Thursday, September 17, 2015

Top 10 Best Work Space Solutions for a Writer's Work Space

charles elliott photography, susan elliott, work space solutions
(c) Charles Elliott
Most of us writers would rather spend time sitting behind our laptop (or favorite notebook with a nice pen) than anywhere else. Because writers spend so much time sitting at their desks, it is important that our work spaces are both functional and comfortable. So, with that in mind I thought I'd share some of my work space solutions.

1. Exercise Stability Ball.  On occasion my booty and hips get to hurting from long hours of sitting in my old desk chair. I suspect this is a more common problem than most people are willing to admit.

To alleviate the pain in my hip area and booty I often sit on an exercise stability ball.  I haven't got a base for mine, but I've seen that they do sale them. When I get bored I like to bounce on it, too; however, be careful! I got a little wild bouncing and rolling on mine the other day and fell off of it and landed under my desk. My husband's laughter peeled through the house and alerted everyone to my predicament. THANKS honey!

2. Lumbar Support Cushion.  I can't tell you how often I've stuffed pillows behind my back so I could alleviate back pain. It only helps for so long, and they slip and slide. So, I've decided for my next birthday (even if I get a new office chair -- still keeping my exercise ball) I want a lumbar support cushion. I've used them on multiple occasions and they really do help relieve back pain.

True story, several years ago I was gored in the back by a deer mount. It was a twelve point mule deer and fell off of our wall and landed horns first on my spine and ribs. I cannot even describe the pain.

The encounter left me with a couple of broken ribs and some other damage in my back. A year after that I had a terrible fall that re-injured my back and ribs, damaged my knee and my left hip. At any rate, my back, ribs, hip and knee give me terrible issues, and anything that can alleviate pain as I'm working is a huge bonus for me!

3. Foot Stool. The foot stool is probably the most important piece of furniture I have in my office. I understand that not everyone has the space for a stool under their desk, but I would not trade mine for anything. Keeping my feet propped up while I'm writing has dramatically reduced the swelling in my ankles and feet.

I have found using the foot stool with my exercise ball is tricky and not as safe as I'd like, but if you have the balance to do it, go for it!

5. Headphones with Microphone. I would not trade my headphones with a microphone for anything. I spend several hours a day on Skype with my mom so my headphones are very important. I also enjoy using them to listen to music when I write.

I often listen to Enya, Celtic Thunder, or Dan Gibson radio on Pandora. Listening to music helps me tune out all extraneous noises and helps transport me into the world I'm creating. If you don't have good headphones already, you should really invest in some.

6. Flexible Clip Light. I have thoroughly enjoyed my clip light. I didn't know what I was missing until I actually got it. Our office has plenty of natural light and an overhead ceiling light, but adding a clip light to my desk has brightened my work space and produced less strain on my eyes. LOVE it!

7. Burt's Bees Hand Creme. I cannot stress the importance of having a good hand creme at your desk. If you're writing, your hands are in a constant state of motion. My hands dry out so bad that the skin peels. So, I have to use a lot of hand creme. I really like the natural cremes like Burt Bees and Dionis Goats Milk Lotion.  I always buy Dionis lotion and lip balm when we are at the Cracker Barrel -- vanilla bean is my favorite!

8. Desk Fan. Our house has no ceiling fans, and since we rent we can't install them. We don't have central air either, just three AC window units. To keep the air circulating in the office my husband and I both have a desk fan on our desks. I know I'll be using mine even during the long winter months.

9. External USB Hard Drive. Every writer knows what it means to experience technical failure and lose everything. It is a heart wrenching moment when you realize the baby you've been working on is completely lost. This is why we are constantly reminded to BACK UP everything we write. This is also why I have an external USB hard drive where I store all my writing files.

10. Coffee Mug. If you notice the picture above you will see I have a Snow White coffee mug. I drink way too much coffee, and I probably need a warning sign that says something about needing a coffee drip in case of emergencies or something. When I drink my daily cup of Joe I always use a fun coffee mug. In fact, I have very few coffee mugs that match in my house, because I think that a coffee mug should reflect your personality and mood. If you haven't found one that suits you, keep looking until you find one, because no writer's desk should be without one!

What work space solutions do you use to make your space comfortable?