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  • Writer's picturesianynleigh

Office Space Tour

I am one of those lucky few who happens to have a spare bedroom, and so I have the undeniable luxury of having an entire room to devote to my writing. Which is a good thing, because I have a LOT of writing-related junk.

I wasn't always so lucky. Until I bought my current house in 2016, my office doubled as my bed, with notebooks, reference books, and tons of pens stacked on the floor within arm's reach. It was disorganized, messy, and often uncomfortable, but you do whatchya gotta. I am fully taking advantage of this opportunity to spread out and keep all my shit organized, in my own chaotic fashion.

First, the entry:

I hate, hate, HATE white walls. I spent way too many years of my life in dilapidated rentals staring at white walls and feeling miserable. White walls are a symbol of destitution to me, of being financially broke and trapped in a situation you abhor yet struggle to escape. I was not going to have white in my office. A deep eggplant seemed like a pleasant alternative.

Nerd alert: I am in love with Loki, both the God and the Marvel movie character. I have to specify "movie" as he was a tad different in the comic version, and very much removed from the original Norse mythology. While we're skirting the subject, Tom Hiddleston isn't too bad, either.

The mannequin was originally in my dressing room, but I had to shift some spaces around to make room for an extra person, so she got dropped in my office. I dress it up occasionally just for funsies. The stack of boxes behind her hold my precious geeky figurine collection (Hellboy, Marvel, Doctor Who, et al), just waiting for me to build a shelf to display them on. My space is always a work in progress.

Here you see my love of antiques and LOTR on display. I have had this 1890's sewing machine for years and I absolutely love it. It was actually my writing desk in previous rentals. The drawers are perfect for pens and clips, the desk just the right size for a laptop, and the moveable pedal below satisfied my need to constantly fidget. Now, it serves as my correspondence desk, holding all my envelopes, notecards, greeting cards, stamps, all that. Oh, and a cute little dragon I bought at the Houston Zoo gift shop for my son many years ago when he was still in to that kind of thing. 

Above the desk hangs trusty Sting, or rather a very nice replica I purchased last year at Animania in Wichita Falls, TX. What's better than fantasy and weaponry? Fantasy weaponry. My wall space is somewhat limited, so this was the only sword I could fit in the room. There are a dozen more in my garage. And, what's that? Is that Thrandy lurking to the side?

Why, yes, yes it is. Did I mention I also love Thranduil? I have a thing for anti-hero jackasses, what can I say? Deadpool is next on my list of items to collect.

The gold and silver industrial-style shelf is my attempt at furniture building. It didn't turn out too bad, though it is a bit wobbly and more expensive to build than I would like. I used PVC because I'm a cheap-ass, but the final product still ended up being over $100. I hope to make another exactly like it for the other side of the room for the rest of my décor and books, but it will take time.

I have themed shelves. While the still boxed one is my love of pop-culture characters, this one is a shout-out to my more macabre side. Lots of Halloween decorations and things that remind me of dark fiction. The books below is a collection of indie books from authors who are either my IRL friends, or close connections on social media. I try to support my friends and indie authors when I can afford it. Then, a couple of shelves of reference books for whatever I may be working on. While the internet is my usual go-to, I still like the old-fashioned act of flipping through pages for a vital clue every now and then. Most of these books I bought as a teenager and can't bring myself to discard. 

The stack of chests hold all my spare random office stuff. Sticky notes, tape, glue, white-out, cables, charge cords, an iPod, staples, and who can remember what else. The cute momma and baby kangaroo I bought when I was still pregnant with my son, and the fluffy owl was a birthday gift from my husband this year.

Ah, the motivational wall, again displaying my love of Thranduil with a nice serving of Sherlock Holmes tossed in. I try to keep myself motivated by having lovely pictures with uplifting quotes on them right above my laptop so I can glance at them periodically for an extra boost of writing oomph. The two drawings are little scribbles I did 20 years ago when I was obsessively reading the Elf Quest series, and a couple of art prints I like to look at. 

The message wall, because if I don't keep reminders out where I can see them, I'll never actually remember anything. The Camp Crystal Lake is my nod to campy (no pun intended) horror, and who could live without a Multi Pass? Whiteboards (or is it writeboards, since they're not actually white?), corkboards, and chalkboards to keep me mindful of, well, everything. 

File cabinet, rack of random shit-holding, more art, and the closet where I stash all my binders full of notes for "will be written" novels. The copper writeboard is something I made in five minutes by painting a piece of plexiglass copper and hanging it on the wall. It currently holds all the remaining bullet points for my current WIP.

Now to the actual desk space. I actually use 2 desks. I am a space hog and like to spread out, especially when I have to look at notes. This table is an old vintage doctor's exam table left behind in a house I lived in. I painted over the dingy beige in a nice teal, but forgot to seal it. The paint is scratched off in areas, but I still like it. Makes it look used, lol. 

I'm left-handed, so having all my pens, clips, thumbtacks and other small items to my left is convenient and logical. Next to my antique office supply display (Super-heavy iron tape dispenser and stapler? Hell, yeah.) sits all my most often used items. Tacks, paperclips in various styles, pencils, chalk, dry-erase markers, staples. Then a rotating pen holder for all my colored pens, erasers, sticky notes, and permanent markers, followed by a vintage hand-carved holder of regular black ink pens and scissors. A foot hammock hangs underneath, along with a couple of file boxes to store printing paper. 

More things that make me happy! Having things I like to look at helps me feel more creative. I know a lot of writers say they write from a place of misery, but I'm always miserable, so things that lift my mood feed my desire to write. Set in easy view as I sit is Captain Jack in a bamboo tree, a couple of cute stuffed things, coaster for my ever-present cup (moved for the picture), Funko Pop Jareth from The Labyrinth, and my autographed pic of T-Hids as Loki. Did I make a nameplate for myself? Yes, I did. Because I'm the boss.

I forgot to take a picture of my main desk (silly me), but that's probably because it's not that interesting. All that's on it is my laptop on a stand I can raise to standing height for when my butt just can't take it anymore, a printer, and a vintage clay bowl I use for burning incense. A file cabinet shoved under the desk holds a few notebooks and random notes I still need to organize. The desk itself is one of those corporate cubby deals I bought when a local office supply company went kaput. It came in standard navy (ugh), but a few coats of lavender and sealant made it much more enjoyable.

So, that's it. Hope you liked this office tour and little peek into my personal space. Work spaces always inspire me, make me feel like getting it together and actually getting work done. If you have a space you'd like to share, I'd love to see it. It could be cluttered like mine, super minimalist, creatively messy, or whatever works for you. I'd like to see it all. What kind of space inspires you to be creative or motivates you to get things done? 

Until next time, keep writing. 

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