Monday, October 12, 2009

My new writer's office

by Sharon Lathan

For several months now I have been eyeballing the extra room in our house to be an office for me. The history of this one room is convoluted and messy! Once upon a time it was my son’s bedroom painted navy blue with jungle animal wallpaper border. Then when my eldest daughter moved out and he moved into her larger bedroom (necessitating the paisley flowers of her room be revamped with a wall mural of a nature scene) the room housed our brand new iMac as the kids’ exclusive computer, and served double-duty as my sewing room (rarely) and general catch-all/storage room (frequently!).

Several years and 2 iMacs later, I decided the jungle print had to go and redecorated yet again. It was 2004 and the room served as the PC and Xbox gaming room since the now-high school daughter had a laptop and my son was far more interested in playing WOW than doing homework! It also was now the cat’s watercloset and so stuffed with junk that a serious re-do was desperately needed. Plus, and more importantly IMO, I needed a place to keep all my Lord of the Rings memorabilia! So with a new, enormous desk assembled, several gallons of sunny yellow paint applied, my son’s collection of LOTR “guys” carefully displayed on the shelves along with my precious statues, and the 12’ x 6’ vinyl LOTR banner draped over two walls our multi-purpose computer room was unveiled. This photo is my adorable son chillaxing in the perpetual summertime room.

Skip forward five years and the clutter/filth that reigns in my childrens’ rooms had grown along with their stature and now invaded all four of the rooms on that side of the house. Even the cat was beginning to complain! In the hope that my pristine presence amid their chaos may rub off (doubtful), and because I really needed a private space to retreat to and keep all my author-related materials together, a renovation was again undertaken.

If left up to me I would have merely done a thorough cleaning, packed away the bulk of my LOTR stuff, and moved my desk in. In fact, that is what I was in the midst of when the news of my mom’s passing reached us. My hubby, bless his sweet heart, decided that keeping my mind and body engaged in heavy labor would prevent me completely falling apart. Plus, and I think the larger incentive, was to get rid of the sunny yellow that he always hated! To that end he led the charge, dragging me to Lowes and Walmart for paint, supplies, and wallpaper. For three days we painted, cleaned, and rearranged. It turned out beautiful and I love having a place that is entirely mine.

What do you think? Nice, huh? I won’t go so far as to recommend non-stop, back-breaking work as a curative for grief, but I can say that in these past two weeks I accomplished more around the house than I have in the past 6 months! And it was definitely worth it as my new, official office is wonderful! I still share it with the cat - or rather he allows the rest of us to muck up his space – but we cohabit peacefully so all is well there. Will the calming blue and secluded atmosphere enhance my writing productivity? Time will tell. But at least this one room will stay clean. That I can promise!


  1. Good Post ..!

  2. Hi Sharon~

    Great office. I got mine a few years ago when my DH made it the first room in our house renovation that was completed. He actually raised the roof over it (by himself--how I don't know--giving it a 13 foot vaulted ceiling, recessed lighting, spotlights, and a wonderful ceiling fan. He laid hardwood floors and sponged the walls giving it an antiqued gold color. I absolutely loved it.

    We've since moved our bedroom and my office downstairs and the fact that my office was upstairs became a problem. I quickly realized it's important for me to be able to stumble out of bed and into my office at all times of the night. It's amazing how much work I get done when my characters wake me up and demand I write their story.

  3. Mine was the formal dining room in the other house, off the kitchen and open to the living room where the kids would watch tv, and then now, the "hallway" between the kitchen and the living room. At least with the other, it was "more" of a private room. But what with the internet connection and how hard it was to get it connected...this is where I'll stay. And mine is way messy! One of these days I'll have to do a blog to show it (after I clean it up). I'd love to see yours too, Robin!

  4. Enjoy your new work space Sharon! My writing space consists of my laptop and sofa. I refuse to write in the place where I work all day, so the sofa it is.

  5. Congrats on your "new" space, Sharon! I love the blue color - - it looks both inspiring and soothing.

  6. Hi everyone! So many are popping in so early. I am still waking up, but it is great to "see" you all.

    Thanks for allowing me to share my new space. Makes it all seem so official, doesn't it?

    I remember the pics of your office, Robin. It kept nagging in the back of my mind with the small, selfish voice whispering, "I want one!"

    Marie, I also spend a portion of my computer time in the living room on my easy chair. There are times when it is just more comfortable and I like to be a part of the family. I can write there if the mood is right, but I have to admit that solitude and quiet is increasingly becoming more necessary for me.

  7. Terry, I think the main point is just to have a place that is yours. I had my desk in our bedroom for the past year, and that was actually really nice. I wasn't sure if I would like having my computer clear on the other side of the house. But then IF I get forced out of bed by some brilliant idea, it is better to have a place to go that will disturb no one. Except the cat.

    Thanks Lori! I do like the blue and the border. I had no problem with the yellow, but hubs was convinced it would stifle my creativity! Again, I think it was all a ploy to get rid of the color he always hated. LOL!

  8. Nice space, Sharon! Mine has sort of evolved. It looked pretty good right after Christmas, but the clutter is piling up again. I'd like to think it stimulates my imagination, but I wouldn't swear to that....

  9. Gorgeous office!

    BTW, is that Pride And Prejudice on your laptop I see?

  10. Clutter definitely does not work for me, Cheryl. I am a bit of an obsessive neat freak. Gotta have it organized!

    Yes indeed, Jamie! My desktop of P&P along with the screensaver with hundreds of additional photos is constant motivation. :)


    I also love that blue, Sharon.

    Can I hire you or your DH to come over and clean out my office? Warning: bring an industrial sized dumpster! My office is in the 'junk' room and it is piled high with stuff I SHOULD get rid of but can't quite bring myself to throw out. :-P

    Oh well, the good part is that nobody else can fit in here (besides the dogs) or venture too far in and bother me. MUAHAHAHA!


  12. That looks lovely! May it help inspire and create many more books!