Workspace. Between the Ears.
Workspace. I’ve had it, and I still have it ... all.
Empty nesters, rambling in a four bedroom home with a view, my husband and I each have a workroom of our own. My “writing room” is one of our spare guest rooms, filled - no, cluttered - with books and photos. There’s a picture window that lets in the morning light, a comfortable chair, and a silk comforter on the day bed. Absolute luxury. I have a big MAC monitor, a wireless keyboard, a pro-like Canon, a very smart phone and a PC laptop, to boot ... plus all the time I need to write. Anywhere. In my own quiet space. Or not. Lucky me. Oh, so lucky.
I’ve worked in ad agencies on penthouse floors, and in remodeled spaces of beautiful old hotels and on bay-windowed floors of repurposed department stores, each with its own enormous lobby, filled with curiosities designed to impress (and intimidate) the uninitiated. I’ve occupied brick and glass walled offices, the stuff of a sleek, hip, creative corporate world. Tap, tap, tapping, writing . . . always pecking away at a sentence, a lyric, a headline, a script, writing for others’ eyes and ears.
From commercial writing in Cleveland, I moved to a non-profit in Detroit. My office was a tidy, if not plush space overlooking traffic moving through the comfortable suburb of Blooomfield Hills. Still tap-tap,tapping on a keyboard, mustering sentences, articles and speeches for the benefit and approval of others. Nice work if you can get it.
My desks have always been an explosion of notes and papers, books and magazines. I’ve had floor-to-ceiling bookcases, large credenzas and flat-art file cabinets, stuffed with samples of my work collected over the years. Lots of years in there. And nothing in particular to write home about, come to think of it.
Today? After decades of work, I still have a dream job. Literally. I dream up stuff all day, in my role as an exhibit designer for a children’s science museum. My workspace is a cubicle no bigger than a queen-size bed, tucked away in a warehouse in an industrial park just beyond Detroit’s inner city limits. Nothing glamorous about the location. It’s a machine shop, actually - a hammering, sawing, dusty workplace, where carpenters, welders, painters, sculptors, electromechanical engineers, graphic designers - two writers (and a white Schnauzer, named Barney) - convene to create a little magic every day. My title is “Medical Science Exhibit Content Developer” - a designation that still makes me smile, as I have no background whatsoever in medicine, science, nor education.
My credentials for the job? An impeccable work ethic, a skill for quick study, curiosity, ever-present enthusiasm, and an ever-ready ability to tap-tap-tap a sentence together.
Where do I write? At my desk, when I’m not pacing. At my own pace, when I’m not interrupted. On my feet, when I’m stuck somewhere in the middle of a page. In the car, where I least expect a new idea. In the shower, where the day washes out of my hair. In the middle of the night, where lost words come gently, tap, tap,taping back to mind.
Writing for a living is unending work.
Living to write. Now there’s something I have yet to master.
As for blogging, writing for myself, freestyle, on my own terms. Wow, that’s an entirely new place for me. Still to be determined.
Will keep you posted.