I thought it would be fun to show all of you how exactly a writer gets their work done. I know many writers like to work at their couches, their desk at work, at a flipped entrée table while they’re commuting in to work each day – but I spend all day, every day working and writing at my desk.
Learning something about my set up might help you, as well. Between my two jobs I work 86 hours a week, and clock 8,000+ words a day. Some of them are in my novel, some are marketing and business strategy, but all of it takes a powered up mind and a maximized workflow. My workspace is one of my big partners in creating my work routine to let me be so prolific.
I’m also sharing a few links to the things I own and use everyday in my workspace. These links are affiliate links, and make me a few cents without costing you extra.
I just want to share some noteworthy things about my desk set up. Because I am self-employed, and because I use my home office as my real office every day, my workspace is set up to help me think and work creatively and efficiently. I don’t want something as silly as a poor workstation set up to slow down my release dates!
One thing to note is that the desk itself is set up at a yellow wall. According to some reports the idea that yellow is good for a cheerful mood may actually be quite credible, and besides that bright sunshine yellow is a great color to stick on the walls in a basements with limited natural light and only a few mini windows at the top of the walls.
The desk itself, though, is even more important to my productivity and mood. I have to do whatever I can to keep myself focused and having a good time during the 86+ hours a week I work, and my workstation is one of my biggest partners in that. (Along with a 15 minute power nap and a short morning walk. And a little stretching for 5 minutes every hour to get my blood pumping and powering up my brain!)
There are a lot of essentials I have set up on my desk. I have to be careful about what I keep on hand, because my “desk” is actually a sofa table, and it’s only about 6 inches deep of workspace. As you can see, there’s barely enough room for my keyboard to fit in front of my monitor. But that’s a bit of a good thing, partially because my “desk” was free, partially because my desk is kind of cute, and partially because it helps me keep down the clutter which is a constant struggle and other areas of my life. (This is why I will probably never show you any other space in my home, because my desk is the only organized area.)
Goals In Sight
As you can see on the wall in the background, I have printed out and hung up my yearly goals list. It’s not really a professional goals list, it’s more of the “my life in general goals” kind of list. It’s an excerpt from my “30 things to do before I turn 30” list, just to help me break down my decade-long goals into smaller action steps I can actually get done. My actual publishing goals, where I write down the books I want to get finished and when I want to finish them, is the first link on my toolbar in my web browser so that I can update that much more often than I update yearly goals. (That, and because I don’t like bothering with printing things too often. So I only save printing for stuff I really need the visual for, even when I’m off screens.)
Above that are my two sticky notes where I keep my rough outline of my daily schedule. my daily schedule is:
- Blog (S)
- Business admin-ing
And then I like to break down the personal part of my schedule. this is one of the main things I do to make sure I’m building myself not just as a person trying to make an income, but also as a human trying to improve myself as a person.
One of my current month’s goals is to get rid of some things I don’t need any more – I found out I still had some toys left in storage from when I was a kid – and get them into the hands of people who need or want them. Or both. Who am I to judge? But it still the last thing on the list to declutter because the other goals are supporting bigger decade-long goals, so they are the priority.
I also have two other sticky notes, each of them a reminder for a virtual meeting I have coming up next week. Since I don’t have too many meetings like this anymore, it makes sense to put reminders in a very visible place the few times I do have a meeting so I can’t forget them.
Desk Must Haves
I keep my water bottle at my desk so I can drink throughout the day and stay healthfully hydrated. It’s just plain water, but it’s in a reusable bottle so it saves tons of plastic each year, saves money, and gives me much cuter options than buying disposable water bottles.
I also have my notebook and may pen case crammed on my workspace. I like caring a paper notebook around so when I have ideas or little pull ones or pieces of writing in mind for a book I can write it down quickly and easy without the distraction of writing on my phone. I also write much faster on paper than I do on a tiny phone screen, and unlike screens I never have problems with writers block when I write on paper. I still do most of my writing for my novels using that very keyboard and monitor though, because it is much quicker to add it and revise and organize a book that is in a program like scrivener instead of in a bunch of different notebooks. It also doesn’t hurt my wrist tape in a computer, unlike the hand pains you can get after six hours of writing on paper. At least I get hand cramps writing for that long.
Then I have a little bucket that holds my backup drive, which is a total must for anyone who writes books (I can guarantee every author who types their books has lost an entire finished book at least once to a crash computer losing the data, and I am no exception. Actually, I had this happened three times, which is very frustrating so I go overboard in backups now.) I also have my headsets slung on that little bucket, which is a very handy for when I’m dictating like I am doing for this post right now. I find when I switch between typing and dictating I get a new burst of inspiration and ideas, and it helps switch up which thing is sore or hurts from doing hours of work at a time.
The last thing on my desk is my small things organizer. In the top shallow dish I have a USB jump drive (source two of backing up novels in progress), lip balm, and my backup jump drive that is shaped like a bunny. And I have an assortment of pens and pencils behind that that don’t work very well. I should probably change them out for new ones. But instead I’m writing this, and I’m okay with that. in the little swing out drawers I have staples, mini stapler, eraser refills for mechanical pencils, binder clips, pushpins and thumbtacks, and an empty drawer that is supposed to have paperclips but I seem to have run out of those. Again, not going to bother refilling that for now.
Under all of that is where I have some presumably important papers. I know one of them is the service plan guarantee for my backup drive, but I have no clue what the others are, and they’re upside down so I can’t really check them without moving all my stuff. And that’s not going to happen.
And in the middle of all that is my monitor, keyboard, and wireless mouse. They aren’t particularly noteworthy, except for the keyboard hot. I got that with my computer from sky Tech gaming. I think the computer, partially because it’s very pretty, partially because it was within my price range, but mostly because it works for my work. I have lots of storage space, it has enough memory to have 1 million Internet browser tabs open at once which is great for my working style, and it has basically the same specs as a business computer with some extras that make it work even better for graphics and video work. It also looks way prettier than a dumb gray business computer. I know having pretty things doesn’t seem essential, but if you are working a creative job I think if there is a choice between something boring and something that is aesthetically inspiring in some way then the choice is pretty clear. Especially when this was a little cheaper than a similar business model that didn’t have quite as many upgrade for speed and the million browser tabs. Plus I’ve grown tired of some of the bigger brand of computer manufacturers and their complete lack of customer service and longevity in their products, so is time for me personally to move on to a brands like this. After all, it makes since for an India author to support a smaller brand. And so far in my experience with this computer it’s been great!
The only big downside to my workspace is that the workspace itself is so very shallow – sofa tables were not engineered to be ergonomic desks – and it’s a little uncomfy. I have enjoyed my Ikia Snille desk chair for many years, many many many years, but a $20 chair is never going to be ergonomic. A great deal, yes, but not comfy. The back is very short, which is unfortunate because I am particularly tall for a woman, and the height adjustment only goes so high. I think part of the lack of comfort is that the seat is cracked on the right side, but it wasn’t too comfy before that happened either. I have two pillows piled on the seat so it doesn’t dig into my legs as much anymore, but it still is not particularly comfy. Hopefully someday I can save up a bit of money from working as a full-time author and full-time blogger (I’m not including what I do posting on this website in that) and buy myself a good ergonomic chair. I also keep a cardigan on my chair so that when it is cold, which it always is, I can work without freezing off my fingers. I have found not freezing makes a big difference in productivity.
So there you go. That’s my total desktop and workspace tour. I hope it gives you some good insight into my work process for working at home as well as my goal setting and productivity efforts. Hopefully hearing from me can inspire you as well.
If you’d like to get a virtual tour of my digital desktop, be sure to let me know in the comments below