When you make that commitment to write, one of the first pieces of advice you might get is: find a place to work in. So, long before I decided to become a freelance writer and editor, I had an office in the house. It’s where I wrote and edited Angel’s Grace, and where I sent out letters that got me my first agent. It was a quiet room at the back of the attic that overlooked the backyard and a dogwood tree that bloomed spectacularly every spring. Bookshelves lined the walls, and was filled with my stuff exactly the way I wanted it because nobody came into my office but me.
That was then.
Years later, that room is now our guest room, and my office has moved to the second floor next to my bedroom–and everyone else’s. It was once my closet. And because it’s so accessible, everyone’s in there, all the time, moving stuff around, and grabbing things like scrap paper (no, not the stuff I’ve already printed on and put in a pile that says “scrap paper,” the new stuff straight from the printer), or tape (I open up a new pack of tape every week), and pencils (don’t your kids need a new pencil every day?), or they need to store something someplace, and this is the closest space.
So I’ve tried, on occasion to get them out of my office by saying things like: I work in here! and get out! and this isn’t a play room!
But when your office looks like this, that last one is a hard point to make.