Warning: Unpacked boxes may cause writer’s block

A month ago, in flagrant spite of the global financial crisis nipping at my heels, I sold my house and moved from Bexley to Athens. The two Ohio cities have more in common than the map implies. I’ll miss the fabulous Bexley Public Library, everything a local library should be, but now I can shop at the Athens Farmers Market every Saturday morning.

Perhaps because I’m that much older than the last time I moved, I’ve been fussier about my new surroundings. It’s been difficult to resume any sort of writing while preoccupied with the incredible variety of refrigerator styles that have only recently existed. I’ve spent long hours shopping online, because hardware and appliance stores, it seems, are on the verge of obsolescence. How can that be, when we’ve become a nation obsessed with home improvement and redecorating?

I’ve been surprised by two more things: 1) how difficult it is to compose my thoughts, and blogposts, amidst unpacked boxes, and 2) how instinctively materialistic I am when faced with a surfeit of possessions. I assure you, I started to downsize with the best intentions.

Thanks to a friend who swapped an oversized computer table for a lovely old desk that will fit in my new home office, I now have a workspace. If I can force myself to part with a few more boxes of stuff I haven’t looked at in years, I’ll be back in business.

This might be a nice time to ask everyone for a workstation photo. Send it via email, and I’ll append it to this post. Or include in your comment a link to an online image of your workstation. Could be revealing…
Robin's workstation

Illustrations courtesy of Muhammad Syahmi bin Ismail

From the state that tipped the scales last Tuesday night, Jo sent the following image of her home workstation, which is built around a vintage typing desk salvaged by her brother and used as a barbeque stand until Jo restored it to its former glory. I smiled when I saw the wicker letter holder, because there’s a smaller version completely hidden behind my computer screen in the photo above.

Jo's workstation

Jo, I get your daily posts via RSS and hadn’t seen your new blog design: one of your coffeehouse workstations. Nice.

2 Replies to “Warning: Unpacked boxes may cause writer’s block”

  1. THAT’S what’s messing up my feng shui…I’m supposed to have the wicker thing BEHIND the computer…

    (She says with a wink.)

    Thanks much for the feature…workstations are one of my favorite topics to read and look at photos of. A few years back there was even a black-and-white desk calendar of the workstations of famous writers with their workstations, which was inspired by this: http://www.amazon.com/Writers-Desk-Jill-Krementz/dp/0679450149. The Guardian in the UK did this one as an homage to that calendar:


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