Want Disease

Posted: August 21, 2009 in bitching, work, Your Opinion Matters

1icongirlreadingbookI have a major case of “want disease”. It’s usually something that I suppress pretty well, since the things I want are usually impractical or out of my reach, either financially or logistically. For instance, I doubt the homeowner’s association would appreciate a horse grazing away in my back yard.

Since getting this new writing gig, though, I’ve been thinking about all the things that I want, in order to facilitate my writing and photography. My immediate longing is for a space of my own – an office or room with a large desk where I can spread out. I was planning on turning Marie’s room into a home office, that could double as a guest room if the need arose (Michael’s old room is now used for storage). But since she moved back in (her lease was up, her boyfriend joined the military, none of her friends are in the position to share a place with her), that plan is going to be on hold for the foreseeable future.

In the meantime, I’m stuck with writing on my laptop while perched on the couch or the bed. The kitchen table is uncomfortable, and the tiny computer workstation in our bedroom is cluttered and cramped. I want a place where I can have an external monitor and keyboard, where I can put my legs fully under the desk, where I can spread out with books and gear and papers and trade publications. I want a space that is mine, where I can shut the door if I need to (more to keep the cats out than any particular human). A place that’s quiet and away from the mechanics of the household, that is dedicated (key point) as my working space.

I also want my own personal laptop. I primarily use the one that’s been provided by AcronymCo, and it is SLOW with a capital SLOW when I’m editing pictures. Calvin uses the one that we own for his personal, ah, “interests”, and I don’t want us bickering over who “gets to” use the computer when I have work to do. I want a permanent setup with a big ol’ monitor, external keyboard, and mouse, from which I can dock and un-dock. It would also need to be hooked up to a massive external drive to store all of my documents and pictures. I’d also love to have a top-of-the-line photo printer… you know, while I’m wishing.

I want, I want, I want. None of it is going to come any time soon, so I have to reconcile myself to a writing/working setup that is “good enough for now”. I have no idea on what that might entail. Any suggestions?

  1. Taoist Biker says:

    It depends. How many miles are on the Vulcan? 😉

    Seriously, I dunno. Dys has the laptop and a setup much like you describe (except the door), and much of the time she seems to prefer working on the couch with the laptop. Except when Boy and I are being noisy, etc., or she has something she really needs to concentrate on.

    • dyskinesia says:

      Dys prefers daylight and a comfortable place to sit, sadly having neither for her actual workspace. Frankly, Joanna’s idea is all that, a bag of chips, AND a Big Gulp. Would definitely force you to decide just what in that storage room is and is not blessing your life by being kept around. (I should talk…good Lord.)

      • Laura says:

        We actually go out of our way to cancel out daylight in the house, at least in the summer when it’s a bazillion and seven degrees out. And, what’s in the storage room is what was left AFTER we sorted through the stuff we used to have in off-site storage, and decided to keep.

    • Laura says:

      According to the Kawasaki tech, there aren’t *enough* miles on the Vulcan. 😀

      Yeah, there’s always noise in the house – the TV or music at least – so I’d like a different area than the living room to work in. It’s okay when I’m surfing or futzing around, but when I need to concentrate I’d like to have a less busy area to work in.

  2. Joanna says:

    Get a storage locker and take over Michael’s room. After all, you are way more important than whatever you have in storage! I’m just saying.

    • Laura says:

      😀 We used to have a storage locker but couldn’t justify the monthly expense when we had room in the house to store it. At that time, though, neither of the kids were home. Can’t say I can re-justify the expense just because I want a space of my own. Opportunity cost, call it.

  3. Calvin says:

    I’m working on something that might work I just need to get and HDMI cable and I should be able to turn the tv into your monitor. Then we could get you a laptop and you could sit on the couch and have a 62″ screen.
    Or you could always move the dust covered exercise equipment out and use the den:)

    • Laura says:

      Fancy! That might be fun, though I’d still be in the living room. You just don’t want me to be in another area of the house! I know how you liked to be smashed up against me all the time! When Zoe gives you the room, anyway…

  4. crisitunity says:

    I’ve written my current project (30,000 words and counting) entirely on my laptop on the couch. I use a pillow for the laptop and just go to it. There’s a setup downstairs for BF’s computer, and I have a tiny desk next to his large one for my computer – just so I’d have dedicated space – but it has ended up not working out. The couch, however, has.

    • Laura says:

      Yes, my current setup is a lapdesk that has room enough for an external mouse. I think I’m starting to develop back and neck problems, though. Ergonomics, don’t ya know!

  5. Shannan says:

    I say clear out the spare bedroom and get a laptop. We are expecting our second baby soon and had to lose our last ‘store room’. It was hard but I feel much better not having a room filled with clutter and junk. We made some tough decisions about keeping things. The fact that we had no alternative helped!

    • Laura says:

      We’ve weeded things down considerably to where it is today. I could probably consolidate everything to one corner of the storage room, and turn the rest into my office… hmmm… congrats on your new little one!!!!

  6. I don’t know how you work creatively, but you’ll find it. I could dream of “forcing” a place. The one that appeared for me was in a chair in our ocnverted garage or, of all places, in the vehicle where I spend most of my day driving around town. Anywhere other than that…and I struggle and have to force “it”…which is seldom productive.

    • Laura says:

      Exactly, I don’t want to “force” a place, but options are limited at the moment. Still, I’ve managed thus far… how are the notebooks and your post-10 p.m. creative time working out for you?

  7. Kami-O says:

    I have to confess the only reason I have a 2 bedroom house is for the sole purpose of turning one of the rooms into my office. I like the huge desk Paul bought me and I have painted the room dark and gloomy so all I need is the light of monitor and I’m golden! I can lock the door, which I do, to get work done..esp when I work from home.

  8. boundandgags says:

    I write all over the place in many different forms. I always have a notebook in my pocket (so I can jot down gems like: tennis playing serial killer who only kills line judges and ball kids who cough when he’s about to serve. On second thought, that could have just been a repressed dream I recently had from my tennis days). If I’m somewhere I can take notes or jump on a computer that’s there.

    At the house there are four computers. None of them mine. I do that on purpose, but, if pressed, I can use one. I do it so I take the time off. When I worked at home that was, obviously, different but it also made me work all the time. Now, at home, if I get an idea I reach over and pull out one of the many pads tucked around and work like that. It slows me down which is something I need.

    I know the need to acquire and find the right spot but, sometimes you just have to catch as catch can until the right situation rears it’s useful head. Good luck.

    • Laura says:

      Sounds like you’ve found what works for you! Calvin is going to help me clear off the workstation in the bedroom today. I was operating off of the false assumption that he wanted those CPU’s left alone, but turns out he doesn’t mind boxing them up.

  9. angelcel says:

    Having just had a major clearout of stuff that we *thought* we at one time needed [but in reality haven’t looked at in the last year] I can tell you that it’s positively cathartic to be free of it all. If it’s not beautiful, functional (or in our case of specific sentimental value), it has no place in our home. If you really can’t be free of yet more then I’d get a big cupboard to lock it away, out of sight, and then commandeer that room as your space.

    Well done on all the writing jobs BTW.

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