I really enjoy looking at other people’s workspaces… so I found this blog on famous workspaces fun to look through. (I want a space of my own very much… and I want to nail down exactly what it is that should be my “work” very much also… I’m sure my obsession with work spaces is closely tied to my existential vocational angst.)
In any case, Charles Dicken’s office/study caught my eye.
Looks like a good place to think… to write… to do whatever the heck Charles Dickens wanted to do. (Though he probably wasn’t sitting around wondering what vocation to pursue as, according to Wikipedia, Charles Dickens…
…left school to work in a factory after his father was thrown into debtors’ prison. Although he had little formal education, his early impoverishment drove him to succeed. Over his career he edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels, 5 novellas and hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles, lectured and performed extensively, was an indefatigable letter writer, and campaigned vigorously for children’s rights, education, and other social reforms.
Well, WTF have I been doing with my time? Perhaps had my father been thrown into debtor’s prison I might have made something of myself. Thanks, dad. Let’s pretend it’s that, rather than lack of talent, or diligence or, well… any number of shortcomings on my part…
Rainn Wilson’s office is my favourite and looks a tad more comfortable (his so-called “man cave” — but I don’t think it’s all that manly… it’s rather perfect.)
I might have mentioned it here before (and let’s hope I’m not already repeating myself on this blog), but part of the problem is when one is a married parent there is very little privacy and “alone” time. You can be alone in a room, but there is always the threat of intrusion, and that seems to interrupt any sort of creative or attention heavy work. Even as a child growing up in a house of five there was a little more personal space, because at least I had my own bedroom (for most of the time… for a few years I did share a room with my younger sister). But married adults tend share a bedroom, or at least most do, so my husband I work/study in little coves and stairways etc. around the house. The irony is that the children do have their own bedrooms, but they largely sit empty because they prefer to congregate in the family room! We also have a living room sitting empty and seeing very little “living”, because our place is open concept and so the living room is a noisy place to work. So all this empty unused space, but some of us desperately needing space. Oh, to design a home ourselves that makes sense for what we actually need!
That’s why I think an “office space”, or studio, or work shop, is the key to adult happiness in a shared household. (My husband would much prefer a garage, or better yet, a place like James May’s ” Man Lab” — which, incidentally, is a GREAT show.)
On a related note… the little space I did have carved out in the corner of our bedroom recently, errr, came under demise.
Cosy, isn’t it?
A brand new laptop battery quite literally exploded my laptop in the wee hours of the morning a couple of weeks back, causing a fire. Please don’t leave your laptops charging at night while you sleep, or even while you are away from the house. This could have been much, much worse… so much so that it haunts me…
So I continue to fantasize about having a studio or room or nook or… well, a secret cabin in the woods would be nice, though perhaps that would be too isolated. I don’t want to be alone-alone, just a bit of space all my own. And work spaces in offices with other people don’t do it for me… I’m talking about a refuge.
A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. ~Virginia Woolf