Anne E. Johnson
by Anne E. Johnson
I can’t really call this my writing space. Almost all my first drafts are born of pen meeting paper in the corner of a coffee shop, on a subway seat, or on my living room couch. This picture shows my revising and editing station. However, as any writer knows, that’s the stage when the magic in a book is uncovered and allowed to flourish.
Yes, yes, it’s a mess. Insert famous quote here (attributed to Einstein) about the importance of clutter to the development of genius. But in this junkyard are buried countless comforting items and features that keep me seated and working for hours at a time.
Inside info? Why sure! Here are two elements of my workspace philosophy:
The “desk” itself is not a desk. My ancient laptop sits on a sewing machine table from the 1940s that my great grandma used for its original purpose when I was a little kid. It’s beat up and even squeaks a little, but I love it.
Perpendicular to that, forming what’s called an “ell-shaped desk” among hifalutin types, is a truckload of notes and manuscript pages (and a box of Kleenex for when a sad scene makes me cry) dumped onto an aluminum TV-dinner table.
For an extra chuckle: the long cardboard box you see behind the computer contains a “real” desk that simply needs assembly. That box has been sitting there for years because I won’t give up my sewing table.
I need company, protection, inspiration, humor, and comfort while I’m working. Therefore I keep myself surrounded by a bevy of friends:
For company and support, there’s a picture of my husband.
For protection against the lethal brain drain of negative thoughts, there’s a poster and action figure of The Wolverine.
For inspiration when the idea factory threatens a strike, there’s an ever-changing gallery of creative people I admire. At the moment I’m watched over by playwright Terrence McNally, painter Keith Haring, and dancer/director Tommy Tune. Of course, I’m inspired by books, too, but we own over a thousand; only a tiny percentage of them are stored near my work station.
For humor, there’s a giant plush pineapple, a clock shaped like a chicken, and two friendly monsters named Nerdyworm and Plum, painted by a company called Kudu-La.
For comfort, especially in the winter when the office gets very cold, I keep a pair of fluffy pink slippers in front of my chair.
Visit Anne's website to discover all the magic she creates!