Wind in the Sails: Unique and Personal Writing Spaces

+J.M.J.+

Happy Monday, all! I don’t know about you all, but seeing other authors’ workspaces always inspires me to make my own more conducive to writing, and to make it a place where I’m content and comfortable (and able to reach everything I need without having to get up or do any extraordinary gymnastics). So I decided to make this post a showcase of my writing space. I hope you guys will enjoy and find some inspiration for making your own space unique and fun!

First, a head-on of my desk.

My Writing Space-AlyCatAuthor

It’s been tidied up. This is the side of my desk where I do the majority of my business. There’s my ergonomic keyboard, which I use both for everyday writing purposes and my freelance transcription business. My handy mouse, of course. Two little drawers under the computer (which is propped up on an upside-down paper holder tray) keep all my odds and ends under control and within easy reach. The digital clock is always glowing a superhuman blue in the corner there. To the right of my computer is my turning pencil holder, which has three cups to hold my millions of pens, pencils, highlighters, and Sharpies. In front of the pencil holder, in the frame, is a beautiful holy card of Our Lord suffering the crowning with thorns, to keep me humble and remind me Who it is that I write for. On the coaster sits a nearly-finished glass of tea (unsweet Lipton black with one bag of Earl Grey thrown in the mix for a fun, lemony flavor). Usually my coffee cup sits there, but as you can see from the picture, it would be an unwise hour for coffee.

The printer beside the pencil holder is a new addition to my family of technology, but then, so is the computer itself. And beneath the desk where the printer is, you can see the white bag of the trash can. Handy hiding place, that is.

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Here we have the other side of the desk (it’s L-shaped, in case the pictures were confusing). There beside the printer you can see a hint of two coffee tins—one’s been covered with blue paper and repurposed as a teabag holder, and the other is being used to hold all my letters and cards I receive from people. Next to that, you see the gray end of a hole punch sticking out. It’s for my ARC discbound notebooks and it gets a LOT of use. Then you see a large drawer tower, housing all my paper. On top of that is my letter-writing kit, with a box of lovely tea-themed stationery and a container holding postage stamps, pencils, notecards, and other assorted goodies.

Beside that is my makeshift bookshelf, constructed with another paper tray. It holds all my notebooks, journals, planners and clipboards and basically makes life a lot easier to organize by having all this within arm’s reach. Being used as a clever makeshift bookend is a small drawer chest, which houses the other million writing instruments that wouldn’t fit in my turning pencil holder. On top of that is my trusty coffee can which actually holds coffee, though the decaf label lies— it is in fact a mixture of Columbian Decaf and Dark Roast Breakfast Blend, my personal half-caff mix. And next to the drawer tower is, of course, my trusty GE 5-cup coffee maker. It brews a mean serving or two of coffee and has been with me for almost 5 years, an awesome return on a $20 investment. I hung up a page protector behind it on the wall so that the steam wouldn’t do strange things to the paint.

 

My Writing Space-AlyCatAuthor

Here’s the wall above my desk. Crazy, right? But I just can’t seem to work well with a blank wall to stare at. When I look up, I have lots of things to look at. On the corkboard is a lovely graphic describing my love of coffee (“When asked, ‘How do you take your coffee?’ I reply, ‘Seriously, very seriously.’” ), a Tumblr graphic, a “Pearls Before Swine” comic about writing, and a couple of inspirational photos. The same thing continues throughout, except on the other board there’s a few pictures of family members (and drawn by family members), including one of a very young me learning how to swim with my daddy.

My beautiful traditional Catholic calendar helps me keep track of the important feast days and which saints are being commemorated on which days. My whiteboard (noted with the pink flower decal) tells me what I need to do. As you can see, I had some transcribing to complete the day the photo was taken. A magnetic to-do list hangs on the whiteboard, along with a Post-It noting some new vocabulary word I learned while transcribing. A writer’s manifesto appears on the left side of my computer screen, and directly above, there’s a heart-warming reminder for my “prescription” for the daily Rosary.

 

My Writing Space-AlyCatAuthor

Don’t get confused—I’ve arranged the desk some since I took these pictures, and this side of the desk was redone recently. However, the area above the desk is still the same. I have another calendar that I use to mark my work schedule down and keep up with pay days and when I saw that silly fiance of mine last. My “Live in the Moment” plaque came from my grandmother, who really wanted it to be used, so I stuck it up there next to my corkboards. On the first corkboard is a couple of reading lists and a running grocery list. The second corkboard has a Doonesbury comic (again, about writing) and some important addresses.

 

My Writing Space-AlyCatAuthor

This is underneath the first part of my desk, the area where I usually work. You can see my transcription foot pedal sitting nice and quiet under the desk (it sometimes sasses me). There’s a tall green tower of drawers beneath the keyboard pull-out where I store most of my office supplies like tape, extra lead for my million pencils, etc. It’s also where I stash my chocolate (shhhh…don’t tell!).

 

My Writing Space-AlyCatAuthorThis is underneath the second part of my desk. I have a hanging file crate (a remnant of my college life, much like most of my other office furniture) that houses all my working files for my projects and personal studies, a file box that locks, and an area in between where I usually stash my binders that I’m working with at the moment. Pictured is my tutoring binder and a binder where I keep all my book-publishing work. The amazing feathered bag is an old friend of mine—it’s been with me about as long as my coffee-maker and has held up under multiple washings and the weight of more books than it was ever meant to carry. And it still looks just as bright and colorful as the day I bought it. Side note: please ignore the mess of cords behind the desk. Another side note: Yes, that is trail mix. Handy snack, that is, when I’m on the TRAIL of my latest story idea. (Ba dum tss.)

 

My Writing Space-AlyCatAuthor

Then there’s this random blue crate, which I put in this particular spot between the desk and the dresser to be a kind of catch-all for extra office supplies. In this picture it’s holding the buckets my million pencils used to be in, a binder with writing exercises, and various other empty folders that I may or may not want to use at some point in my life. Ignore my pajama’d knees, please.

That’s pretty much the briefest tour I can give of my writing space. It’s a bit weird and jumbled, but it’s mine. It’s also constantly being updated and moved around. I call this the ‘tiny dorm room’ syndrome because my roommate and I in college changed the layout of our box (strikethrough) room at least once a week, and that behavior’s carried on to my personal life. I can’t work unless I’m contemplating the next “renovation” of my space.

At any rate, I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour and perhaps found some ways to be inventive and personal in the design of your own personal writing space, as well as being true to the purpose to which you are called—to be a writer! I like my space to be humorous, inspiring, uplifting, and prayerful, and I surround myself with what I need and arrange it so that it’s all within easy reach, which means MORE WRITING and LESS PROCRASTINATION.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope this post put some wind in your sails, and I’ll see you on the next ship in.

Tell me your opinion: What does your writing space look like? Feel free to put a link in the comments; I’m always inspired by seeing the writing spaces of others. 

 

Wind in the Sails-The Importance of Writing Spaces-AlyCatAuthor

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