Writing workspace essentials: Part 1

My home office, soon to be a writing nook

If you’re going to get serious about writing, then you should also get serious about your writing workspace.

For over 20 years I’ve had a home office. At first it was a table in the living room. Later I scored a spare bedroom. My shelves held books devoted to subjects like choosing typefaces, how to master Adobe Illustrator, and small business management. The work I produced in that office paid the bills and gave me a colorful resume, but I’m not a business service anymore.

I’m a writer.

Is that how you describe yourself, too? Then it’s time to show that you mean it.

Set up your workspace–or office or getaway or whatever you’d like to call it–so that its look says, “Welcome, relax, and now get on with your beloved work.” Like other artists, writers should have a separate space to do creative business with words. So, I plan to turn my business office into a writer’s nook.

Nook. That’s a good word. A secluded or sheltered place. What writer wouldn’t want to have one of those?

I’ve found, though, that it’s not just having a place; it’s what I do with the place that will draw me in to spend a few hours a day on my craft. What makes up a writer’s nook that inspires a daily retreat? Here are some of the essentials:

A Good Chair. Writers sit. And sit and sit. So it makes sense to invest in a good chair. Otherwise, you will be investing in a good chiropractor or back surgeon. For those of us who do not have $1000 to spend on a new chair (like the Herman Miller showed here–oh, they are beautiful), a look through Craigslist or local newspaper ads might show up a deal. My current chair is 10 years old, so I’m hunting for a new one.

A Top Notch Computer. It’s not enough to have a good running computer; you should also make sure it’s ready for the demands of today’s technology. Take time to check your computer’s performance. A slow running computer will affect your productivity and this might be signs of a virus–a condition which could result in the loss of your life’s writing work. There is no excuse for letting that happen with the technology available to writers today. If needed, add memory and increase your hard drive’s storage capacity. You’ll be doing online research, using writer’s software, and maybe even creating your own blog. All of these things require an up-to-date computer.

A Simple Desk. A writer’s desk is distraction free so that the focus is on writing. I recently purchased a V-shaped desk from Staples that gives me just enough room to stay out of trouble. The two large desks that I used for my business service–one for paperwork and receiving clients, the other a computer workstation–were usually covered with stacks of paper, client projects, disks, and invoices. When I carted those monsters out of my office, the space doubled and the room seemed to sigh with relief. My desk is still covered with papers and bills, but that’s because I’m still not taking my writing seriously enough. It’s time to change that.

There’s a start for you. In Part 2 of “Writing Workspace Essentials,” I’ll share how I’m turning my home office into a nook by warming it up with inexpensive decor and personal items.

Question: Have you created a special writing space of your own? If you haven’t, when do you plan to create one?


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