The Perfect Workspace For Today's Writer

What makes the perfect workspace? I’m in the middle of creating mine. I used to have a traditional study lined with print books but for a long while now it’s not really fitting my needs. It’s made me think: what makes the perfect workspace for an indie author today?

Since I started work as a writer, three decades ago, my workspace has always been been a traditional sort of writer’s space.

Lined with bookshelves, with a soft chair, a leather-inlaid desk, on which–these days–an Apple Mac desktop sits, perhaps a little uneasily.

The Perfect Workspace For An Indie Author

My very traditional writers study.

Being surrounded by books used to be essential to me but now, when the world’s knowledge is contained within our phones, does that still make sense?

Obviously, I don’t want to lose that vital connection with knowledge and wisdom, all the things that make the book an almost sacred object for me. But it feels like time for me to acknowledge that a 21st-century, indie author has different needs.

For a start, I use video and audio to serve my community, From the creative flow practice that we run every weekday from Monday to Thursday to my new Open Mic for Poets.

Since I started self-publishing, I’ve made some adjustments to my work arrangements. Brought in a Blue Yeti Mike, a standing desk. The more I’ve brought in, the more I had to face the truth.

The truth is, the traditional set up doesn’t fit me anymore. So I’m ringing in some study changes with this post.

The Perfect Workspace For An Indie Author: Some Changes

  • I’ve got rid of hundreds of books
  • I’m setting up three work stations, one with a standing desk
  • On one wall I had over 100 postcards of anyone who ever meant anything to me creatively. I’m now going to cut that down and have seven masters. I’m in the process of trying to work out who they are from a long list. I’ll share that post with you next week.
  • I’m creating a sound room. My create date this week is going to be spent slowly sticking squares of foam to a wall. It’s the sort of mindless mechanical work that feeds incubation, so I want to do it myself, some of it anyway.
The Perfect Workspace For An Indie Author

Sound room in waiting

I feel this sound room will sit at the heart of what I am doing going forward.

I chatted with my friend, Joanna Penn, about this in our Advanced Self-publishing Salon on Facebook Live, last Monday. She is now narrating her own fiction and has spent the last year getting ready to do that with acting and voice training.

At the moment that sounds utterly daunting to me, but I have learned from Jo before.  So maybe…

The Perfect Workspace For An Indie Author: Study to Studio

One of my most important learnings has been: in this game, never say never.

I never thought I’d say this: from now one I won’t be saying “my study” but “my studio”.  A study feels stale. But a studio feels like the perfect workspace for an indie author today. The thought of what it might enable me to create in future is exciting.

What about you? Do you feel you have the right space to match your needs? What changes might you make that would better facilitate your process?


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