Jenny Anne Mannan

American Songstress

Work Station In Progress

10 January 2012

 Caleb is always talking.

(Talking not pictured. He was busy driving and listening to rock n roll.)

Lately he’s been asking me all about my work station - you know, that perfectly quiet, orderly place where I can go to shut out all the sounds of the kids and the world, where the chaos is contained, where all visual and tactile stimuli are perfectly designed to enhance creativity…I hope you can hear the hollow laughter in my head. It’s pretty loud.

But pipe dreams notwithstanding, I think he’s onto something. Caleb’s writing desk is strewn with favorite books, WWII knives, and vintage bookends, among lots of other things that taken as a whole look like clutter but individually comprise his physical sources of inspiration. He says when he gets stuck, he looks at a book, or picks up a physical object that gives him a tangible link to his work.

I like him. I think he’s wise. And I like it when he talks. So, I’ve been working to set up my desk in a way that makes me take a deep breath, ignore the lunch dishes that are still on the table, and listen to those ideas in my head. Even though I can choose to look at the dirty water glasses at my elbow, I also have the option of looking straight ahead.

See? The antique owls aperch behind the vintage rosin on the stack of pretty books? I feel inspired already.

Then there’s the question of what sort of book in which to write. Spiral bound? White paper? Lined or unlined? Ball point or roller ball pen? It’s a highly personal choice, and finding the perfect combination is a little like finding the perfect wand (“The wand chooses the wizard!”). I’m a spiral bound, unlined, matte paper with a ball point pen kind of girl:

It’s coming along. Waiting for inspiration is a little like waiting for lightning to strike. But it’s so much better if I’m prepared when it does.

Copyright 2016, Jenny Anne Mannan. All rights reserved.