I don’t have an office. I don’t have a study nook. I don’t even have a nice, quiet out-of-the-way place to sit at my computer and write. I don’t even have a real desk.
My computer is set up on a tiny, old 4-seater dining table. It’s in the living area. Well, kind of the main thoroughfare between the hallway (to the bedrooms) and the outdoor area, right next to the kitchen. The advantage to this is that I can always see what the kids are up to. The disadvantage is that I don’t ever have the chance to closet myself away from everything, and focus on what I’m doing.
To make matters worse, I have no window to look out of – just a blank, white wall behind my monitor. I’ve tried sticking pieces of white paper with motivational quotes on to it, but it doesn’t really help. It’s still a blank wall that sucks away my creativity and makes me feel like I’m sitting in a dungeon. My monitor is raised on a stack of old phone books. My notes are stacked in an old “pigeon-hole” set up that takes up over half the desk space. To sit in front of my monitor, I have to squeeze my chair so far to the left, My leg is pressed up against the table leg. And there’s not even enough free space to open an A5 notebook beside me.
Talk about a non-creative space.
Yes, yes, I know. People write novels on paper napkins. Or in notebooks, 100 words at a time. Or in a local cafe.
But that doesn’t mean I want to.
So I went stationery shopping yesterday. I spent an hour drooling over new desks, awesome office chairs, and “luxuries” like these:
I filled a basket with notebooks, pens, highlighters, mini-whiteboards, colourful whiteboard markers, magnets, more pens, folders, sticky notes, a matching mousepad and notebook, another few notebooks, a series of matching archive boxes, and multi-shaped post-it notes. Then I added up my would-be purchases and realised that it was going to cost me almost $500.
So I put it all back.
Then I decided on a colour scheme (black fixtures & yellow stationery), and carefully picked: a single archive box with yellow drop-folders, a black folder stand & yellow manilla folders, a black pen holder, some yellow cardboard, a box of “stationery all sorts” like paperclips, pegs and mini-bulldog clips, and one (only one) notebook.
I was so excited to set up my new desk space. The yellow reminds me of sunshine and happiness, and also makes it feel less like I’m sitting in a cold, dark dungeon. I also used some pretty wrapping paper to cover up the old phonebooks my monitor is sitting on.
I wish I’d thought to take a “before” picture, but my “after” picture looks like this:
(As an added bonus, my husband tells me that the bright colour scheme is sure to scare off any intruders…)
What do you think – is buying stationery a good way to spice up your creativity? Or just a more creative way to procrastinate?