How to Work from Home as a Writer When You Don’t Have an Office

How to Work from Home When You Don’t Have an Office

If you’re like me and work from home as a writer, you’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time thinking about what a better writer you’d be if you just had a damn office.

A place all your own!

A space dedicated to your creativity!

With a lavender couch facing your floor-to-ceiling French doors, leading out onto your own private MEADOW!

Yes, you think. That’s really all I need to work from home as a writer.

Forget that you actually live in a cramped apartment in the city, nowhere near a meadow.

Work from Home as a Writer: the Dream

The author Neil Gaiman, for instance, has a glass office down by a river with a wood stove and deer walking by … and look how successful he is.

And you can have all of that, when you too have sold millions of copies of your book.

Until then, you need to find a way to make do with what you’ve got.

You mean without the wrap around mahogany desk and giant framed picture of Coco Chanel?!

Yes. Yes, that is what I mean.

Just because you work from home as a writer (and isn’t that the real dream right there?) doesn’t mean you have to have The World’s Sickest Office to prove it. There is a way to make it all work right where you are, I promise.

Creating the Perfect Freelance Workspace

First of all, think about how you work.

Are you the type to go to a coffee shop to work? Do you really need an office, or would you be just as happy with a slammin’ satchel to carry your laptop and all its accoutrements?

A lot of us at-home worker bees need some social interaction and a great cup of coffee to get our engines going. If that’s the case, you might consider cozying up in your favorite local coffee shop rather than bemoaning your office-less fate.

Are you the type that likes lounging on the couch in your living room with your laptop on a decorative pillow to do your work? Nothing wrong with that. Some of us get claustrophobic in a small office anyway, especially if you like to get up and move during your creative process.

If this is you, you might consider doing what I did for years: Get yourself an awesome caddy to tote your stuff around in. Then you can keep it all together and set it up wherever you want to work: in bed, on the couch, at a desk or on the porch.

Or perhaps on the astrology tower, if you have accomplished one of my lifelong dreams.

In which case … I hate you.

Do you need more space to spread out? A lot of great businesses were started by one woman and her kitchen counter. This is a great option for someone who likes to stand while they work, and needs to see everything laid out in front of them.

However, it’s not great for those of us who don’t like to clean up after ourselves.

Don’t you point at me; I’m pointing at you!

Okay, Fine. So You Work from Home and Want a Desk

If none of the above applies to you, then you might just be one of those people who truly needs a desk in order to work from home as a writer. One thing you might consider is using a closet. I know it sounds weird, but check it out:

See? It can be glorious. Think about a guest room closet, for example. I always try to avoid having guests at my house long enough for them to need to hang anything up in a closet anyway. This just gives me a good excuse.

You might also consider moving your office into the hall closet, but please, take the jackets out first.

If that truly won’t work because all your closets are full of clothes, shoes and old tennis rackets you are totally going to use someday when you start dating Brad from work who loves tennis, then you need to get a little creative.

Take a look at your space and see if there is any place for a desk. Could you hang more clothes in the closet and get rid of a dresser in your bedroom?

Could you get rid of your husband’s clothes all together and make room for a desk? I highly recommend this strategy, btw.

Think about any place in the house where you might be able to put an attractive armoire that looks like a normal piece of furniture when friends and family comes over, but doubles as an office when the doors and drawers are open. This is great for those of us who are really messy.

Okay, this time I’m totally pointing at myself.

The bottom line is, where there’s a will, there is a way. So don’t wait until you have the perfect space. Do the work first and the space will come … when you have gobs of money from all the great work you’ve done.

Field of Dreams, anyone?

Okay, enough of these writerly ideas. Just get yourself that workspace and, hey, while you’re at it, grab the free resources from the library if you haven’t already. Just click that purty image below.

Yep. That one.
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