Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Is Your Workspace Special to You? By Margaret Daley


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 (or do any kind of work) 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 eighty on the walls in my office. When I get discouraged, I can look at what I’ve accomplished in almost thirty plus 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?

Bio of Margaret Daley:

Bestselling author, Margaret Daley, is multi-published with 94 books. She had written for Harlequin, Abingdon, Kensington, Dell, and Simon and Schuster. She has won multiple awards, including the prestigious Carol Award, Holt Medallion and Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest.

She has been married for over forty years and has one son and four granddaughters. When she isn’t traveling, she’s writing love stories, often with a suspense thread and corralling her three cats that think they rule her household. To find out more about Margaret visit her website at http://www.margaretdaley.com.

Blurb for In Defense of Love:

Maggie Summers thrives on the challenge and excitement of working on Capitol Hill—and can't wait for a little time away from it all every year. But this spring her peaceful vacation is threatened when her political adversary joins the bicycle tour she’s taken. Maggie finds herself irresistibly drawn to Congressman Nick Prescott who’s impossible to overlook in the flesh. For a short time she forgets the cutthroat competition of the Hill. For a short time she forgets her work demands she keep her private life just that—private. On the back roads of Virginia she loses her heart. How is she now going to fall out of love with one of her greatest political opponents?

19 comments:

  1. I so enjoyed a glimpse into your writing life, Margaret! I am still in awe of how much you did as the ACFW president, as well as writing so many books every year. You are in inspiration! And now, I will think of you when I see flamingoes. :)

    Roxanne

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    1. Flamingoes are perfect for a hot pink office.

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  2. Hot pink? Margaret, I would never have guessed.
    What I can't figure out is why my first office was smaller than the one I have now, but I kept it neater?
    Now I just dig out at the end of each book and then start piling again. What happened to me???

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    1. Lyn, I love hot pink. I wear it a lot in the summer.

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  3. I love the pink! So energizing and whimsical. I tried painting one wall celery green and it turned out more on the asparagus green side. I've grown used to it. Thanks for sharing

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    1. The walls are energizing. I didn't expect that and was pleasantly surprised.

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  4. Margaret, my office is all over my house. I have yet to get a nook all to my self. There was a time when I had one, but my husband has confiscated it as his.lol I think maybe when my daughter leaves for college I will take over her room. I think it's wonderful that your husband has put your books in frames. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. I hope you get an office soon that is your very own. It's my favorite room in my house.

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  5. Love the color of your office, Margaret. Mine is a rather dull pinkish cream, covered with bits of paper stuck on the wall. Unfortunately, it has to double as an office for my other work, the business I run. My desk is a permanent mess and I find it impossible to keep it tidy. But it seems to work for me!

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    1. I tidy up after every book, then it gets messed up again.

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  6. Margaret, Thank you for sharing your office and its fun decor! I live in a studio apartment and write on a laptop... I don't even have a desk anymore. That has been a bit of a challenge, but the view makes up for any down side. And as Lyn said, the place is small and easy to keep neat. (Any clutter is easily blamed on the cat.)

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    1. I'm with you on blaming my three cats for the clutter. Right now I'm in deadline and my coffee table by my couch where I work on my laptop is a MESS.

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  7. I share an office with my husband. My side is usually a mess. He tolerates my less than tidy space.

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    1. I can't imagine sharing my office with my husband. I'd never get anything done.

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  8. My husband works from home & has his office decorated in a golf theme! I have a desk in there but prefer the coffee table in the family room next to the fireplace. I love your hot pink which is my favorite color & I love the idea of framing your books. What a thoughtful husband! I can see why you write fabulous books, you have such a neat space to work from! Linda

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  9. I tend to work on a laptop and move around from bed to couch to ... back to the bed. I do have a spare room I'm converting into an office but its taking a long time and I don't use it that much. BTW I love your pink walls!

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  10. I don't have an entire office, but I do have my books on hand to remind me how far I've come.

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  11. Enjoyed reading about your office Margaret. In El Paso, in my parents home, where I lived for my pre-teens to teens, then back in my 30s while working on a BA and MA (while in TV and taking care of my parents in ill health) I had a studio office from 1999-2001. I painted the walls a dark blue with glossy white molding trim. I also found a remnant thick commercial carpet left from the recarpeting of a large Presbyterian Church Chapel. It was my best office for then Video Production and writing.

    Since relocating to DFW in late 2001 the home we share here is less than 1900 SF. The one in El Paso was 5000 sf. Bedrooms there were 3.5 times larger than the phone booth's I live in here. I wish I could afford to create such a work space, paint, find carpet and create an office.

    I tried in late 2013 to share the old former Video production studio (with its now museum of broadcasting equipment) but I was never productive writing in there. I'm most productive in my bedroom with a glass/metal table/desk near a window to the street side and writing there or from my bed next to it. Have a Sunbeam heated throw that is reminiscent of the carpet I had in El Paso and most comfortable with my bed as a desk with notes, notebooks, books and reference books scattered about. I was most productive here in 2012 and to it I have returned.

    Thanks for the tour and seeds of thought. After all our challenges and deaths recently - I hope to become more productive to have at least one LIH to frame for my wall. Hopefully a 3 book series. PS - before Dad became ill (in 1997) and passed (in 2007) he was a custom frame shop owner and artist in residence. So most of my radio and television career is framed like your office; records, bumper stickers, awards, community service plaques, certificates, momentos are in my studio. I miss Dad and wish he and my mom (living) can see me successful and happy once again. I sure pray that for myself as well.

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  12. I love the hot pink, Margaret! How perfect for a romance writer. :)

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