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Monday, January 3, 2011

Jumpstart Monday // UPGRADE your writing space

I asked my daughter if she made any resolutions for the new year. She said, "What for? No one keeps them anyway." 

She has a point. Every year I vow to lose the weight (read here) and end up gaining a couple more pounds instead. 

Why do we resolve to do better every year when our resolution track record from years past is nothing to write about?

Keeping hope alive?

Prepare for success
Maybe we don't do enough to prepare for success. There's something to be said for beginning a new diet with a clean sweep of the refrigerator, pantry, and kitchen cabinets.

We ought to do the same with our writing space. Whether at the office or at home, this space is the place where missions are accomplished and dreams are realized. It deserves to be functional, organized, and beautiful. 

If your goal is to actually complete your writing projects this year, then before writing your first words of 2011, give some time to upgrading your workspace.

As I write this, my first post of the new year, I'm noticing that my workspace is a total disaster. Not just things from 2010 but as far back as 2005 are creating clutter. 

I'm not even a hoarder. Nevertheless scraps of paper have settled in piles. Dust covered DVDs and books patiently wait to be viewed and read. (One is Leslie Sansone's Walk Slim: Fast Firming! DVD. I forgot I had bought it!)

Today I encourage you to take stock of your workspace. Organize. Clean up.

1. Update reference tools. Yes we can use dictionaries and other references on the Internet, but many writers like to keep physical copies on hand. Check the copyright dates. It might be time to get the latest editions. Conventions change over time, and you should stay current in your writing.

2. Clean up. This might be an all day project, but it's worth it. Throw out stuff you don't need.

3. Organize. No more trying to find stuff that's hiding under a pile of old papers. Everything in its place. I hate to file, so I have a big drawer that I throw important papers in. So far this method has worked for me.

4. Furnish. Don't spend on big money wants. Get only what you need. I have so many books that I've run out of bookshelf space. Solution? Buy another bookshelf. That will be my one investment in office furniture in 2011, and it will help keep my space tidy. What do you need? 

5. Beautify. We writers need inspiration from time to time. Beautify your workspace with flowers, symbolic knick knacks that have special meaning for you, artwork – anything that makes you feel good just by looking at it. Every year I invest in an art calendar, and I love going to thrift shops for original art, silk plants, baskets, etc. You don't have to spend a lot of money!

Need a little inspiration to get started? Check out these beautiful work spaces here and here.

A clean, organized, and functional workspace can motivate you to write. Lower blood pressure, fewer panic attacks, and smiles can be yours with an office space upgrade. It's a great thing to do for yourself.

By the way, have any of you bought office furniture from Craig's List or Ebay? Was it a good experience? What did you buy, and how much did you spend?

Best wishes for a successful, prosperous 2011!

Donna Marie

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