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January 13, 2012



I too am a heap and mounder. I have been trying to clean up my work space since July. Just last week I pulled out from underneath my photo darkroom counter Rolling Stone magazines dating back to 1984, a pile as long and wide as a twin size bed, nearly knee high.They were out of sight so I didn't feel like I was hoarding. Well congratulate me because they are going in the recycle bin! Just cleaned off my desk last week and it is only piled half as high as Big Rock Candy Mountain now. I also used a big board to keep me on track in the darkroom. I might have to use your system to motivate myself to write as well. We may actually be cousins separated at birth! Now get back to work and have a great day!


Rolling Stones dating back to 1984? That means you've got all the issues that came out when I actually gave a crap about contemporary music! Don't put them in the recycling bin. Send them to me! (So that I can shove them under my desk, forget about them, and let my children deal with them when they're cleaning out my office in 2045.)

Lee Nelson

Is this where I tell you that I write at my kitchen table?

Well, if you really want to feel jealous, I hammered out 3,000 words at the Queen Mary today and it only cost me $12.00 to park (didn't know about the parking fee, thought we were under 3 hours).

However, I want a big board like you. I want a big bulletin board where I can pin up my reference photos so I don't have to keep flipping back and forth in my notebook or, if I'm too lame and forgot to print them out, have to re-Google them. Btw, did you know that Queen Mary charges for WiFi?

Most mornings, though, I'm typing at the kitchen table and answering every five minutes the annoying question, "Mom are you done yet?" or the equally annoying question "Can you type faster?"

Next Saturday, my writing partner and I are going to try a new place to type. We think UCLA campus - only $10 to park all day.

Richard Prosch

Feel good about the clutter Steve, feel good. For in the other direction lies madness. I should know. I can't have the clutter, period. My desk is clean. You could eat off it --but then I'd spend the next couple hours tidying up, and get nothing written. Like you, I need vats of coffee...but those pesky rings won't let me write (where's the Windex?). But the guilt/panic thing? Yes. I am with you. And darned if it doesn't usually work.


Clutter and calendars are good Steve! At least you've got the right balance between guilt and fear. My novel has been sitting on the computer (in "outline" format) for at least four years. I feel the guilt (why am I watching Archer when I should be doing something productive?) but succumb to the fear (geez, that first page sucks). I'd say you're doing fine, and the calendar idea...hmmm, off to Staples I go!

Cap'n Bob

Compared to my desk, yours looks like Felix Unger's. My entire upstairs, in fact, could be featured on HOARDERS. I think I need to de-acquire.


Looks like I've got a couple converts to the Church of the Big Board (or Calendar). Not the catchiest name for a cult, but we'll spiff it up in revisions. We are writers, after all.

And hearing that most of you are untidy like me makes me wonder: Is general slobbiness a sign of a creative mind at work? And, if not, can I at least make that argument to my wife?

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