical business is the number one priority. To the left on the desk, I have my pile of “personal-want-to-keep” stuff. On the right, is my pile of “book-in-progress” items. Somewhere in the middle lie the pens, the calculator, the stapler, and all the yellow sticky notes designed to keep my overloaded brain from forgetting some important “to do” task. If the task does not appear on the little yellow blocks, it is lost in the recesses of a scrambled brain.
The third wall is obliterated by filing cabinets, my computer, and the two very necessary copy, fax, scan, and print machines. Packed around all of this and stuffed into cubicles above it, are the stacks of blank paper, trips-to-go-on, trips-done-gone-on, college information for daughter, and more stacks of book writing and publishing paraphernalia. I forgot, there is also a place for the personal bills and the business bills. I guess this is what they call an organized mess. But then, my office matches my life – an organized mess. The last wall is obliterated by various licensing documents, phone numbers, and need-to-know-fast information.
Sometimes, under my feet is a dog who thinks life is all about play. She bumps my arm with her nose so I know I am not attending to her desires. During the days I am not working at my paying job as a nurse anesthetist, I play music while I work in my office. In the evening, my husband sits in his favorite chair and watches TV just outside my “door.” This makes for a very cozy family environment.”
It is nice to see someone else’s office as an “organized mess” too. What about yours? Do you need to keep everything organized to be productive, or do you like a bit of chaos rolling around? What does your office look like?