If you’re going to be doing much or all of your writing at home, you need a place to write in your home! You may have dreams of a fancy home office with all the trimmings, but the truth of the matter is that you only need a few pieces of equipment to get started.Though it might be a little discouraging to start with a bare bones set up, remember that you can always upgrade as time goes on. Start with your computer, your desk, and your chair, and you’ll find that you are ready to get started.
Your computer is going to become the center of your work-at-home life, and it is worth your while to get a good one. However, getting a good computer for writing is different from getting a good computer for gaming or for general entertainment purposes! If you are buying a new computer, make sure that you have chosen one that comes with a good warranty, and ideally an office suite already installed. The office suite is the set of programs that will give you your word processor. If the computer does not have a word processor already on it, you can download a free word processor like AbiWord or Open Office, or you can use the word processor provided by Google.
When you are choosing a computer for your work at home career, do not forget to think about the peripherals. First, consider your keyboard. If you are planning to make writing a full-time occupation, you will find that you need an ergonomic keyboard. The stress that hours of typing piles on your hands can be severe and you want to avoid repetitive stress injuries if at all possible. Similarly, choose an ergonomic mouse that conforms to your hand.
Either a laptop of a desktop can be used for someone who is writing professionally, and they both have their advantages and disadvantages. In the last few years, the price gap between the two has shrunk dramatically, and you’ll find that the choice you make will be largely a matter of personal preference. For example, a desktop is on the whole more powerful and more easily serviced. You can plug in the peripherals of your choice, but you are limited in terms of where you can work. A laptop allows you to work anywhere you like, both in your home and out of it, but it tends to be less sturdy, and you are stuck with the keyboard as it is.
You also want to consider that laptop keyboards are not ergonomically designed, and though it might feel ok for a while, long sessions on a laptop over an extended period of time can result in real problems like carpal tunnel syndrome or other repetitive stress, repetitive motion injuries down the road.
Your Desk & Chair
Your desk is one thing that designates a space as your office, and because it is a rather expensive piece of furniture, you want to choose the one that suits you well on the first try. When you are purchasing a writing desk, stand up next to it. Most good writing desks are around waist-height. Sit down at the desk at the store and see how well your legs fit underneath it. If you feel cramped and claustrophobic, it is not for you.
Choose a desk that fits in your office area. Some people find that a corner desk is a great way to save space and that it gives them more room to work. A very small desk may simply hold your computer and very little else, while a larger desk allows you to spread out. A larger desk should also have storage options; most desks have a single drawer, but drawers to one side or on both sides improves your office’s storage capacities. Writing desks with a hutch over them can also give you places to stash your important paperwork.
A good chair for your desk is essential. You may be spending anywhere from one to ten hours in your desk chair per day, and the more comfortable it is for you, the better. While you can always use a random kitchen chair as you get started, it is well worth your while to invest in a good desk chair. A good desk chair is full adjustable, and you will be able to adjust the tilt as well as the height. Whether or not the chair has arms is a matter of personal preference, as some people like to sit very close to the desk and the arms can interfere with that.
Getting started with writing from home can be exciting, but don’t get ahead of yourself. A computer and a desk are the bare minimum it takes to get started, so make sure that you purchase what you need. Remember that the most expensive items are not necessarily the best ones, and that it is more important to find items that are right for you!