The Home Office

There are two kinds of posts everyone with a writing blog has to have and every book on writing has to have – a post on finding time to write (which I find ridiculous – you need to “find” time to write, but you have time to read articles about it?) and home office equipment / setting up your home office.

For Parker, this comes in the form of Chapter 5. She lists all the usual things – fax machine (or fax service online), phone, desk, comfortable chair (extra emphasis on comfortable), an answering machine or service, copier or copier-printer combo, calculator, etc etc. But she tempers with these words of wisdom: “the goal is to be IN business, not to have your business perfectly set up.”

I thought I’d take this chance to tell you a bit about my office and the things I can’t live without.

My Office
First off, the majority of my office equipment I either already had or bought on Craig’s List used. I had a book shelf; I had one of those cheap white plastic drawer things from Walmart; I had already installed an extensive set of shelves in our extra room for storage; I had a desk chair; I already owned my Mac.

My desk is a modern glass desk, that I love the style of – I paid $50 for it from someone on Craig’s List who was moving to California. I bought a filing cabinet for about $20 more. To date, I have used my cell phone, so that’s not an added expense (though I am looking into phone services). My roommate and I own a 3-in-1 printer, scanner, fax machine that has yet to be hooked up – in the meantime I cheat and use those items at work when absolutely necessary (the benefit to having an office job – though I make sure to keep this under control).

There are several things, however, that I definitely could not do without that weren’t on Parker’s list.

Things I Can’t Live Without
On my desk is a large glass bowl filled with pens. You might say I am a little obsessed. It also has highlighters, sharpie markers and a few editing pencils (red and blue lead). Another item I can’t live without is paper. Lots and lots of it. I have a small desktop organizer with a packet of plain white paper (printer paper), a pack of nice letter paper and a pack of lined paper. I have several notebooks, each of which has notes about different things. I also have several smaller notepads for jotting notes while reading or doing research. I find my ideas flow best with written by hand, so I frequently outline a piece before typing it up. I have a small love affair with post-it notes. I have at least three sizes at my desk right now.

Another item I like having in my office (or near by) is a blanket. I work best when I am comfortably warm. Electric heaters are expensive. So if I get chilly I throw a small blanket across my lap and curl the edges underneath me. It helps keep me warm and my cat thinks it’s a fantastic fort.

Finally, the last item I can’t live without is my kitchen. I work best while eating (unfortunately) so I keep snacks around that won’t make me gain a billion pounds but will keep me from thinking about my stomach instead of my writing. Peanuts, granola bars and popcorn are all good choices. My favorite treat is Pillsbury dough crescent rolls (though I try to avoid having those too often or I would weigh a billion pounds).

What can’t you live without? What items are kept near your desk or in it at all times? Other Questions or comments? Share below.

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