Episode 41: Season 2 Begins, Show me Your Workspace!
In today’s episode, we learn more about what’s ahead in Season 2 and discuss where we work. Our workspace is somewhere that needs to be all about us. What does your’s look like? Don’t forget to let us know!
You can listen to the episode right here. The transcription is below the player. Feel free to add your comments using the comment section below.
Episode 41 Transcript
Note: Transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and humans, as such, it may contain errors. Please, double-check the audio file before quoting anything from this page.
00:00 [JT Pledger] Welcome to Season 2 kids! This should be an exciting season for everyone! I plan to have more interviews, more specials, some giveaways, and exciting announcements! Today, for the first episode of Season 2, I want to just introduce you to the new music, let you bask in the new album art and we will chat a little bit about your work space. I won’t keep you long, but we should have some fun! Stick around, it’s all coming up!
01:04 [JT] Now, after that great intro music, we are pumped up and ready to go! So, let’s go! I want to talk about your workspace. The area where you write your words and do your author thing. As with many things that deal with writing, there isn’t a right or wrong way. It is about comfort or productivity. There are many different ways to achieve this, and I am interested in what you have going on. But first, let’s hear about some examples of various workspaces. I’ll start with my own.
My Workspace is Clean
01:38 I write at my work desk. Everything I have except the monitor is wireless, so I can move around if I want to. My office is where I do my work and my writing. You will see it during some of the video courses I will be putting on the ExtraDraft website this year. It’s not very large, but I have enough space to move around. I have a futon in the back to lounge on, where I can still see my monitor and work from my lap if I want. I also have a few bookshelves, with various sundry on them, mostly books, of course.
02:15 The desk is one that I made myself. It as an old pine dresser and the wood is incredible. So, I tore it down and rebuilt it into a desk. And of course, I have my rolly-chair. I like to put the arms up and sit cross-legged. The desk if fairly clean, as is the rest of my office. My bedroom can’t say the same thing, but I prefer to have my workspace clean and clutter-free.
02:44 I will admit, I used to not care. My desk was messy with papers and notebooks and things strewn about where ever they happen to fall. However, I also have ADD, so all of that caused huge distractions for me. Except for my coffee mug (one my grandma gave me many years ago). I keep it full at all times.
I Decorate to Keep Motivated
03:10 Besides that, I have things pinned to my walls around the computer desk and in front of me. These are a mix of various things to appease my ADD. Mostly, I have index cards with writing quotes on them. Little reminders of why I do what I do. When my mind wanders, I read them because they are colorful and beg me to stare at them. The words remind my silly brain to get back to work. I also have sticky notes on the wall with little reminders of things, to-do lists, and even a grocery store reminder.
03:49 I love wall art, but I don’t have any in my field of view. I would be too distracted. So I have limited art in the office and keep that stuff in the living room and bedroom.
Another Example of a Clean Workspace
04:04 Now, I have another writer friend who also keeps a clean space and works in an office. She is almost meticulous about her space and while mine is clean, hers resembles a museum display. She also shuts her home office doors and all but hangs a do not disturb sign outside.
04:28 Inside her office, besides being immaculate and gorgeous, everything is white. She has big bay windows that are always open and overhead lights, lamps, and I am sure I even saw a flashlight or two in there. I assume she likes to have a lot of light, but she is probably afraid of the dark, I won’t tell, though.
04:55 She has plants, too. I don’t have any plants because I would just kill them. I like the aesthetic, though, and having plants is nice in an office setting. The biggest difference between her office space and mine is the atmosphere. When you walk into her office it is warm and welcoming, but it also says “business.” I like that, you go in and shut the door and there is just this feeling of, “okay, time to get shit done.”
05:25 Unfortunately, I have to have the blinds drawn at all times or I will be distracted by birds or blowing leaves. As much as I like it, I’ve tried, and it just doesn’t work for me.
What About Messes?
05:40 Other people like a real mess. They eat and drink at the desk, papers blowing everything as the fan oscillates in their direction. No fucks given, basically. As long as they can still push the Cheeto-encrusted keys, they are happy.
05:59 This was how I used to be. Before I found out I had ADD, I was a slob in my office. I didn’t have any clients coming over and really, no one but myself was ever in there. I took the trash out, threw away the empty soda bottles and every once in a blue moon, I would clean off my keyboard, but that was rare. I can fully understand this style of workspace. It’s cluttered, but you know where everything is. Organized chaos, I used to call it.
Hinderance and Overcoming
06:33 It is a safe place, a sanctum sanctorum if you will, of your written word’s birthplace. As soon as I understood how my ADD hindered my writing, I began to make small changes. I wanted to see what would work for me and what wouldn’t. Perhaps I will do another podcast about what I found out. Is that something you would be interested in?
07:00 Anyway, we are artists and our workspace should be somewhere we are comfortable. I have also seen writer friends that spend their time trying to make their workspace look like a Pinterest cover photo. There needs to be a personal element to it, you have to be in there, you should enjoy it, but it should also be “yours.” If you copy everyone else, you lose yourself and that isn’t a good place to be.
07:34 So, if you are museum quality clean, get out the white gloves and make it happen. Likewise, if you are a bit more messy, that’s fine, too. It’s your space, as long as it isn’t hazardous, do what you need to do. Fuck what anyone else thinks.
Anywhere is a Workspace
08:00 Some people I know are happily writing page after page and never once sit at a desk. Their workspace is wherever they happen to be. You see them using their laptops in a cozy chair in the living room or a coffee shop. Maybe they have the TV on or radio going or YouTube in the background. I like quiet, and it’s the main reason I work at night. Others need ambient sounds and some need the explosions and screams of a John Woo film. It’s all the same; what works for you is what you should do.
08:43 Still, there are other writers that stay in their pajamas and use a pencil on a legal pad. No technology around at all. A small table and chair, or laid back under a blanket on the couch, writing on their lap. I’ve done the longhand thing, and I loved it. What I didn’t love was the transferring it from paper to computer. So, I started writing on the computer from start to finish. I still take notes and do research longhand, but my work goes directly to digital-land.
That’s a Wrap
09:22 Like I said, there isn’t a right or wrong way. What I do want to know, though, is how do you write? What does your workspace look like? You can comment on the podcast here, on YouTube, or head to the transcript page on ExtraDraft.com (click the podcast link) and comment there. Upload a picture if you like, show us where you do your best work!
09:56 Now that Season 2 has officially started, I can once again tell you…
10:02 Have fun; write words