Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Place of the Words

by Allison Pang

I suppose I'll share a shot of my desk here. Unlike some of the others we've seen this week, my office is neither neat or clean. I also don't have any sort of view. Or inspirational talismans. Or anything else, honestly.

And that's not to say that I don't clean it up from time to time.

I do.

But it's like the clutter and chaos of my brain just isn't happy unless there's a physical representation of what's going on laid out before me. I honestly don't "see" the mess. (I'm convinced this is just a hard-wired defect in my brain. The more organized I try to make things, the more obsessed I am about trying to keep things organized, the less interested I am in writing. There is a direct correlation for me. Also, the keyboard is in its own separate tray beneath the desk, *NOT* under all those papers.)

But I'm also not wed to writing there. There's no ritualistic sense of requirement. Sometimes it's out in front of the TV. Sometimes it's in the doctor's office. Sometimes it's in the car. (Not while I'm driving obviously). Sometimes it's the bus. Or the kitchen. Or the bedroom. Given the hectic nature of my schedule, it's wherever or whenever I can fit in a few minutes of uninterrupted time. (And forget about trying to find silence. There isn't any. If I have to write with SpongeBob on in the background, then so help me, I'll do it.)

It's rarely outside. Not because I don't like to write outside, but 1) I work all day, so there's not much time left after work and dinner and kidstuff  2) If I do go out, the kids usually tag along and it's extremely difficult to  focus since they want to play with me. (Children don't really respect writing schedules. But that's part of the deal. Hence me not really trying to *have* an actual schedule. Once I let that go, I've discovered I'm much less frustrated.) 3) It's hot as balls outside right now in the DC area. Heat indexes of 117 F are NOT conducive to doing anything, let alone be inspirational. 4) My cats are fond of bringing me gifts in the form of decapitated rabbits and bird wings. Also not conducive to writing.

Honestly, the only sacred space I really need to write is in my head. That's where the magic takes place. The rest of it is just trappings and nothing I want to get dependent on. Give me a netbook and an iPod, and I'm good to go.


  1. Okay, now this is more like my space. Cluttered. (And mine is super dusty right now, too.) =o)

  2. Wow. "the only sacred space I really need to write is in my head" KICKS ASSSSSS!!!!

  3. Relieved to see a little clutter, actually. My desk is usually cluttered too. Every now and then I clear it off, usually when there's nowhere to put my coffee cup. I hear you about the noise - it is very rarely quiet at my house either. I have taken to headphones - I can get away with it, since the boys are old enough I don't need to listen for sounds of disaster or alarming silences.