Not the paperless office

I’m nearing the end of a project I’ve been working on for several years, and the tracks of my research have colonised the studio. This is only a fraction of it…


There are other ways to store and gather. Possibly easier. Definitely more environmentally sound. And I use many of those, too. But I’ve come to realise that the core of my research is constructed from paper and post-it notes, photographs and photocopies, books and boxes and manila folders. Well-worn maps. Talismans.

It will be time, soon, to pack it all away, to make space for other things, to de-clutter (a word I don’t particularly like, because what is clutter if not history?).

But not yet.

For now, the proofing begins…



Filed under research, Writing

26 responses to “Not the paperless office

  1. Pat Nelson

    Exciting times ahead to see all that research and so so many hours all coming together. Well done Amanda.

  2. Snap, that is exactly where I am at, with a very similar system. I’ve just sent what I hope are the very very very last edits. Best wishes with it 😊

  3. well done, Amanda 🙂

  4. I need paper, too. I apologise to the trees, but there’s something about holding a physical copy in your hand that makes it easier to read and remember!

    I’m glad you’re nearing the finish line of this project, Amanda. I’m sure it will be worth every single one of those sheets. 🙂

  5. Ah, another one. And I so agree with you about the difference, Louise.
    Thank you 🙂

  6. It’s a happy feeling, I’m sure, to have reached this stage with a big project. All good wishes, Amanda, for the final stretch.

  7. Wow, that’s a lot of paper! I offset you tree folk a bit in that I have very little in hard copy form. Though I completely agree about it being a different mode, and do find it useful for editing tricky bits. I’m so excited to hear you’re nearly at the end, Amanda – can’t wait to see the fruits of all your labours!

  8. Looking forward to reading the results of your labour and research, Amanda

  9. Rae Hilhorst

    I am very excited to see the outcome and I love researching. After looking at your piles of research I am going to have to lift my game. Rae x

  10. poetskitchen

    Hello Amanda, I know the feeling with paper – writers just can’t do without it! Congratulations on your amazing achievements! Rose

  11. Glen Hunting

    As an antidote to the word ‘de-clutter’ (which I don’t particularly like, either) may I offer the word ‘teetering’? The stack in the top left-hand corner appears to be doing just that. As a hopeless paper hoarder myself, I believe teetering to be both a gamble and an art-form… 🙂

  12. Congratulations on reaching the proofing! It looks like well-organised paper to me. I’m terrible at filing paper, despite being a librarian, so have kept my research almost completely digital, except for books themselves. 36GB and counting. My desk is still a disaster zone.

    • That’s some admission for a librarian, Nathan! But it sounds like you have everything under control. Even the disaster zone desk (with which I am well acquainted) probably has its own brand of order. Thanks 🙂

  13. Oh I love seeing your orderly chaos of paper and books and notes. I’ve just stopped feeling guilty about mine. Although my chaos has no order about it at all 🙂 And like everyone else I too wait for the appearance of your beautiful book, Amanda x

    • I reckon there’s nearly always a semblance of order in chaos associated with research, Rashida, although it can be elusive when you’ve lost something!
      Thanks for your lovely words 🙂 x

  14. I’m pleased to see this because I always look forward to the next book from you Amanda:)

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