I attended a workshop about income tax and the self-employed a few weeks ago. It was perhaps a bit premature; after all, you need an income to write expenses off against, but I’m nothing if not optimistic. In attendance were a diverse group of islanders with small businesses ranging from jewelry making to gardening.
The “Use of Home” subject came up, raising all kinds of questions about how to properly measure and report the space we use for conducting our business. Some artists use their entire home to store, display and create their art. Some gardeners and potters use outdoor space. Some have dedicated offices and others use multi-purpose areas, like kitchen counters and spare bedrooms.
It made me think about the space I use to write. We have an office at the back of the house. It has a wrap-around desk, a comfortable chair a large desk-top computer with a wired printer and every other “office” supply ready at hand.
I never use it. I feel isolated there. Stymied.
Instead, I’ve commandeered a corner of the dining room. I use my grandmother’s old sewing machine cabinet as a table and on dark days I turn on an old lamp of hers to light my little corner. I set my bevies on the cabinet by the dictionary, put my feet up on the ottoman and pull my computer into my lap.
Each day’s view is different. Some days it’s so bright I have to roll out of the glare. On other days, the fog creeps right up to the edge of the deck, obliterating everything. On stormy days, the windows are spattered with salt spray and tree debris from the incredible winds. Is it any wonder the beach and the storms find their way onto the pages of my books?
As I write this post, it’s sunny and I’m smiling to myself as two thoughts occur to me. 1. This space I use is far too small to warrant the paperwork necessary to “claim” it. And 2. How did I ever get so lucky?