As promised, design of an 'On Writing' workspace.

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Bill Ricardi

Oct 8, 2017
Hey folks,

I mentioned last year that I was going to post the details of a writing space that was created according to Mr. King's advice in On Writing. I have 25 minutes before writing starts for the day. So here we go:

Room: 9' by 13'. It is essentially a small converted store room. Some room is taken up by a water heater, some by networking equipment, some by an old dresser, etc. It could just as easily be a guest room or even a large closet, given how much space the writing activities actually take up.

The key features are a closable door, electricity, a networked computer, and a heater. The key NON-features are anything that someone could want or need in an emergency. Everything stored in here is 'extra' or guest related stuff. Nobody is going to be banging down the door for this stuff, they can wait until my office hours are over.

Work Area: Standard build-it-yourself 'small' sized computer desk that you could get at IKEA or Target, or Argos on this side of the pond. Mine is about 40 inches wide, enough to fit one large and one small monitor. Bog standard padded office chair (see above for stores). Oil-sealed space heater, nothing with open coils. Computer capable of running Google Docs. One 23 inch monitor and one 14 inch monitor. Logitech HD webcam and Blue microphone for any streaming / appearances / recordings required.

Rules: Other than myself, only one creature is allowed in or out during my 40 hour work week: My cat Loki. I have a mobile phone on vibrate should there be an emergency. Outside of lunch or timed 15 minute breaks, no programs are to be open other than the web browser for Google Docs; not even messengers or social media.


And that's it. That's how you build your little writing fortress. Enforce the rules aggressively but without malice. Whatever your writing time may be, from full time to an hour a day, this place is sacrosanct for the duration.

After my work hours, I use the same setup for my writing stream on Twitch. I may also be using it to record audiobook material, depending on market demand.

If it seems Spartan, that's because it is. Really what more do you need? Lack of distraction is the goal here, and a small room where you can seal yourself away is what the doctor ordered.

Thanks again to Mr. King for the great instruction and for being an inspiration to millions.

Work time.