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Organized Writer, Part 1: Your Work Space

How can anything about your writing be organized if you don’t have a place to write? A place to store your records and resources? When I first started writing, I had a computer and file cabinet in an upstairs bedroom. I could work there undisturbed, but it was inconvenient. I had to go downstairs often for household chores, not to mention an occasional doorbell. So, I moved my writing place to the den. I could work on the computer and not be far from other responsibilities while writing. The biggest challenge was where to put supplies and reference materials without the place looking junky. Here’s how I organized it.

My Work Space

  • Files: I still have a few paper files, although I do use online storage. The desk has one file drawer, not quite enough for all my writing files. Since I have two printers, I got a printer stand with a file drawer and a shelf underneath. There’s also a plastic file box out of sight underneath the desk.
  • Books: A seven-shelf bookcase in the room provides ample space for books. Since a bookcase is often considered proper furnishing for a den, nobody suspects it’s really office storage.
  • Supplies: My desk has two small drawers but not enough space for all my supplies. The antique secretary-style desk in my den was the perfect place to stash supplies out of sight, and it also has a couple of book shelves.
  • Overflow storage: There’s a bookcase upstairs where I store books that I don’t use often. Our entertainment center has storage under the TV. I put a small plastic storage system with drawers there to hold small office supplies like paper clips, pens, and sticky notes.

Take a look at the photo of my desk. The TV is across the room, and a radio/CD player is behind me if I want music. I’m just steps from the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry. I still have the interruptions, but they don’t take as long to “neutralize.”

Public Work Spaces

Some writers don’t like to have one place to write, like the Confederate general who was asked where his headquarters was.

My headquarters are wherever my hindquarters are.

Your laptop can go wherever you choose, wherever you are most inspired. Coffee shops, public libraries, the back yard—all are popular places to write for those who don’t want to be stuck in one place all the time. Your home writing place can be your base of operations, but you’ll be able to take your work with you so that you can write when the mood strikes you.

Other Writers and Their Work Spaces

Readers, you are welcome to comment on this post and share about your writing place. If you receive this post by email, please click on the title of the post to go to my site. Scroll down to Leave a Reply and comment there.

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2 Responses to Organized Writer, Part 1: Your Work Space

  1. Camille Kendall May 8, 2017 at 9:14 am #

    Emily, I dream of one day having a tidy area exclusively for writing. Right now, I work at the kitchen counter, which is anything BUT tidy! Yes, the clutter is distracting, and it is often difficult to shut out all the activity around me and focus on writing. Libraries and coffee shops are writing sanctuaries for me.

    Thanks for the post!

  2. Emily Akin May 8, 2017 at 6:10 pm #

    I guess it doesn’t have to be tidy as long as you know where everything is. You an still dream!

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