Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

Building a New Writing Office

Interesting Focus…

I feel that a writing office has to be comfortable and I like to surround myself with books and other nifty stuff, including a white board. But this is the first time in almost two decades I have built a new writing place. So that is forcing me to stop and think some about this task.

Now, I understand, I can write anywhere. Especially in this city. And I most likely will.

But I want that anchor point, the place to go back to. I need a place to focus my writing. I can do sessions or entire short stories anywhere, even novels in hotel rooms. But I need the base to return to.

That much I have figured out for certain.

Some of you may argue with that. To each his own. But I consider my home-base office one of the reasons I can be so prolific when I want to be.

My new space will be about the same size as my old writing office space in Lincoln City, only configured differently. This new one is long and narrow, my old one was square.

So here is what I think is important in my new space after some thought.

—- Comfort. A good computer, a good chair, and a good desk with enough light. That will give me the comfort I need.

—- A white board or two. All kinds of uses.

—- A business area with a business computer. Also it has to be comfortable.

—- Books that I have decided I want in my office handy to get to.

—- Some level of seclusion from the rest of the condo. Headphones will work fine for this most of the time since my new office will not have a door. My old office had a door but I never closed it, so clearly not a big issue.

That’s about it. My first new writing office in decades. I’m actually excited about putting it together.


Both of the new workshops, The Indie Game and Fear have started on Sunday.

The first week’s webinars will be a week from Sunday for both.

We did both workshops originally as the weekend workshops. We are not changing out the videos because other than a mention of a day instead of a week, the teaching is fine in them. And the live webinars will really add to the learning.

Sign up on Teachable at


Also starting on Tuesday and Wednesday…

June Regular Workshops

All twelve June Regular six-week workshops are now available on Teachable for sign-ups. The few of you who have signed up through me using credits please write me again if you haven’t gotten a code to get into the workshop.

Class #61… June 5th … Think Like a Publisher
Class #62… June 5th … Endings
Class #63… June 5th … Point of View
Class #64… June 5th … Writing Mysteries
Class #65… June 5th … Speed
Class #66… June 5th … Teams in Fiction
Class #67… June 6th … Depth in Writing
Class #68… June 6th … How to Edit Your Own Work
Class #69… June 6th … Character Development
Class #70… June 6th … Writing Secondary Plot Lines
Class #71… June 6th … Advanced Depth
Class #72… June 6th … Novel Structure

July-October Schedule coming shortly.



  • Kenny

    I long for the days when I can get my own computer and set it up however I damn well like. At the moment I have to share my computer with my wife and so some of the things I’ll love to do (like get a funky split keyboard) I’m unable to do because I know she’ll not like.

    That’s not even counting the fact of having 2 separate computers to use… (I do have a writing section and a non-writing section.)

    • dwsmith

      Takes time, Kenny. You’ll get there. When I first went freelance, my entire apartment was not much larger than my office now and I felt lucky I afford one computer because they were very expensive back in the early days of desktops. Not kidding. But the apartment was cheap and that allowed me to keep writing full time.

      • Kenny

        Dean, I think taking time is one of the main things (outside of the writing craft side) that I’ve learnt from you–the others being having fun and being an entertainer. I’ll get there, I know, it’ll just take time! 😀

    • Kate Pavelle

      Kenny have you considered getting a 2nd hand writing machine? Since mine is never connected to the internet, I wasn’t worried about how old it was, I just wanted “reliable enough.” Using Craigslist, I scored a used 2006 iMac, preloaded with complete Microsoft Office and the whole Adobe Suite, for only $100. Of course now it *must not* be connected to the internet because I don’t want any auto updates 🙂 The previous owner finished her PhD and got a new one, and was happy to free her desk. It works. It’s fast enough, has enough memory, the screen is decent (oh I’m so spoiled), the only issue is I have to use a generic flash drive for moving documents form it to the laptop or to the other iMac, because it aged out of the newer portable hard drives (doensn’t recognize them.) Still a great deal.

      • Kenny

        Kate, I’ve got a Windows 10 laptop and a Windows 10 tablet. Both of which should be powerful enough to run Scrivener. However I don’t use them because at heart I’m a fan of PC towers and stand alone computers. There’s something I like about using a computer I built and upgraded over the years.

        That and the fact I love having my two monitors up when I write. However I’m still in the process of figuring out my writing process and systems. Things could all change. 🙂

  • paladin3001

    Will be working on setting up my first office this month myself. Need to clean out the space as my fiancee used to use it as a craft room and storage for her floral side line. One thing we will be doing is setting up a library space to compliment the desks.
    It also means that my writing computer will be out of reach of curious little fingers.

  • Mary

    I’m actually going to be setting up my first writing office when we get to the new house next month. Which won’t be in a room with a door, and it won’t be entirely my space, but my desk will finally have a chair (I’ve had the desk for eight years, haven’t had a chair), and it won’t be stuck in a corner of a room that’s too dark (I need some natural light) and it will again be just my desk, not a surface belonging to my children.

  • emmiD

    I’m in transition. Before June last year I had a devoted writing space separate from my business area and bookshelves. Then I retired and put the house on the market to downsize and live where I wanted to be. Still building so I’m not where I want and my writing/business space is now a corner in a bedroom with all the books still in storage.

    I still haven’t “un-cramped” my mind. My writing has slowed down, and I want to escape that space more than I want to put bum in chair. It’s workable. It’s comfortable. I ask myself why am I complaining when all else is good.

  • Kate Pavelle

    With our 17 and 22 yo living at home, and all of us working form a “home office,” space is at a premium. The “office” is for running other companies, and my husband likes to have books or podcasts on, whereas I need silence or ambient noise. I moved into the dining room, but then the girls move around, people want to eat, etc. So I built a corner plywood desk which rests on top of the bedroom chest of drawers (stained to match, looks great) and that’s where my writing computer lives. It’s a nice place to write. However, I’m on the front porch in the AM while there’s shade and no rain, like now. It means writing on my laptop and being distracted by all of you out there, but it’s a nice change of pace. If all else fails, there are several coffee shops that let me camp for a solid writing session 🙂 That kind of ambient noise is usually okay.
    It’s important to be able to improvise.