In an ideal world, I’d hope that ample amounts of both activities (in appropriate circumstances, of course), do occur in the slumber zone of the home. I understand what the experts are getting at but think it a shame to limit activities in any room in the house, especially if the extra-curricular ones are successful.
I confess I like working from bed, and by that I mean writing. This is breaking one of the main rules of bedroom etiquette because my laptop is as vital as my morning cuppa. Early-morning writing sessions are the most fruitful, fuelled by generous cups of English breakfast tea and lots of peace and quiet.
Some are surprised when I divulge my favoured workstation. Should I feel guilty, I wonder? Being a lapsed Catholic and working from bed gives me reason enough, I suspect, but I attribute negative reactions to a puritan work-ethic hangover. Some people are unable to grasp that one can be happy, comfortable and work at the same time.
I was delighted a few years ago to learn that one of the world’s best-selling authors – Marion Keyes – has written most of her multi-million dollar earning novels from her very own bed in Dublin. She even titled a volume of short stories Under the Duvet.
Irish-born Keyes’ chick-lit novels are funny, clever and gritty. She’s sold more than 22 million copies and her titles have been translated into 30 languages. Her favourite workplace has been good to her, so why shouldn’t an aspiring writer such as me – also the owner of an Irish passport – give the technique a shot?
I’m not taking the soft option or being a bed potato and I strive for professionalism, at all times. Based on first-hand research, I’ve discovered much work can be achieved with laptop, cellphone and landline at the fingertips in the boudoir. (I took six weeks to recover from minor surgery because you can’t rush these things and it was winter time.)
I’m at my most creative in my PJs and I know I’m not alone in this. In fact, I think the country’s productivity could be increased by allowing people to wear their pyjamas to work instead of stifling suits and corporate gear. This would be helpful during a recession as well, requiring less financial outlay on clothes when employment is tenuous.
I treat working from bed as a serious business and there’s structure to the day. At the end of my first session, I pretend I’m going to work.
I shower, dress, but jump straight back under the duvet instead of into the car. This is better for the environment and if someone knocks on the door I can appear as a normal person, not an unemployed leftover from a slumber party.
I often wonder what I’ll have inscribed on my tombstone or the plaque marking my ashes. This message would be an immortal tagline – some posthumous self-promotion, plus the chance to have the last word. Death’s such a serious business, so why not have some fun?