Oh sure, there are lots of other things that are nice to have, like acres of room and fancy filing systems, and maybe an espresso machine. You’ll get there. But in the beginning here are the basics:
- A place to write. This may seem obvious, and maybe it is, but where you’re going to do your freelance writing deserves some thought. The kitchen table will work if it must, but you’ll make yourself happier and more productive if you can carve out a permanent space, no matter how small. You don’t need the distraction of setting up every time you want to write. Consider a tiny table in your bedroom or the corner of your living room. Maybe one of those cabinets that allows you to shut the doors on any mess is possible. Get creative and create a space of your own.
- The right equipment. The computer, printer, phone and internet connection are obvious. Pay attention to ergonomics too. Seriously. You can do long-term physical damage to yourself, and as a result to your freelance writing career, but it’s mostly avoidable just by paying attention and making some adjustments.
- Your own website. I want to shout this one. You simply must have your own website – because it’s where people who want to pay you for your writing are looking for you. You need your own domain name – I use 1and1 to both buy domains and host sites. Consider using WordPress as a way to upload and manage your content. If you hire someone to develop your site for you insist on WordPress or some other content management system that makes it super easy for you to do the updates.
- Social media accounts. Properly used social media will help you build a community of writers and clients. Start with TWitter, move on to FaceBook, Linkedin, and maybe reddit.com
- Business cards. Business cards help you feel like you’re in business and give people you meet in the real world a way to get back to you. Your card should make it clear what you do and how to reach you.
- Something lovely. Every successful office needs a treasure or two. Maybe it’s a lovely view, or a sacred statue, or pictures of friends and/or family. Maybe it’s some small display you change from time-to-time. Something that just plain makes you feel good.
And if you’re one of those who loves to write in a coffee shop? Well, you also need to come home sometime. Then you’ll need your home office setup properly.
What’s in your office?
Image from http://www.sxc.hu