How I set up a fun, efficient copywriter office space

January 27, 2011 by Dean Rieck
Filed under: Productivity 

copywriter officeWhen writers start talking about their craft, the conversation inevitably turns to office space and equipment.

No surprise there. Golfers talk about their clubs. Runners talk about their shoes. And photographers talk about their cameras.

For copywriters, the tools of the trade are, basically, an office with a desk, computer, and other stuff. So naturally every writer is a little curious about how other writers set up their workspace.

Here’s a photo of my office. I didn’t clean up or arrange anything. I just walked to the other side of the room and snapped a photo. What you see is how my workspace looks on a typical weekday.

I’ve come to this arrangement after many years of experimenting with various configurations. This “command corner” setup is what I find to be most productive.

My desk is a massive, multi-piece unit that I purchased at a local office supply store. There are about a dozen pieces, which took a couple of days to assemble.

I sit at the corner unit with a computer keyboard, monitor, phone, and work files all within reach. Extending off to either side is more work surface, much of which you can’t see in this photo. To the left is a typical desk setup. To the right are tables with a scanner, printer, copy machine, and lots of filing cabinets and drawers.

Each floor unit is topped with a hutch-like piece featuring open filing slots, closed storage, and an upper shelf. As you can see, I have some photos, plants, and a few toys to make the office more fun and homey. (Bonus points if you can find Gumby.)

I spent a little extra money for a comfortable, leather chair. My backside is an important piece of equipment and I try to make it as comfortable as possible since I’m using it for hours at a time.

There are large windows on the other side of the room overlooking my garden, but I purposely face away from that. During the summer, it would be too distracting and I might not get any work done if I could see outside.

Also out of camera range is a storage closet and shelves filled with reference books. A Mark Twain print and an original Bob Wood charcoal drawing of Huck Finn hang on the walls.

While I’m not ultra-anal about keeping my office tidy, I never let it become too cluttered. I have a place for everything and, more or less, keep everything in its place. This helps me focus on my copywriting and consulting projects and avoid wasting time and energy searching for files, notes, or reference materials.

Okay. I’ve shown you mine. Now show me yours. Post a photo of your copywriting office on your blog, Facebook page, Twitpic, or wherever you like and share a link.

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