For the last several weeks, I have not been as consistent about writing as I have been in the past. This is not because I’ve run out of ideas. Quite the contrary. I have a list of posts I want to sit down and write.
The reason I haven’t been posting as much is because I’ve been hard at work trying to makeover my office. One of the barriers that I’ve been experiencing with regards to being able to get work done on writing – both blog and fiction, painting, sewing clothing, and so forth, has been a lack or organization in my office. Because of how many different things I do, it’s been hard coming up with a good way to store the various accoutrement that come with them. The result is that whenever I want to say, paint something, I end up having to pull out a bunch of stuff from various locations, which usually turns into a giant mess. The mess in turn grows bigger, messing with my concentration and with my executive functioning.
In addition, having stuff all over the place means that I often have to bend and lift in ways that I find uncomfortable and painful. It makes it that much harder to motivate myself to do a thing, since I know it will be preceded by moments of physical discomfort.
Being a writer can mean reading a lot, but lately I have been having trouble finding a good space to do that, ever since we found out that my medicating in the living room leads to the building hallway smelling strongly and some of it leaches into the neighbor’s child’s room. Alyssa’s bedtime is much earlier than mine, so reading in bed is not much of an option. Sometimes the work I want to do, doesn’t require sitting at a desk. When people come over to keep me company while I do work, or even to work together, I often feel bad about only having a folding chair to offer.
For months, I have looked at different options with regards to organization and accessibility. I made pinterest board after pinterest board, assessing the cost, the difficulty in building. I thought about what I really wanted, and I worked out sketches to decide exactly what I really needed.
Since money was an issue, one of the most important things was keeping costs down. I managed to acquire a circular saw so that I could cut wood down to the appropriate size myself, and I went on a hunt for free wood. One of the most common sources of free wood is pallets, and so pinterest often focuses on those types of projects. However, something many people don’t realize is that stores like Home Depot, Rona, Lowes – basically any store that sells lumber and offers cutting services – will often give away the bits of wood that people leave behind for free. When people come in and buy a large sheet of plywood, etc. and get it cut down to size, some people decide not to take the bits left behind. Since the store sold the entire piece, it’s already paid for.
Most often you are likely to end up with little bits of 2x4s, but if you are extremely lucky, you can get decent shelf and desk sized pieces. Some stores are starting to charge a scrap fee to the bigger pieces, but it can still potentially be worth it depending on how much they are selling for.
I lucked out and managed to find a huge haul of large flat pieces. The pressure treated wood, I used to build us a planter for our balcony that spans the entire L of the barriers. I’ve planted a bunch of vegetables which I am hoping will grow, be fruitful, and multiply – and that I will be able to can some amazing food and also save a little money.
For the last month, I feel like I have been building nearly non-stop. When I’m not building, I’m trying to rest my aching back and muscles. Building projects take a lot of energy even when you are abled, so as you can imagine, I’ve had almost no energy for anything else – including writing.
I’m finally approaching the end, which of course means I am surrounded by a giant seemingly unconquerable mess. I have the bones set up. I have a large desk that is divided into three sections, I have a wonderful nook for entertaining, medicating, and reading, and I have most of what I need to build the special items.
A lot of the project involves incorporating corkboards and pegboards around the room. Letting storage be within easy reach, without bending. Having everything stored in easy view will let me have a clear idea of what I have available and what I need when it comes to art supplies. I will be better able to choose colours, while also keeping things clean and organized.
Additionally I am working on shelves and desk additions to make it easier to move almost seamlessly from working on sewing clothing, to painting a new landscape, to working on the next book in the hunting blackbird series, to recording the next chapter for the audiobook, and so on and so forth.
Whiteboards and blackboards, which I make myself using stick on vinyl, spray paint, and assorted other tricks, as well as corkboards made from cork tiles and rolls, will make it possible for me to make notes about what I need to get done, when I have appointments, keep track of single papers and forms/surveys/receipts. I can work out some storyboards and keep track of important details for my stories.
I’m really excited by the project and can’t wait to post pictures of the results as well as instructions on how to make the various items, etc.
Just part of my ongoing attempt at reducing some of the stress in my life in the hopes that my body can finally relax enough to stop causing me excessive pain.