This weekend, the New York Times ran an opinion piece that spoke to me. In "The Rise of the New Groupthink," Susan Cain makes the case for solitude at work. "Research strongly suggests that people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption," she writes.
My eyes went right to my rather barren office wall, to an old desk calendar page I tacked up years ago. It's a Jill Krementz photo of the writer Dorothy West. The photo--dated Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard, April 28, 1995--shows West in what must be her work space. Underneath, there's this quotation: "When I was seven, I said to my mother, may I close my door? And she said, yes, but why do you want to close your door? And I said because I want to think. And when I was eleven, I said to my mother, may I lock my door? And she said yes, but why do you want to lock your door? And I said because I want to write."
Whether you're a writer, a grocer, or a computer programmer, you need at least some solitary, uninterrupted time to do your best work. Wishing you that and more in 2012.