- by Jackie Kramer
Like most writers, I have an “office”. My living room is 23 feet long, so I bought one of those big, high-back computer desks that blocks my view of the rest of the room. Around me I have my bookcases, filled with reference books, notebooks of stories in progress, and how-to books. On top of the computer desk is a candle warmer for my scented candles and on my left hand, I have a CD tower with my favorite Bolivian and Celtic music that I play as I writer. Finally, on the wall behind me is a white board where I write lists of each week’s goals and a bulletin board with notes, pictures, and other things that inspire me to write.
But like most people, I have a Life. That means I’m not alwyas here I can write. When I travel, such as to conferences or conventions (I write romance and SF, so attend both.), I take my “office” with me. When I’m at hotels, I tend to “nest”. I don’t live out of a suitcase. I unpack everything and put it away, set up the coffee maker, and set up my “office”. I have my laptop, an iPod with my music, and a small scented votive candle in a disposable holder. (Don’t tell the hotels. Open flames are illegal…I think!) Of course, I also have my MIP in hard copy as well as editing materials. And now, I have a small portable printer though I’m not certain I’ll be able to take it on an airplance safely. I do this because it helps me to stay on task if my workspace is the same.
As for those days when I can’t be home because of doctors’ appointments and so forth? I have an Alphasmart. I always put the chapter I’m working on into it. I once got an entire chapter written in the hour I sat in my doctor’s waiting room! Even if I can’t work on my MIP due to the short time I’m waiting, I can use the time for things like writing articles for my writer’s group newsletter. Or maybe I work on a synopsis for my next project or a query letter. There are always things a writer has to writer that have nothing to do with their novel. And though I don’t have my candle, I still have my iPod…though the nurse suggested I only use one earbud so I can still hear her call when it’s my turn.
Now if I could only figure out how to set up an office in my car that won’t endanger every other driver in town!