Creating Writing Space

I know a few writers who have entire offices in their homes where they go to write. I’m not that lucky. My house has around 900 square feet. Recently, I got rid of my very nice but very large desk and downsized to a series of five shelves on the wall in a corner of the living room.

I ended up with this “office” after we had to completely empty our living room to replace damaged flooring (this is also why the spare room is so filled with stuff that I can’t use it). The truth is that I love my office. It’s fairly comfortable, and though it doesn’t have a few things I would like, it does have the things I need. I even have a window.

Right after I created this office, I started to be much more productive. Sitting in a desk chair with my computer on a desk is much more comfortable than sitting on the couch with my laptop. It’s also ergonomically correct, which is mandatory for me because I am currently recovering from an injury to my L5-S1 disk. I have the things I absolutely need in order to write within easy reach – pens, paper, highlighters, note cards, and a full cup of coffee.

If you have limited space, like I do, it takes some thought to decide where your office should be located. In my case, this was the ONLY place in my house that made sense. I refer to my desk as the “corner office” because I love the irony. I wish I had a couple dozen more square feet because I would love to have a bookshelf and a file cabinet within reach instead of on the other side of the room. I would also like to have a nice piece of corkboard so I could pin up all my notes and lists instead of having to scrounge through the debris on my desk to find the paper I’m looking for. I’m a very private person about my writing so I won’t have that until we move to a house where I have a semiprivate office. Or we can start storing our junk in the living room and I can move my office into the spare room.

My biggest struggle is what to do with my papers. Because I don’t have my corkboard and my file cabinet is too far away to be practical, I end up with stacks of it on my desk. The one thing I did not plan when I designed my office was a place to store papers. Don’t make my mistake. No matter what anyone says about a paperless society, writers will have paper. Period. Keeping it organized will make your writing life a lot easier.

What about you? Are you one of the lucky ones with an office? Are you a couch writer, a kitchen table writer or a Starbucks writer? Leave your answer for me in the comments.

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