Like Mr. Bennet, I have a book room that’s also my office. Virginia Woolf was right that a woman needs a “room of her own”. In my case, I have an entire home of my own, so I can really write anywhere, but the office/book room is a place where I come to be focused on my writing and social media work, because here there’s no TV, no refrigerator, and no knitting to distract me. (There are, however, books…but I try not to let them distract me!) This room is designed as the second bedroom, but I’ve converted it.
Let me give you a tour:
So this is the command center, as it were–my desk.
The navy and white magazine holder is the place where I keep my file of current projects and writing notebooks, so when I sit down to write, I know exactly what is going to be worked on, and all my notes and documents are close to hand. There’s also my notepads, because I’m always scribbling things down on paper to remind me to do things (buy more printer ink, ideas, notes to send, etc.)
A few reference books are on my desk–the CCC, the Ignatius Bible, books about Italy, and some of the writing books I’m working through. I also keep my stationery items here (yes, I write real letters to people), as well as my Disney desk calendar, because every day needs a dose of Disney. There is always a fresh stack of paper for the printer! My printer is a Canon MG7120, which I adore.
To the right of the desk is my cabinet of office supplies and software and my cork board. The cork board is a place where I stick notes to myself (like how the scanner works!) and a weekly overview of content that helps drive my editorial calendar. I brainstorm ideas first, and then I break them down between content that gets posted here, or gets posted on Living Adventurously. Then I assign due dates so I know what’s due to go up when. The “Make it Happen” is a constant reminder to myself to get things done.
You can see that Thursday is devoted solely to writing manuscripts. That was an inspired Cristina idea!
And yes, the book cases and books….everywhere. They are organized. The bookshelves are supremely organized. Fiction/poetry/history/theology/kid-YA lit are shelved in this room; biography, current events, and the start of the fiction (and the Shelf of Jane References) are downstairs. (I am really picky about how I organize my books. I have to know where they all are, and I can tell people where are they at all times. It’s sort of scary. )
One of my favorite parts of this room is the light. I love the windows. The view of the parking lot isn’t exactly edifying, but I do like the trees and a bit of green space beyond that. And since I can see the parking lot, I can see if the UPS guy comes to deliver while I’m upstairs writing (very useful).
I keep a lot of magazine files around, or files of research, because one never knows when things may come in handy. So those are stored in here as well. In the memory boxes, I have my girl scout badges, high school letters, special cards and notes and programs from special events. I also store my journals in this room, which are invaluable when it comes to filling in gaps while I’m writing the memoir and helping with the timeline.
(I linked to all the things I like so you can get them, too, if you want–a lot of people ask me where I got my posters and other items, so I wanted to have it there for you! I don’t get a commission or anything, I just really like these products.)