White Space and Cubbyholes

New setup for the desk this week, and I’m not sure what to make of it at the moment. My body, my back, and especially my eyes, are used to the old way, which is also the way that forced me to constantly be hunched over, which carried over to my normal posture, and nope, not having any of that. With the monitor on the tippity top of the desk, this means I can now sit upright and look at the screen head on, which my neck greatly appreciates. My eyes, however, are not convinced that shaking things up is such a great idea, but my brain believes in them and thinks they’ll get used to it in a few days.

Which does not mean the change is very helpful on a Monday, which is get those pages done for critique meeting day. Can’t we keep things the way they’ve always been for one more day, pretty, pretty please? Pretty, pretty no. Things may go back to the way they were if this experiment doesn’t work out, and it is entirely possible (and likely) that the ideal desk configuration lies somewhere in between the two monitor placements. Personal computers did not exist when this desk was created. Then again, neither did I, so we’ve got that in common, desk and I. We’ll get through this together.

One of the things I’ve always loved about this desk, which I have drooled over since I was two years old (and before then, I am fairly certain I drooled on it, but there’s nobody left to confirm that, so take my word on this one) was the cubbyholes. This thing is full of them. Multiple family members have informed me that I have always loved putting things into other things.  This may or may not play into my penchant for organization, which has, of late, roared to life. The decision to move my monitor to the higher shelf comes partly from ergonomics, and partly from a deeper desire – to get at those cubbyholes. I know myself.

Right now, most of them are filled with paper. Sticky notes, my pocket sized planner, notepads from conferences (yes, I need them all) and address labels.  Pause here for a happy sigh. I love having stuff I love around me, and, when it’s organized, that is pure bliss, which has to be good for the creative process. Clutter, which I have also had a lot of, both the mental and physical sort, hampers it.

I don’t remember where I first read about white space, but enough ideas sort themselves out when I’m doing something brainless, that I looked into the idea. At its most basic, it’s mental breathing room.  Visual breathing room helps, too. Now that I have the monitor moved, and I can get at those cubbyholes, there’s no more searching for a piece of notepaper or a sticky note. They’re right there, always in the same place. I don’t have to figure out where they are, because I already know.

Moving the monitor has presented a few other challenges. For one thing, the monitor now takes up a good deal of the space I used to use for storing notebooks in current use. With this placement, they don’t all fit…or do they? Which ones am I actually using, hm?


My gut reaction is to protest that I am using all of them, and there was not a single book on that shelf that did not have a specific purpose, a specific project, and slicing their number like the decimation scene in Karavans, by Jennifer Roberson gives me similar chills, but in a far less entertaining fashion, because these are my babies. Which is fine, but let’s look at them as babies of different ages, maybe.

My daily pages book, yes, and task list book, yes. Butterfly book for personal style related things, okay, that hasn’t had as much use as I would like, but I’m still not ready to put it away, because that’s something fun I can do that’s not related to writing or romance fiction, and that counts as white space. It stays. Black book (it has gray pages inside, super cool) for revisions of my postapocalyptic medieval? That one’s resting, but I don’t want to put it away-away. It stays, too.  Peacock book could use some more love, and it gets it sporadically, but the characters who belong to that book have been occupying my head for the past, hmm, let’s say twenty-five years, so they are probably not leaving, period, and keeping their notebook on hand is probably wise. Overflow book, with its gorgeous gothic cover, for when I still have brain to dump and my morning pages are full, that has to stay.  Pastel retro photo themed book for some just for fun stuff, that has to stay. The others? They can nap. They’re not going away-away, but let’s focus on the awake kids for a while. That feels more efficient, and I feel less guilty.

The only problem with the new bookshelf arrangement was that my daily pages book kept slipping into the infinitesimal gap between end of desk and start of wall. Solution? Park Big Daddy Precious book there, which also happens to be my big notebook for Her Last First Kiss. Handy, that.  Problem solved.

Well, at least that one. My eyes are still in the what the sam hill are you doing to us stage of getting used to things, and my plans to spread out all the work I do on one frantic Monday marathon, over the week, did not pan out as well as I had hoped, but I think I could get used to this.  There’s room to move, and endless cubbyholes to explore.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s