Tiny Office…Great View

I attended a workshop about income tax and the self-employed a few weeks ago. It was perhaps a bit premature; after all, you need an income to write expenses off against, but I’m nothing if not optimistic. In attendance were a diverse group of islanders with small businesses ranging from jewelry making to gardening.

The “Use of Home” subject came up, raising all kinds of questions about how to properly measure and report the space we use for conducting our business. Some artists use their entire home to store, display and create their art. Some gardeners and potters use outdoor space. Some have dedicated offices and others use multi-purpose areas, like kitchen counters and spare bedrooms.

It made me think about the space I use to write. We have an office at the back of the house. It has a wrap-around desk, a comfortable chair a large desk-top computer with a wired printer and every other “office” supply ready at hand.

I never use it. I feel isolated there. Stymied.

Instead, I’ve commandeered a corner of the dining room. I use my grandmother’s old sewing machine cabinet as a table and on dark days I turn on an old lamp of hers to light my little corner. I set my bevies on the cabinet by the dictionary, put my feet up on the ottoman and pull my computer into my lap.


My Writing Perch

Each day’s view is different. Some days it’s so bright I have to roll out of the glare. On other days, the fog creeps right up to the edge of the deck, obliterating everything. On stormy days, the windows are spattered with salt spray and tree debris from the incredible winds. Is it any wonder the beach and the storms find their way onto the pages of my books?

As I write this post, it’s sunny and I’m smiling to myself as two thoughts occur to me. 1. This space I use is far too small to warrant the paperwork necessary to “claim” it. And 2. How did I ever get so lucky?


About JP McLean

Author of The Gift Legacy, a contemporary thriller with a twist of fantasy that will leave you believing the impossible and wary of the night sky…
This entry was posted in On Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Tiny Office…Great View

  1. Mike Grant says:

    I don’t actually have a writing ‘space’ as such and I’m now realizing this is a problem. I use the dining room table, my back yard, or mostly my collectible room. It’s filled with books, toys, videos…you name it. The problem is while the atmosphere tends to be creative it can get a little distracting at times. Perhaps after I finish rebuilding our kitchen I’ll dedicate a little energy to creating a space within my space.


    • JP McLean says:

      One of the nice things about writing is that you can do it anywhere, but you’re right about distractions. Creating a dedicated space cuts out some of that, but hopefully not all; some distractions are worthwhile…like a hot mug of tea delivered with a smile and a plate of cookies.


  2. Juliana Lee says:

    I love your space. I too have forgone the large desk, filing cabinets, shelves of the basement office and I work from my favorite chair with my laptop actually on my lap, not a desk. Not sure I could work so close to the ocean, I know I’d be distracted!


  3. bgbowers says:

    You have an amazing, inspiring view, JP. I also have a desk that I never use. Right now, I’m sitting at the kitchen counter, other times I’m out near the pool. The best place to write is the place you feel comfortable 🙂
    p.s: I’ve just bought the first book in your trilogy. I only recently woke up to the idea that you could download an Amazon Kindle App. I don’t get to do much reading as a full-time mother, so I’m really looking forward to it.


  4. Pingback: Musical Serenade | J.P. McLean's Books

  5. olganm says:

    It looks amazing. I have an office upstairs, but although I did use it a fair bit, more recently I had moved to the kitchen, where I could see the garden and spread out more (I live alone, so I guess I can really truly write wherever I want).


What are your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s