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Monday, October 24, 2005

Trading spaces?

Time was… 1984.

That phrase will always remind me of junior year in high school when I had American Tradition (American history and lit combined), known as AmTrad. We used to watch the old Dick Cavett program, “Time was…1930s, 1940s,” you get the picture.

Anyway, I was thinking of that phrase because time was when I was a neat individual. I mean, look at this mess on my office floor. My co-workers used to mock me for my clean desk. I had this fetish about not leaving work until I had all files probably filed, all post-it messages resolved, all e-mail answered and all items crossed off daily list.

Not anymore. Maybe I’ve become lazy because I work at home. Maybe I need an assistant. I dunno. But I better get a system in place for this mess because chucking all the mags, books, papers, files, etc. into this one corner of my office is getting precariously close to slovenly behavior (something I abhor!).

'Tis a montage of Wendy Hoke, freelance journalist (not to mention a bizarrely cozy place for Riley to perch). I look at this photo (or at the “live” pile) and I see magazines I’m trying to pitch, magazines containing my work, books I’m either reviewing or pitching for review, publisher catalogs, leftover SPJ convention droppings, printout of an article that needs a little more revising, notebook of notes just waiting to be transcribed into something resembling an article and various miscellany that either needs to be tossed or filed.

Oooh, wait, save the deck of cards from Vegas.

Hey, how’d that photo get in the file for the pain book?

How many books can one read simultaneously? Isn’t there a way to make more money reviewing books?

The Didion is a treat for moi and must be relocated to the very large stack growing near my bed, but at least that gets it out of THIS stack.

Gotta save those issues of The Working Press for Stan.

What happened to all my magazine files? Oh, wait, they’re full. Crap! Maybe I can jam a few of these things into … my … book…sh–, oh wait, it’s full, too.

Oy! Anybody want to trade spaces?


Jill said...

Wendy - I'm telling you - there's a story to write and money to be made if we could organize a club of people willing to go into one another's offices and decide what stays and what goes. It could work, really.

Sad thought, though? You'd find that my space looks exactly like yours - especially the Didion book, the playing cards and the notebooks full of notes.

Jeff Hess said...

Shalom Wendy,

I once had a sweetheart deal with a journalism/communications major at John Carroll. Three days a week she came to my home office. For four hours she sorted, filed and organized according to my directions. Then for another four hours I let her work on whatever freelance projects I had going at the time. She did basic research calls and eventually some interviews for me as well. I'd sit with her and we'd do an evaluation of her work. It gave her some real world writing experience and me a neater office.