Saturday, March 7, 2015

Are Writers Pack Rats By Nature?


by Victoria M. Johnson

First let me say that I personally am not a pack rat.  I do have an affinity for certain things, such as office supplies... and books... and pens... and um, gadgets... but I'm more like an aficionado than a hoarder.  Really.  I don't seek these things out when I'm shopping; somehow they seem to find me.  Friends and family add to the dilemma by finding items they know I'll like and before you can say office supplies I have two dozen purple pens, oodles of heart-shaped post-it note tablets, and more lovely journals than I can possibly fill if I lived to be a hundred years old. 

Are Writers Pack Rats By Nature?  by Victoria M. Johnson

When I open a drawer of my credenza--to innocently grab a paper clip--I'm shocked at the number of notepads, whiteout correction tapes, and stacks of neon colored 3 x 5 cards that are inside.  It's as if they multiplied overnight.   Envelopes, postage stamps, and mailing labels fight for drawer space.  Where did all those highlighters come from?  But the excitement doesn't stop there.  I also have gadgets like extra flash drives, cables, hard drives, and other technical necessities.  Let's not talk about my iPad, scanner, and four-in-one printer.  Notice how I haven't brought up books yet?

I'm perfectly happy in my office.  Though it's starting to get crowded.  And I'm curious if other writers find themselves in this situation.  How many pens and how much paper do we need to be a writer?  None of us ever want to risk not having something to jot down those brilliant ideas that come to us, right?  A friend once asked me if I ever get writers block. "Only if I don't have a purple pen," I replied.  I'm not obsessed.  Purple makes me more creative.  Purple turns me on.

Are Writers Pack Rats By Nature?  by Victoria M. Johnson

Which leads to the big question: how many reference books do we need?  I can say I have all that I need.  Until I see another book that has new insights and inspiration.  Then I will want that one too.  Surely I'm not the only writer who behaves this way?  Take my quiz below and let me know how much you have in common with me.

1. Do you have more than two drawers of office supplies?
2. Do you have five or more sizes of post-it notes?
3. Do you own more than three thesauruses?
4. Are you happy you can write off office supplies on your taxes?

If you want to read more about my creative writing space, click here.

Victoria M. Johnson knew by the time she was ten that she wanted to be a writer.  She loves telling stories and she's happiest when creating new characters and new plots.  Avalon Books and Montlake Romance published Victoria's fiction debut, The Doctor’s Dilemma, (A 2012 Bookseller’s Best double finalist).  Her other fiction book is a collection of romance short stories titled, The Substitute Bride and a novella, Hot Hawaiian Christmas. She is also the writer and director of four short films and two micro documentaries.   Visit her website at http://VictoriaMJohnson.com and find Victoria's Amazon author page or connect with her on Pinterest and Twitter.
 

19 comments:

  1. How did you know, Victoria!? Yes to all of your questions. I also have shelves and cartons of books and magazines that may provide the answers to my research questions. Not to mention reams of paper, notebooks galore and pads of lined paper....

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    1. Hi Leigh--
      We must be related! Only my drawers are neat, the office, not so much. Thanks for taking the quiz.
      Victoria--

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  2. I call it "constructive chaos." It's how I write. Touch anything on my desk at your peril.

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    1. Hi Gina--
      Oh, that's a nice way to describe it. We writers are that way about our desks aren't we?
      Victoria--

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  4. I must not have the illness. I only have 2 sizes of post-it notes. Okay, three. Ooops. there's another one. Shoot. I'm ill. :)

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    1. Hi Sofie--
      That's what I'm talking about! They seem to multiply on their own :-)
      Victoria--

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  5. I don;t have two drawers of office supplies because I don't have an official office or desk. But scattered around the house, I have more tand han 50 pens in various bright colors, all kinds of necessary electronics, shelves of research materials, including a complete set of The World Book Encyclopedia, copyright 1985 (for historical research).

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    1. Hi Jean--
      Aha! One doesn't even need an office to have her necessary "stuff."
      Victoria--

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  6. I love post-it's. I think I hoarde them. Otherwise my desk drawers are a mess. I lose everything including all the cords to my cameras, Chargers cell phones. I really need help.
    Great column. Makes me want to organize. Sort of

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    1. Hi Kathye--
      I LOVE post-its too! I do love my drawers of writerly supplies. One of the smaller file drawers holds my cables, cords, digital recorder, multimedia reader, flash drives, and those types of items. It saves time to have them handy. See photo above.
      Victoria--

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  7. We are sisters. I love all kinds of office supplies - post-its, multihued pens, bright bulldog clips, etc, but I work only on the computer. Sigh. I am envious of your neat drawers - even if I straighten mine the next time I open them everything is jumbled again. Sometimes I wonder if everything runs and plays inside the closed drawer.

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    1. Hi Susan--
      I wonder the same thing, too! It's comforting to know I'm not the only writer hooked on office supplies :-)
      Victoria--

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  8. I have all the things you talk about, but not nearly so neatly organized. God bless the person who invented post-its. (I'm told it was an accident.)

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    1. Hi Sandy--
      What would we do without post-its? I didn't know it was an accidental invention! Thank goodness for making mistakes.
      Victoria--

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    2. I've heard that, too! I think it was supposed to be a new kind of glue, but it didn't fully "stick." Who knew they were creating a dream come true?!

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  9. I have 3 sizes of Post-Its if you count the ones that are shaped like a Christmas ornament with a reindeer on them. Those are usually the only ones I can find. Post-Its grow legs and run around my house, much like the Scotch tape and the scissors!

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  10. Hi Sierra--
    Cute post-it shape and thanks for the note above. It makes sense they were making a new type of glue! It's hilarious your office supplies do that too :-)
    Victoria--

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