Monday, January 25, 2016

My work space

A group called WeWork asked me to post on my blog about my work space and their idea. It’s an innovative thing for writers and other self-employed professionals: group office space at reasonable rates. They offer solitude or companionship, whichever you want, and serve as a member network to help writers connect to others. Depending on what you want, they offer healthcare, travel, gym memberships, web hosting, and accounting services—oh boy, do I need the latter. For the meantime, though, I’m happy in my at-home workspace.

One day my oldest daughter called and said she had remodeled my house. I wanted to say, “Thank you very much but I like it the way it is.” Instead I listened. My office then was in a dark bedroom--windows but no view of the street or people. It was like a little cave. Megan suggested making that room a guest room and moving my office to the awkward little bedroom off the front room, adding French doors.

After extensive construction (which also ended up re-routing the ac/heat ducts, replacing the attic stairway, thoroughly checking out my furnace, and extensive painting), it was done. We moved my long white desk in there, and lined one wall with a free-standing bookcase. A second bookcase fell apart in the move. The room is airy and sunny with windows to the front of the house and the driveway—with the dog’s help I can keep tabs on who goes up and down the driveway.

I love the atmosphere of my office. The books make it cozy and also inspire me to keep at my work. I can look out into the living room and, on cold days, enjoy warmth from the fireplace. Sometimes my daughter entertains at my house instead of hers, and I can visit, enjoy the company, and then retreat to my private place. When my dog was a pup, I kept her in the office with me, doors closed, so I could train her. Now it’s her space, and she curls up in the now-filthy overstuffed chair.

I spend hours every day at my desk, the TV often on but softly, sort of for company. If I’m home alone, I eat my meals at the desk. Late at night, you’ll find me reading or prowling Facebook. But during the day it’s all work. I start the day with email, Facebook, and the morning paper. And then I get down to work on whatever my current project is.

I am fortunate that I live alone and enjoy solitude and the uninterrupted time for work, but many others don’t enjoy the advantages I do. Check out and see if there’s a location near you. I am always impressed by entrepreneurship and give these folks a vote for success.

I am now faced with change and a decision—I will be moving to the cottage behind my house, and my youngest daughter and family will move into my house. She wants me to keep my office where it is, but I think I’d feel more at home in the cottage if I had my work space there. I could take my desk, my bookcase, and my TV. And of course the dog. What more does an old lady need? Then again, maybe WeWork is the answer for me.

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