Do you have a special place to go to where you write? Do you lock yourself away beneath the stairs, in a shed, or in the downstairs loo? Will anywhere do?
I used to have an office. It is the smallest bedroom in my house, complete with sturdy, wide desk, a PC, acres of bookshelves and a window with a view. It was perfect… until the house took on non-paying lodgers (children). Since then, the ‘office’ has become a joke; it is now a vault for ‘stuff’, the flotsam of life – from boxes of bills and contracts and cards, to broken electrical devices (to be fixed later) and piles of clothes (to be sorted later).
Because the ‘office’ became a no-go area, just a drop-and-go area, it meant I had to do my writing somewhere else, wherever I could. I jabbed at the keys of a laptop on the sofa, the bed, and at the kitchen table. For the closing chapters of my novel I left the house altogether and bunkered down at a seaside hotel.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, today was the first day of Operation Office Overlord. I felt like Russia and the box bedroom was Crimea. Except this battle was fierce. Eventually, I claimed a small victory. Now, I can see the floor, at least. Books were battered; bags were strangled; machinery was moved; reams of paper was recycled. It’ll take the rest of the weekend to win the war. When it’s over, I’ll have my office back. I can’t wait to turn on the PC and hear the pings and bleeps as it boots up. Then I’ll open a new Word file and poke fun at the keyboard.
Once the office is fit for purpose the first thing I’ll do is put my favourite poster on the wall. It will be my version of lofting the Russian flag. A designer friend of mine, Dermot Ahern, was given the task of displaying all 26 front covers of Neon film magazine in one poster. He came up with a fantastic creation and it’ll take pride of place in my newly liberated/annexed office.
So, I’ll have my original writing place back by the end of the weekend.
I hope you have a writing space too, uncluttered by nothing more than your vast array of awards!