The Cure for All that Ails You

I don’t have an office. I don’t have a study nook. I don’t even have a nice, quiet out-of-the-way place to sit at my computer and write. I don’t even have a real desk.

My computer is set up on a tiny, old 4-seater dining table. It’s in the living area. Well, kind of the main thoroughfare between the hallway (to the bedrooms) and the outdoor area, right next to the kitchen. The advantage to this is that I can always see what the kids are up to. The disadvantage is that I don’t ever have the chance to closet myself away from everything, and focus on what I’m doing.

To make matters worse, I have no window to look out of – just a blank, white wall behind my monitor. I’ve tried sticking pieces of white paper with motivational quotes on to it, but it doesn’t really help. It’s still a blank wall that sucks away my creativity and makes me feel like I’m sitting in a dungeon. My monitor is raised on a stack of old phone books. My notes are stacked in an old “pigeon-hole” set up that takes up over half the desk space. To sit in front of my monitor, I have to squeeze my chair so far to the left, My leg is pressed up against the table leg. And there’s not even enough free space to open an A5 notebook beside me.


Talk about a non-creative space.

Yes, yes, I know. People write novels on paper napkins. Or in notebooks, 100 words at a time. Or in a local cafe.

People do.

But that doesn’t mean I want to.

So I went stationery shopping yesterday. I spent an hour drooling over new desks, awesome office chairs, and “luxuries” like these:

I filled a basket with notebooks, pens, highlighters, mini-whiteboards, colourful whiteboard markers, magnets, more pens, folders, sticky notes, a matching mousepad and notebook, another few notebooks, a series of matching archive boxes, and multi-shaped post-it notes. Then I added up my would-be purchases and realised that it was going to cost me almost $500.

So I put it all back.

Then I decided on a colour scheme (black fixtures & yellow stationery), and carefully picked: a single archive box with yellow drop-folders, a black folder stand & yellow manilla folders, a black pen holder, some yellow cardboard, a box of “stationery all sorts” like paperclips, pegs and mini-bulldog clips, and one (only one) notebook.

I was so excited to set up my new desk space. The yellow reminds me of sunshine and happiness, and also makes it feel less like I’m sitting in a cold, dark dungeon. I also used some pretty wrapping paper to cover up the old phonebooks my monitor is sitting on.


I wish I’d thought to take a “before” picture, but my “after” picture looks like this:

(As an added bonus, my husband tells me that the bright colour scheme is sure to scare off any intruders…)

What do you think – is buying stationery a good way to spice up your creativity? Or just a more creative way to procrastinate?


Filed under The Inner Geek

5 responses to “The Cure for All that Ails You

  1. Anything that makes you feel positive and happy when you sit down at your desk is a worthy expense and use of time, I think! That being said, my desk is in need of a good reorganization at the moment. Instead of cleaning it, I’ve been working at the kitchen table. Hmm. Maybe I need some office products…

  2. I’m impressed that you have a defined space at all. All my writing is done on my laptop which sits on my lap (well it’s not called a laptop for nothing) while I sit on the lounge and watch the kids or watch TV. I know pathetic and I actually have an office (currently referred to as the junk room) that I guess I could use if I bothered to tidy it up. Then again if I didn’t write in front of the TV I would miss all my favourite shows.

    • It’s easier to write with a laptop on your lap, than a desktop. 🙂

      If I had an office, I think the boys would struggle to get me to leave it. So probably a good job that I don’t. Whatever works for you, though. I just find that when I’m watching the kids, I struggle to get words on paper/screen.

      The question is – do you actually get to watch real “grown up” shows on TV, or are you (like me) relegated to watching kids shows all day?

      • definately only kids shows during the day (right at the moment I am watching Tangled while my son smashes his wiggles guitar on the ground rock-star style!). I am lucky though, my kids go to bed quite early (they are normally asleep by about 7) so I get a few hours of grown-up telly in of an evening.

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