Since I’ve made the move to being a professional writer, I’ve lived in two houses. Each one had a basement office area where I worked if I needed to get away from the hustle and bustle of family life with young kiddos. For the most part, though, I like to work amidst people so I’ve also set up shop on the dining room table or put a desk in my family’s living area. If I need to get out, I go to the local library or to a coffee shop where I can eavesdrop on others’ conversations to get material for my writing or just fade away into the background of the busyness. For me, I need flexibility in my writing space, but these are the things that I have consciously created in my home work space.
My writing desk resides in a corner of my living room. It is dark wood and L-shaped with a pull-out keyboard tray that is at the right height, ergonomically, for me. I have a big leather chair that moves up or down so I can sit with good posture. The desk is full of my supplies: writing instruments, computer accessories and software, pads of paper, printer ink and paper, stationery.
There’s a file cabinet built into one of the drawers, so I can keep all the papers I need handy and organized. For the most part, I keep my desktop clean. There may be a couple of piles, but I can work best when I have order on my desk instead of stacks of unfinished work and pages strewn across my workspace.
The Walls and Decor
The walls are a warm, comfortable sand color. Fittingly enough the paint color is called Nomadic Desert, which suits me because I am very much the traveler. Hanging above my desk are three wooden masks that I bought from Malaysia which are used to “scare demons away” or so the saleswoman said.
Currently, I can swivel around in my desk chair and see out the window to our backyard. There’s a River Birch with a flower bed at its base, so it gives me some scenery if my mind needs to wander.
Eventually I’d love to live someplace overlooking a beautiful landscape (a body of water or a mountain would be nice.) When I live in an environment like that, I’d love to have a bay window or picture window where I could gaze out, looking over the beauty and serenity of the natural world. I could warm myself in the sun and open the windows to the hush of tree limbs in the wind or the songs of birds and cicadas.
Since my desk is in the living room, I choose to work when the kids are at school or at night when they are sleeping. If I really need to work while my kids are awake, hubby takes on babysitting duties and I move to my desk in the basement. I play meditation music or rock music depending on what I’m writing. I choose to ignore phone calls and text messages when I’m in the zone, so that I can concentrate.
Overall, my office space works for me. It is functional, clean, comfortable, and represents who I am. Here are a few questions to consider when establishing your own writing space:
- *Is your desk space free of clutter?
If not, consider buying organizational bins or a new desk to suit your needs. If you find yourself accumulating paperwork, establish a “clean up” session of 5-10 minutes into your writing routine.
- *Are you ergonomically comfortable when working at your desk?
You can buy a desk, chair, keyboard, and other accessories to make your space ergonomically correct for you. Take a quick break every 20-30 minutes so your muscles don’t get stiff. You can also do certain stretches during your writing time to alleviate pain and tightness in your neck, shoulders, and back.
- *Do you feel inspired by your writing space?
Ultimately, your space should be your own. Paint a wall, decorate with items that represent who you are, rearrange your space so it feels better energetically.
*Originally posted on the website of author C. Susan Nunn