A friend of mine, author Nancy Robards Thompson, posted an article the other day that I could really get behind.
This article talks about the ties between being messy and being creative. Finally, someone showing scientific support for the idea that messiness can be a good thing!
One of my favorite lines from the article is this: "While it might look completely random to strangers, a lot of times, a person’s mess is very methodical – with respect to himself." So true! I keep telling my husband that yes, I do know where to find things in the place(s) I call an office. Those piles of papers are in a sort of order. One that makes sense to me. (Okay, not always. But usually.) He is always shocked when he asks me where something is and I'm able to go right to it in my piles of clutter.
I have two offices now. One is in my actual office and the other is in our den. For some reason the husband doesn't like my office taking over the den. Go figure. But sometimes it helps to have a different place to create. I can't create in a coffee shop, so I go to my den. Or back to my office if the den is too distracting.
Sometimes the mess will get to be too much for even me to tolerate. I like to clean my office in between books, but since I started working on more than one book at a time, that isn't always possible. Then I just have to wait until the mood strikes me. Which isn't often.
I'll admit I put things in odd places sometimes. Once I took a stick away from my dog--he would eat them and then throw up--and I couldn't figure out where to put it. For some reason, outside did not occur to me. (See, I think outside of the box!) My daughter found it and wanted to know why there was a stick in the breadbox. I still hear about that.
I lose my phone constantly. Sometimes I can't figure out where my phone is only to realize that I'm talking on it. I have several places to look when I lose my phone, but sometimes I'll put it in a random spot. And if it's on silent I'm really in trouble.
But I'm creative, not messy. I'd show you a picture of my creative office, but I cleaned it two days ago and I can't find the pictures I took of my desk and office when they were truly creative looking. That's okay, though. It won't take long to return to normal.
How about you? Do you work best in a clean, organized space? Or do you thrive in chaos and clutter?