My life, designed by me.
Do you remember being a teenager and using whatever was available as a canvas to express yourself? Those times of being able to wallpaper with posters of rock stars and have a million clothes strewn around the room as you searched for the outfit that encapsulated YOU at that point in time? Photos and drawings pinned around a mirror, an entire room that was unselfishly and unashamedly YOU?
Sneakers became a place to write your opinion so that wherever you walked, people knew what you believed in and what you stood for. Even if, with the wisdom of hindsight, it was trivial, random or just weird it was proudly YOU at that point in time. School books, diaries and school bags begged for the personal graffiti of youth to tell the world hey this is ME, as I am. I still have a threadbare old pink backpack that I lovingly wrote the title of every Bon Jovi song on:
School diaries held old movie tickets and concert tickets, funny rhymes and countless crazy doodles amongst the homework reminders.
It seemed very easy to know myself back then. There was no second guessing, I knew what spoke to my soul and I embraced it.
One of the very first suggestions in my Creative & Professional writing unit was to create my own writing space. I have heard this before. I have read this advice from other writers, I have heard this in relation to effective study habits. In a small house with alot of people it can be hard. However, I am adaptable and once I find myself a little niche, I make it my own. I can write anywhere.
This is my current workspace.
It is our old kitchen table. It’s good, it works, I have been able to write quite well. I can look out into the front garden or close the curtains to prevent distraction. It is very soothing to be writing away here in the silence with the sunlight coming in and my cat curled up asleep, enjoying the warmth from the laptop.
As you can see, it is rather chaotic. The cat has brought me a pom pom that she attacks at various intervals. My son has bought me a truck and left it behind. I have strewn mail and papers around as I looked for something. The distraction of the clutter that surrounds me drags my focus away from becoming fully engaged in my writing and in tune with my creativity. Reminders of the other things that require my attention, tasks that I put off in order to write call loudly to me, protesting their abandonment.
I started to really think about this space and how it does not resonate with me on a creative level. Once you share a home with a partner and children tastes mature and change over the years and there becomes less room for self-expression. Even though I might select furniture that I like and decorate how I want things, these choices are influenced by the needs of the household, the practicality of our lives and a myriad of other variables. My own self-expression becomes diluted.
I decided that I needed to revisit that mindset of complete self absorption (see precious pictures of my love-me-do posing) in order to create a space that was truly mine. I re-purposed an old desk that was heading out the door to be donated and set up in the only corner I could find.
My space is now in the living room, which is not ideal. However, it is truly MY space now. I am not going to clutter it up with things that don’t feed me creatively, like bills and reminders of the other things that beg to be attended to. I am going to recall those blissfully unworried days of youth when I knew exactly who I was and how to express myself. When my desk, as well as my entire room was a cacophony of the things was passionate about.
Its not quite finished yet. There is so much more to me that will inhabit this desk over the coming weeks as I get used to having my own space again. I am more likely to pin up inspirational quotes than movie tickets this time around. It doesn’t matter. As long as when I look at my space, I see me.
Author of 'The Briefcase', 'Money Man' and 'A Five Star Experience of a Lifetime. Just some thoughts on e-publishing and marketing.
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