Where Sexy Genius Meets Muse
If you’re a writer or an artist, you probably have an office, studio or a favorite spot where you sit down and make magic. But if you don’t (or if your space is less than inspiring) it’s time to make some changes.
Macho or girly, practical or romantic, hippie or hipster – whatever your style, somewhere inside your psyche there’s an ideal office. Even if you can’t have everything you dream of, give your creative muse the respect she deserves and do the best you can.
Up until this year, I had my office in a corner of the living room. It had a good desk, all of my tools and some of my favorite things around for inspiration. But then I had a vision of a dedicated room with all my books and stuff, space to do yoga… it was going to be fabulous…but the only extra room we had was too small to accommodate all that.
After thinking about it for a while, I told my husband that what I wanted for Christmas was to rearrange our whole house, so that the master bedroom (only used at night, really) would become my office. He didn’t have to do anything except help with the heavy lifting. I think it was a win-win. I got what I wanted, and he didn’t have to shop.
Find Your Space, Find Your Groove
I spend just about every day working in my new office and I love it. My desk has a view of palm trees and my favorite hill in the distance, and I got some of those delicious wind chimes tuned to a low, resonant musical scale. Whenever I hear them I feel like I’m in a Zen garden. But that’s just me…
Maybe a dark wood and leather cave is more your style. Maybe you want purple silk curtains or Japanese minimalism. Even if you don’t have whole room to dedicate, find a corner, the garage, a big closet, or sun porch; maybe you buy one of those folding screens and create an office out of thin air and train everyone not to bother you when you’re in there unless the house is on fire.
Having an office or studio helps with forming good work habits. After awhile, when you sit down in that space your mind will automatically go into creative mode. Fewer awkward silences between you and your muse!
Use Totems to Help Focus Your Mind
If you absolutely can’t find the right spot at your house, choose a coffee shop or another place where you can work every day. If you have to use a space that doubles as something else, a totem can be helpful.
By totem, I mean something that reminds you of who you are and what you want to create. This could be a work of art, a quote from your favorite genius, your favorite pen, a religious icon, even an article of clothing that acts as a cue to your subconscious. When the totem comes out that means creative time has officially begun, no distractions allowed.
Stand Up for What You Need
If making a new office involves a change that will impact your significant other, ask nicely for support, explain how much you want this, that you will be a happier, more productive person the other 23 hours of the day if you get at least one damn hour a day to yourself, alone in your office. Mean it.
If all else fails, keep repeating calmly but firmly, “I am a sexy genius,” or “The sexy genius needs an office,” or “You’re going to like me when I get creative.” Smile mysteriously. If nobody is stopping you except you, say these things into the mirror.
Creativity is pure life force. Like a water spigot it can flow clear and clean, or fouled by dirt and debris. Some people’s spigots are turned on full blast, some are trickling, and some need a plumber.
So, how’s your faucet working these days? There’s only one way to find out – go into your office, close the door and turn that sucker on!