The Hoarder’s Writing Shop and Table

Something from Ecclesiastes…

some poems I haven’t finished (or rather am not ready to part with)…

part of an email conversation about the role of technology in an English classroom…

a paragraph I like from a letter I didn’t send several years ago…

I have a Word document that serves as a sort of a giant virtual workshop at the center of which is a virtual worktable where I can tighten the vice down on an idea or topic. Some things in the shop have been there a long time—projects continually pushed aside for more pressing ones. They hang on hooks on the wall next to virtual hammers and virtual screwdrivers.  I thought I would at last get to most of these over the summer—my May ambition to write more seems quaint to my September self. Somehow they never made it off the wall and onto the table. Some of them probably need to go to the dump, but I don’t quite have the heart to let them go.

Other things are in the shop and on the table only briefly before they move over to the blog. My last entry, for instance, about trading in my pick-up truck was only on the worktable for thirty minutes or so over the weekend before I moved it over to WordPress. I am writing this entry right now on the worktable. There is a television in the shop tonight, so the US Open is slowing me down.

This Word document is more woodshop than office, and its worktable designed more for a hack carpenter than a draftsman.

It is a place where the criteria for inclusion is limited to what may or may not be ever relevant to the creation of something else. In this way it is a hoarder’s writing shop, complete with overfull boxes of conceit washers, idea screws, and pentameter wood scraps.

If only my Mac Air could produce the perfect woodshop smell.

2 thoughts on “The Hoarder’s Writing Shop and Table

  1. John Burk September 4, 2012 / 7:21 pm

    Ross,
    I like this approach. But you might want to consider ditching word and going with a purely text-based approach to housing this giant document. It will free you from the burden of dealing with microsoft word, and there are a ton of great text writing applications out there for both mac and iOS that would let you edit this document on the mac, and then seamlessly switch over to the iPad. One app I really love is Byword. It’s a simple, distraction free writing environment that might just be the woodshop always wanted.

    • J Ross Peters September 5, 2012 / 7:07 am

      Thanks for this, John. I will certainly check out Byword. I definitely like the idea of going back and forth between the Mac and iPad. Hope all is well there.

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