Clutter in my ears

I’ve noticed a lot of posts recently about workspaces.  Probably because it is too bloody cold to go outside.  However, it is something much on my mind at the moment as we are in negotiations with the Singers on the interior decor.  Our house is over 700 years old and it is hard to combine the bright white modern look they want with some of the features that we can do little about, but we are getting there …. slowly.

I have a study.  I never use it.  I clear it out occasionally, I use it to store paperwork and an obscene amount of fabric and wool but I never write in there.  It’s a gallery over the kitchen so I can’t complain that I am cut off, although my deafness means that conversations are limited and of dubious quality.   But it  is not right for me.  I can’t put a finger on it.  It is a bit too dark but not impossible to live with.  There isn’t quite enough space but all I really need is a keyboard and space for my notes.

Instead I take my laptop to the morning room table.  It has become my office.  I sit in exactly the same chair.


I have a small shelf for notebooks behind me.


I love it.  I can watch the bird table,


I have lots of light, more space than I need.  But what really makes the difference is that the family and the animals come in and join me.

The Boss sits and dictates on the sofa (or plays on ebay in equal measure).  The Dancer and the Singers do their homework



(or watch endless reruns of Silent Witness on iplayer).  The parrot squawks


and the dogs bark at butterflies in Brazil,


or just snore.


It’s mayhem, but it’s where I work best.  No physical clutter but plenty of family clutter and noise.    Not the traditional writer’s set up it would seem.  Everybody else would appear to aspire to a silent room locked away from everyone else.  Am I the only writer who craves company when she works?



11 responses to “Clutter in my ears

  1. I think animal companions would be nice. It’s the TV I have to get away from otherwise I can’t think straight, never mind write. The humans in my house seem to prefer TV over silence, so I take myself to the other side of the house and seek out their company only when I need a break. It’s funny I have a room at the back of the house above the kitchen too. It used to be a tiny bedroom for the maid I think when the house was built around 1900.

  2. Enjoying the ponderings on workspaces …

    There is a piece of research I read somewhere recently about the importance of ambient noise when you are working. It increases creativity to have a certain level of hubbub and I don’t need science to prove it. I know I work better with a bit of bustle happening in the background (but not music, which is far too distracting).

    Since I can’t afford to work for 8 hours a day in a coffee shop, I found the next best thing … prerecorded ambiance. There is a website called “Coffitivity” that provides coffee shop noises and another called “Rainymood” that does rain. I have also got a CD of spring meadows and mountain streams and I have genuinely found that running this noise in the background helps me to focus and be productive.

    ON the other hand, the labrador making eyes at me to take her out or rolling over and snorting in the hope I will scratch her tummy is very distracting …

  3. I sit in the family room, on the couch. My “desk” is a small tv tray, and I use a second one for notes or books that pertain to what I’m working on. I have just enough room for my coffee. This morning, my writing companion is the Little Lady. She’s wide awake and laying next to me. Someone usually joins me and cuddles me as I write. I have to have the TV off, but I don’t seclude myself from the family – they are my greatest inspiration and encouragement!

  4. Fantastic, I love this blog, being based at home, before I moved I spent sometime at my desk, but a lot of time at my dining table. In the new house? who knows? I’ll find my place. 🙂

  5. Sweet glimpse of where and how you work. Great idea for a post, too! Love all the color and all the animals in your pictures.

  6. I love your blog too. We all have our ways of finding inspiration. when I do manage to sit and write, my cat will take advantage and come and snuggle on my lap. I guess I need to feel not completely alone but private. If I have the opportunity and don’t need anything else doing I can write in bed. I love doing that as I can hear the world go by outside.

  7. I love seeing other writers’ work spaces. I used to work in a basement & I know exactly what a lack of light will do to the tone of your writing. 🙂 Although, I am one of those writers that liked to be tucked away in a quiet place away from everyone else (but now with windows around).

    Thanks so much for all the pictures. Lets me get to know you a little bit. Nice to meet you through UBC.


  8. Writing while “doing life” is a wonderful thing! I love that you write in the midst of life and clutter and animals. I bet if affects your writing very positively!

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