If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind,
of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?
If I made a collage of my heroes, Albert Einstein would hold a prominent place. His quote above validates my feelings exactly. If you could see the condition of my desk when I'm writing a book, you might wonder how I ever find anything. (I guess this is where I take a photo of my desk.) Actually, I know pretty much what's in each pile of papers. (I hid some before I took the photo.) I just don't want to slow down my creativity by stopping to do what it takes to have an uncluttered desk. Last I checked, there was no medal for that. Correct me if I'm wrong!
II am NOT criticizing people who work best with a clean desk. Some of favorite people had meticulous desks, like Gordon, or Rev. Dean Martin, whose office manager I once was, as well as being his personal secretary. They've both crossed over so I feel okay about sharing a little anecdote about Dean. Dean was only calm when there was nothing in his in-box. I'll preface this by saying he and I got along great and I honor the amazingly good work he did while he was still in a body. I consider us friends.
As a founding member of The Cluttered Desk Society, I collect quotes for our scrapbook. Actually I'm the only member right now. I'm making this up because it makes me laugh! As a DataJunkie I'll probably look it up later. Maybe there actually is a group already.
Michio Kaku has been quoted as saying, It's pointless to have a nice clean desk,because it means you're not doing anything. (I don't believe that.)
Harold S. Geneed added: You can know a person by the kind of desk he keeps. If the president of a company has a clean desk, then it must be the executive vice-president who's doing all the work. (Definitely possible.)
Wow! That one's much worse than mine.
Dean was very disciplined, just like Gordon. Every day, Dean made sure his in-box was empty before he left for lunch. Every once in awhile, I'd save a couple of letters from his morning mail and wait until I was sure he was gone. Then I'd put them in his in-box and quickly get back to my office! I was just being my playful self and would manage to walk by his office when he came back from lunch just to see his priceless expression. I'm pretty sure he knew what I was doing because he took it as a joke, gave me that look and shook his head. Then he quickly got back to dealing with whatever I had put there.
Even Dean's bookcase was perfectly organized, a trait I wouldn't kid around about because I toyed with using the Dewey Decimal System to organize my own twelve bookcases at home. I managed to restrain myself and finally alphabetized them by authors' names instead, with no decimal numbers. When Dean was sitting at his desk with bookshelves behind him, one shelf appeared to be right over his head. One day while waiting for him to finish a phone call, I read the titles of the books which he housed on this prominent shelf. The titles told me that's where he kept his most meaningful books.
However, one book stood out right in the middle which seemed very much out of place. It happened to be my favorite book in the world by Jane Roberts who channeled an entity named Seth. I asked him what he thought of The Nature of Personal Reality. He said somebody gave it to him and he had never read it so he just stuck it anywhere without looking. I have excellent intuition and didn't believe that for one minute. He wanted to know why I was asking and I just told him it was my favorite book and I was surprised to see it there in such a prominent place. That was the end of that subject. I think he didn't want me to know he read a metaphysical book like that.
I'm not really sure why I'm writing about this but I just trust my muse and let my fingers do the walking on the keyboard. All I know for sure is I've written enough books to know I simply have to have all my research on my desk until my writing project is done. If I file it away or even keep it in a desk drawer, it just won't work for me. Out of sight, out of mind. Today I'm hoping my son Randall will hook up a third monitor so I can always have one on dictionary.com, which also gets me to thesaurus.com with one click.
An empty desk just doesn't work for me. If it works for you, I celebrate you. I'm pretty sure we can still coexist.