a space of my own by caroline clifton-mogg

Who doesn't want a space of their own? (Even if you don't have much to spare.) That's the premise behind the latest book by UK journalist and author Caroline Clifton-Mogg. She provides ideas and inspiration, as well as plenty of case studies, on how to create a space where you can be creative. The title is distributed in Australia through Hardie Grant.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken
 since? I worked in magazines both at Conde Nast and Hearst for many years, always on the design side, and after some time decided that it would be much more fun, and more stimulating to go freelance and try and write books about the subjects that interested me.

What's the best lesson you've learnt along the way? Professionally? Always deliver on time – if not before! And that self-deprecation is better than hubris. Personally – a variation of the above – if you say you’re going to do something for someone, do it. If you don’t think you can or will, don’t say it.

What's your proudest career achievement? Actually getting a book or two published and occasionally seeing them on a table in a book shop.

What's been your best decision? To strike out on my own.

Who inspires you? Anyone who has managed to rise above the idea that they can’t do it, and then goes out and actually does do it.

What are you passionate about? The usual – being with people I like, preferably eating and drinking with them. Reading books, cooking, and going to the cinema and opera.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Charles Dickens, although I think he would probably be too busy talking about himself to take much notice of me!

What are you reading?
 Life and fate by Vasily Grossman.


How did you arrive at the concept for the book? I had just re-arranged my own apartment to create a small room in which I could write and keep all my reference and work-related books around me. It was a revelation! It would not be an exaggeration to say that my whole work life changed the minute I plugged in my laptop onto the work counter and put the last book in its place in the new shelves.

What was involved with the creation process? Working with Ryland Peters and Small is a pretty seamless process. We had creative meetings to discuss what a reader might want from such a book; picture meetings to try and find images that would be useful and helpful, on every level; and editorial meetings to discuss what help one could actually give, beyond the bland and obvious, in terms of inspiring, practical and above all, personal advice.

How long did it take to come together - from concept to first copy? About six months.

How did you envisage the look of the book? I knew that it should look clean and contemporary with ideas on many different levels.

What was unexpected about the whole process? Generally, the enthusiasm that greeted every stage of the book – both at the work place and amongst my friends - which made me realise that having a space of your own is actually a deep-felt need in many people – particularly women who work from home.

images courtesy of caroline clifton-mogg and via hardie grant