Faye Arcand, How to Make Your Writing Better, My Twisted Writer Brain…

What Does Your Office Say About You?

I’ve had some people ask me why I call my writing blog My Twisted Writer Brain.

For me, the act of writing is not always a conscious thought –Everything is a bit twisted, always moving and morphing. Try and stick with me as I explain…

There are times when I read back my work and I have absolutely no memory of writing any of it. I’ll marvel at the sentence structure, the dialogue, or the character on the page and be in awe of my own work.

I’m sure you’ve heard people refer to their writing as their “Book Baby” and that’s exactly what it’s like.

When a baby is conceived, grown, and birthed it passes through into the world to begin life and a new journey. The mother was a vessel of safety and nurturance so this gift could become tangible. Often times I feel the same way with my work.

A story, idea, thoughts fill my brain–rattling around and kicking to get out. I have to do the manual labour of sitting down and allowing my muse, if you will, to flow out the end of my fingers and onto the page.

Am I conscious of what’s being written? Sometimes but not always. It’s like being in the zone, so to speak, where it just happens. The “book baby”, or “poem baby”, or “word baby” is created/born.

My writer brain often works in a fast and furious fashion. Ideas fly out the fingers and onto the screen in a matter of seconds. Boom! There it is. But there’s also another side of my writer brain and that is the methodical, detail oriented, and stay up all night until 4 am thinking-about-it kind of brain. Ugh.

Sometimes ideas take hold and refuse to let go and other times I need to let go to allow the ideas to flourish. Knowing the difference is key to not completely losing your mind. In relation to writing. I fight with my thoughts or my twisted brain all the time.

I do most of my writing in my office which is a perfect replica of my brain. Lol…it’s a frikken mess.

My desk–an extension of my brain… I eat and drink at my desk. When I drop crackers I don’t bother to sweep but just call the dog and tell her there’s a treat on the floor. She’s ecstatic and loves that I’m messy.

This is not a picture of my real office but it made me feel good that mine is cleaner and more organized..lol

I’ve had to limit it to cups with lids because of too many spills. On my desk I always have a spiral note book….like omg–I’m obsessed with spiral note books–its scary….and of course I have at least five pens of which two probably don’t work.

There’s barely enough room for my key board but I make do. I keep saying I need a new desk but what I have to do is clean up the one I have.

I really–super duper–need to clean up my office. The shredding hasn’t been done in a while and the filing completely neglected. I can barely see my desk or printer for heaps of possible fodder and stuff that appears to have planted roots. And books…let’s not forget about books. They’re everywhere. There’s my TBR piles, the to be put back on the shelf pile–those are the only two piles I name or I’d go crazy.

I ask myself if cleaning up the office is necessary. It’s not a place where I entertain–it’s a place where I create, dissect, and/or carefully consider life’s most puzzling mysteries, motions, or misgivings. Would a clean office change any of that? Hmm…I think not. In fact it could end up being a distraction just as much as the mess is.

See! This is where I get myself into that loopy-crazy-conversation of should I or shouldn’t I? Makes me remember being a kid and saying to my mom…why bother cleaning up my bedroom, I’m just going to mess it up again.

So here’s the question of the day–does a mess affect the written word or the amount of work that actually gets done?

And, if you’re ever invited into my office, please don’t judge….

4 thoughts on “What Does Your Office Say About You?”

    1. As I sit in my cousin’s house glancing out the window at the high winds I can’t help but think that I’d love to be back in my messy chaotic space. It’s not because this one is terrible–because it isn’t. It’s beautiful and clean and….beautiful. lol. It’s not home. xoxo

  1. Love your office description. When I was freelancing full time my 3-drawer metal file cabinet was crammed with research material all dutifully stuffed into labelled file folders. Trouble was you don’t toss research material. It just accumulates and fills the cabinet. At some point I had to start stacking new research — clippings, notes, and my orphan jottings — into piles. That system seemed to work so I applied it to my query letters (the rejected in the same pile as the accepted except I labelled the rejects with a post-it). The piles around my desk just appeared like baby rabbits. Before I realized it there was a tower of mss (before computers I kept EVERYTHING I wrote…not sure why now because I also kept the mags and newspapers they appeared in…hmmm). I had every notebook I ever used in a teetering tower and the books I was reading rode the piles, opened like flayed fish ready for the smoker. Anyway, just a note to say I read your blog posts often and enjoy them. Thanks. — Stan

    1. Hi Stan. Nice to “meet” you. You just made my day. “Just appeared like baby rabbits”–this made me laugh. It’s so true. If I didn’t know any better I’d say the papers and mess breed into more of the same. Too funny.
      I can so picture your filing cabinet and all the research notes etc. I totally get it. I have “stuff” going back way before the onset of electronic filing. (Now you should see my e-files…just as messy –lol)
      I too have a copy of every article/column that was ever published and continue to this day to buy spiral note books to fill. And I LOVE it.
      Stay well Stan. Thanks for stopping by. Don’t be a stranger.

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