Monday, June 04, 2007

I spent a painfully boring day at work today. It was two hours of productivity followed by six hours of sitting at my desk with nothing to do -- not for lack of initiative, but because everyone else in the department was frantically doing other things, and keeping me occupied was their very lowest priority. And, y'know, fair enough. But I still ended up with a huge chunk of time to fill. Alas, my supervisor had told me on Friday that I'd be busy all day today -- I don't think she's quite figured out how quickly I work yet -- so I didn't bother schlepping my study books in with me. So it was me and the computer, and that was it.

I tried to write a blog post -- really I did. But there's just something about a cubicle, something about fluorescent lighting in a windowless room, something about listening to the guy on the other side of the cube wall eat Fritos with his mouth open, that sends all my creativity and enthusiasm gurgling down the drain. It's an acceptable environment for doing stupid, easy work, but a singularly hostile one for an active mind.

Why should setting be so important to creative work? I mean, if you've got it, it shouldn't matter where you find yourself, right? How many books have been written inside dank prison cells? How many poems have been written on battlefields? How many cheesy little ballads have been written in institutional dorm rooms? Okay, not many good ones, but you see my point: is it the location that's messing me up, or is it just my own head?

I have a vision in my mind of the perfect work space. I love lots of natural light and pale wood, and I love white. I've always responded to texture more strongly than to color, so left to my own devices I tend to pick out neutral colors with interesting textures, and white carries light so well. Not that any space should ever be just a symphony of multi-tonal white -- you need something to break it up or else you'll go snow-blind -- but a really well-done white room is the best thing ever.

And there'd be plenty of flat surfaces, a little open floor space, a wall consisting of nothing but bookshelves, and there'd be a big, comfortable chair for reading. There wouldn't be a television in sight -- the older I get, the more sensitive I seem to become to the presence of a television. For example, I can barely sleep in the same room with one these days; just having it there makes it hard for me to rest, and makes it harder to focus and concentrate. But if having a TV in the room is unavoidable (I need something to watch films on, after all), it should at least be something I can hide away so I don't have to feel that big, cloudy black eye glaring at me all the time. Quiet is important; peace, privacy, a little noise from the street but none from inside. I have to be able to open the windows to let the air in. Painted plaster walls (white, obviously, or close to it) for sticking notes to, and homemade art on the walls up where I can't reach to stick notes. And flowers -- there should be some flowers.

Do you think I could actually do more or better work in the right space, or am I just kidding myself?
8:34 PM ::
Amy :: permalink