Observing my own increasing trend for writing anywhere but actually in my home office - on the bus, in the park, in the cafe (bad for caffeine consumption!), I started to wonder if there might be something going on.
It could not possibly be the stacks of old Locus, Australian Author and Queensland Writer's Centre magazines, or the teetering piles of books - both read and unread. Nor the archive boxes stuffed with odd assortments, the piles of mouldering manila folders or the half of the office that has its floor area taken up with carefully deposited critique responses (patiently waiting for their turn), some of which may require carbon dating. I mean there is plenty of room to move the chair back - I hardly even even to squeeze through to sit at the desk.
Well . . . OK. The message finally started to sink in that five years is definitely long enough between spring cleans. So began the painful, painful process of trying to sort through all this gumph. Thankfully I managed to pull off a small miracle and use some storage area in a void under the house. But half a ton of paper had to be tossed (don't worry I recycled it).
After a long weekend spent tidying, sorting and dusting, I managed to reduce my office to something approaching minimalist. I could not believe the difference it made. I actually like being in the place now!
It made me realise that over time a kind of psychic detritus can accumulate along with all this garbage. You see all that crap, and somehow it gets bound up with all the negative feelings you accumulate toward your craft (well at least for me). It did me a lot of good to blow away the cobwebs. Physically dealing with this environment helped to clear the mental slate tremendously.
So how do you arrange your work environment? How do you keep the psychic cobwebs from accumulating, or do you keep the poor underpaid cafe workers in a job?