Home Office Tips for Freelance Writers
When envisioning the freelance life, it is common to imagine a relaxed writer typing away at her laptop on the living room couch, at a charming coffee shop, or even on that cliched sandy beach with a martini in hand. While most freelance writers take advantage of their mobility and freedom on occasion, settling down in a home office could be the secret weapon you never knew you had.
Benefits to the Home Office Setup
A home office has both practical and psychological advantages. Not only will the writer be able to store and organize their business materials better, they will also have more privacy and less distractions. A home office also shows that you are serious about your writing. It could be the trick to making a beginning freelancer feel like a “real” writer, and friends and family might also find a new respect for your career.
Home Office Ergonomics Tips
Your comfort and health are important, so consider ergonomics when purchasing furniture – especially the chair you will be sitting in. Remember, even if quality chairs are more expensive, the extra focus you will gain can make up for it in the long run. The ergonomic office will also need proper lighting. Ensure that you can work long hours without straining your eyes.
Home Office Tips – Choosing a Computer
If you want to save money when putting together your home office setup, do it when purchasing a computer. Freelance writers don’t need complex expensive machines. All you need is a basic computer that can connect to the internet and support Microsoft Word. Your biggest decision will be deciding between a laptop or desktop. Some writers find desktops to be more comfortable, but laptops have the advantage if you intend to travel or occasionally move your work to a different location. Owning both could give you the best of two worlds. Don’t skip on buying an external hard drive. Being able to back up your documents will save you from the painful frustration of losing your hard work if your computer crashes in the future.
Home Office Tips – Establishing a Filing System
Experienced freelance writers know the complexity of tax season for the self-employed. You will need a smooth-running organization system in your home office. Save copies of invoices, proof of payments, and receipts for anything business related for tax purposes. You might also want to save important phone numbers, clips, and ideas for future articles in your office. The unorganized writer will quickly drown in a mess of her own papers.
Creating a Library of Books for Writers
If you don’t have shelves for your office yet, you will need buy or build some. A few books are necessary for every writer’s collection. Among these include:
- A dictionary
- A thesaurus
- Style books and manuals
- A current Writer’s Market
Writers who specialize in certain topics will benefit from shelving reference books in their niche. They might also want to subscribe to a few reputable journals and magazines. Neither your library, nor your office, needs to be impressively large, but writers will discover that a little effort and investment in these areas can go a long ways toward a successful career.