Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Writer's Wednesday: Caring for the Environment.

Is Our Writing Environment Important to Us? Steeple Hill author Margaret Daley investigates.

I remember when I first stated writing back in the Dark Ages when I used a typewriter. I had my typewriter set up on the kitchen table. I’ve come a long way since then. I’ve advanced to a computer (and so glad I don’t have to revise a manuscript on a typewriter—a lot of work) and I have my own office with a door I can close when I want to keep the world out.

Have you ever tried to write and family members keep interrupting you and you lose your thought in mid-sentence? Or, you don’t have anywhere to spread your stuff out? There are times when I’m on a deadline that my office gets messy, but I don’t have to straighten up until I’ve sent my book off. I just shut the door so no one has to see the mess but me.

When I set up my office years ago, I put a lot of thought into its layout and furniture. I wanted something that inspired me and was comfortable. After all, I was going to spend hours and hours in that room. I spend more time in my office than any room in my house—even my bedroom. Okay, that may read that I’m a workaholic and I probably am but I have everything I need at my fingertips.
My office walls are painted hot pink with white trim. I didn’t know how I was going to like hot pink and thought if it didn’t work out I could paint over it. But I love the walls. I find the color is invigorating, and I haven’t grown tired of the hot pink yet. In fact, the color has grown on me.

Over the years I began collecting flamingoes. I love animals and flamingoes are hot pink. What better accent than that in my office! Now I have so many—from a giant six-foot stuffed flamingo to a Christmas tree with mostly flamingo ornaments on it. The tree is up year round. And if my cats leave the tree alone, the ornaments stay on it.

When I published my first book in 1981, my husband starting framing my books to hang on the wall. Now I have over sixty on the walls in my office. When I get discouraged, I can look at what I’ve accomplished in almost thirty years in the business.

How important is your workspace to you? For me it is my getaway where I can go to dream up stories to entertain readers. I usually read books for pleasure even in my office. I have a couch that is quite comfortable. I have been known to fall asleep on it.

What do you think is important in an office or a workspace?

Margaret Daley has a book out this month from Love Inspired called Together for the Holidays. In the story, a single mother with a traumatic past, Lisa Morgan only wants to raise her son with love and values. But lately the boy is struggling. When his basketball coach becomes a reluctant role model, Lisa is relieved. Until she learns that David Russell is also a cop. She's not ready to share her past—or her heart. And neither is the world-weary detective. Yet as Christmas comes closer, the true meaning of the holiday brings them together in ways they never dared dream.

Next month Margaret has a Love Inspired Suspense out called Christmas Peril, a two in one story with Debby Giusti.


  1. Love your office, Margaret! What do I think is important in an office? BOOKSHELVES! And lots of surface space for spreading out. And a big bulletin board for "stuff" and a huge wipe-board for sticky notes to map out plots. Plenty of storage for reams of paper and toner cartridges, too. I don't have any of this yet, but maybe someday! :)

  2. I don't have an office in my new house, and normally that doesn't bother me. I like the view from my couch in the family room. In deadline mode, however, I'd kill for a door--with a lock! (Soundproofing would be nice, as well!)

  3. Currently my office is in my bedroom until all the renovations are done on my house and I can claim the extra bedroom downstairs as an office. I have a door to shut and put a sign on to warn family members that I'm busy at work. The problem is that when I'm on a deadline, I feel like I live in this room and I long to have time outside these walls. Having office space will help me "go home" after a day of writing.

  4. I'm jealous of your office, Margaret! I love pink. :)

    I don't actually have a room for an office--other than the basement. I left that several years ago (it just didn't work for me.) So now I write on the couch on my laptop while the kids are at school. And sometimes into the evening. I can tune everything out pretty well.

    But I'm eyeing my oldest son's bedroom. He's in college now, and he's talking like he may do classes or an internship this coming summer. So I may take over! It would be a wonderful office. Two large windows that go to the floor. A nice new desk we got him last summer. I just need shelves...

    (Shh. Don't tell him!)

    Missy :)

  5. Any new flamingoes?
    Margaret, over sixty covers on the wall. That is awesome.

  6. What a fun office space. Mine looks like a bomb went off. Books piled everywhere, piles of papers, boxes of books that I haven't taken to the garage yet. But I can't work in a tidy space. My mind is like my office. Scattered.

  7. Glynna, I like the idea of a white board. I liked using them while I was teaching.
    Terri, I cleaned up the mess before I took the picture.