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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Guest blogger ~ Robin Caroll

All her life, Robin Miller, writing as Robin Caroll, has been writing. Whether in diaries, journals, short stories, poetry, or fiction, she's been drawn to the storytelling aspect in life. She loves everything about books--the way they look, the way they smell, the way they feel. The author of 9 books and counting, Robin and her family proudly live in the South, with all its hospitality and days-of-ole traditions.

The "Art" of Writing

Okay, so I'm not artistically inclined. At all. My stick people aren't even recognizable. Seriously. Just ask my 7 and 9 yr olds--they'll tell you Mommy can't draw. Or paint a picture. Or sculpt. Or do pottery. Or knit. Nope, Robin can't do any of that. My creativity is limited to writing stories and scrapbooking. And when I look at the spaces I have that I "create" in, I noticed something...I do my best when I'm surrounded by a mess.

Thus, the mess you see in the picture of my desk. I have several writing books open, papers everywhere with notes on research all over the place, and general disorder prevails. But I do my best work in the mess.

I've seen writers' desks that are pristine. Not even neat piles of books or notes marring the clean surface. Just a keyboard and monitor. That would drive me up a wall. So I have to wonder...why is it I can't work unless everything's all over the place? After thinking about it some, I came to a conclusion.

My life is chaotic, so I can't function within the confines of neatness. I have children--they are constantly around, talking and making noise. Thus, I can't write in silence. I write for two publishers, so I'm always on deadline. Thus, I can't take the time to clean up my desk, and if I did, I'd never be able to find vital information when I needed it. I'm the conference director for ACFW and that involves almost daily interruptions. Sometimes hourly. Thus, I can't isolate myself and focus strictly on one thing at a time.

And I realized something else...I write romantic suspense, which means I'm going to put a lot of conflict and tension in my stories. (And as many dead bodies as I can work in) My characters' lives aren't neat and orderly. They might think they are, but I assure you they aren't.

I now accept that I thrive in disarray. Something about clutter and piles comforts my inner muse. Opens up my creativity. Lets the imagination wander.

So don't ever feel bad that your desk is cluttered or you have piles of papers and books around you. Embrace it. Enjoy it. You just might realize you're one of the few, the proud, the "creating in the disorderly."

by Robin Caroll

And PR representative Sadie Thompson is on the case. When she's assigned to investigate the damage to her employer's oil rigs, she knows it's her chance. Finally, she can prove she's left her "bad girl" past behind her. Yet someone wants the evidence to disappear—and is willing to threaten Sadie and Caleb, her recently paroled half brother, to make it happen. Caleb's parole officer, Jon Garrison, is watching them both closely, waiting for one of them to slip up. He doesn't trust Sadie—can she trust him? She needs Jon's help, and has nowhere else to turn….


  1. Great article! My desk is also a mess. I'll clean it every once in a while, but, in a matter of less than a week, it's messy again. I couldn't keep my office clean if I tried! Blackmail sounds like it's a good book!

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  3. Thanks, Robin. It's nice to know I'm not alone in a messy desk. I try to keep it clean, but things keep piling up. I might need that note, and that slip of paper has a great inspirational quote. Yeah, things pile up. And multiply. :D

  4. But what if it's my husband's desk that's cluttered?

  5. LOL...for a long time, I thought I was the only one who could "function" amid a mess. I've since learned a lot more people than I thought do that. I do TRY to clear it off in between books, but I'm accepting it will be a mess again within days.

    And my husband's desk is MUCH neater than mine. Then again, he isn't "creating" over there. :D

  6. Cool post Robin, thanks for sharing. It's funny that you posted on this topic because I just posted about how I feel more free to create in a clean space. Thanks God for diversity! Here's the link to my blog if you want to check it out

    Maybe I should try crossing over :).


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