Does a messy home (or office) make you anxious and cranky, or is cleaning something you just do before company comes over?
I love it when my office is clean and streamlined- it makes me feel strangely professional and organised. As soon as I start to write, however, it looks like a bombsite!
I have piles of research notes at the side of me which somehow immediately become out of order, not helped by the fact that I knock them onto the floor almost immediately. If I don’t do that, Alfred the Great will helpfully take over that role.
My paragraph plans take up a lot of space, especially if I’ve been experimenting with their format and they’ve stretched across several A3 pages of paper that I’ve inexpertly sellotaped together.
I collect numerous plates, glasses and mugs around me as I don’t seem to be able to write without shovelling something into my face. I have a collection of Funko Pop dolls on my desk, which get moved around and re-positioned as I need them to hold Post-It notes that I scribble to myself. Hermione Granger has a nasty habit of falling forwards, so I have to have a wodge of white tack under her feet to keep her upright that gets spread across the desk.
I usually have a London A-Z propped open somewhere so that I can check on the name of streets, as well as a few books on nineteenth century male clothing. I have a Yankee Candle burning, usually, as the smell helps me write, somehow.
Oh, and at regular intervals, Alfred the Great leaps up onto the desk and positions himself between myself and the laptop, demanding a scratch. Alfred is a very hairy cat, so when I do give him a good scratch, many loose hairs are pulled from his coat and are deposited over me, the desk, the floor – everywhere.
I work in a terrible state, but there is something wonderfully cleansing about packing everything up at the end of a writing session, or even better, at the end of a book! Everything gets dusted and hoovered and filed away in special folders, the Funkos get put back in position and Alfred is banished from the room.
Ready for the next writing session!