Archive for the 'psychology' Category

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009 by Sasha White
Being a professional

I Feng Shui’d my home office yesterday – again. By again, I mean I did it less than a year ago too.

Why did I do this? Because I’m trying to find ways to streamline my focus and increase my creativity, and I believe in the energy we draw from the things, and people, around us.

Streamlining my focus is important because it’s all too easy to get distracted when I should be writing. And finding ways around these distractions is part of working from home, and being your own taskmaster. Increasing my creativity is important because, well…because I don’t think of myself as a particularly creative person. That’s another story though…today, I want to share some things I learned about creating my space.

Old DeskWhen I first set up my second bedroom as an office, I had my desk so I could look out the window. This worked for me, and for my cat, who was distracted enough by what was outside the window to not chase my typing fingers all the time.

I wasn’t distracted by what was outside because I was super focussed and determined…something that I’ve learned can change over time – but again, that’s a different story.

Two years later I quit my job to write full-time. It was a drastic change, that at first, was great. I was super productive for a while…then slowly other things started to creep in. After a while I was distracted by emails, instant messages, the doorbell, dirty dishes. I’ve always been a believer in the energy that we draw from each other, as well as the things that surround us, so when a friend suggested Feng Shui, I tried it.

I cheated though, I looked it up on the internet, and followed some tip sheets without really reading them. Sort of like This One , or This One.

Scarlet Desk3By not really reading it, I just followed the outlined parts. I positioned my desk so I was facing the door, I put a Red Candle on the corner of my desk that would encourage money to come to me, I put a plant on another area, …and on and on. And it felt good for a while.

Until my cat killed the plant by chewing on the leaves and I worried her tail would catch fire if I lit the candle.

Even though, that set up still worked pretty good for almost a year. However, I felt the need for a change yesterday -and no, it didn’t have anything to do with the fact that I wasn’t ready to start my new story – so I googled ‘Home Office Feng Shui’ again, and got to work. And this time I actually read everything, not just the highlighted tips. *blush*

The key thing I missed before. You’re creative space has to work for YOU. My desk no longer faces the door, but my back isn’t to the door either. Instead, my desk is up against a wall. A wall that is a light grey (little did I know when I painted it in the summer that the color encouraged clarity and preciseness). Being against the wall works good for me, because then the only thing in front of me is my computer..this helps ME stay focussed.

Just out of my eye line are a couple of pieces of art, one of them a very brightly colored painting I brought home form Nepal a long time ago. I put my bulletin board on a smaller wall, with posters and promo items from my books on it, to create not only color and energy, but to remind me of my successes. And behind me, against the other wall, is a small bookshelf with a little rock garden and some candles on top of it. Pens, notebooks and other things that help me work are on the shelves, in brightly colored containers form the dollar store. Easy, cheap, bright, and yet, not distracting.

Desk3 BBoard

The room feels good, and even though that took me the better part of the day, I still managed to get a lot of actual work done. So I’m feeling the energy flow. *grin*

Now, after all that, if you don’t have an office, or a dedicated working space, don’t sweat it. When push comes to shove, and a deadline is looming, I usually just grab my Neo and sit where ever I can. You don’t have to have an office to be a professional writer. I went back to work several months ago because I was going a bit stir crazy turning into the crazy writer hermit, and I think that , more than anything, has added juice to my creativity. I work as a bartender/waitress, and a lot of my notes and best lines are written on napkins and shoved in my pocket in the middle of my shift.

The point is, you have to do what works for you. If you don’t believe in energy you can’t see, then Feng Shui won’t help you. If you can’t stand staring at a blank wall, then a desk against a wall won’t help you. One of the most important things a writer needs to learn in order to become a professional, is what works for them…for me, the blank wall works…as does serving food and drinks to people a couple of nights a week.

Being a professional is more about doing what you need to to get the job –no matter what the job is– done, than where you do it. For me, it means changing my office around fairly often, trying new things, and keeping an outside job to stay sane and focussed when I do sit down to write. What helps you stay focussed when you have a particular task to approach?