Well, I hope there’s nothing terribly embarrassing in this photo, but hey – I basically LIVE at my desk these days. But my desk is a little more advanced than others — I have a dual screen setup, along with a TV to the side for my vidya games, I also have a webcam, and a USB mic. Oh – and two notebook PCs.
Yes, this is my setup for both my personal computer and my day job. The dual screens heps me perform better in my day job, and for my personal life, it means I can do more than one thing at a time. Write on the left, research on the right! Amazing! But I also make podcasts and videos and all sorts of other things besides, so my desk is full of things.
And books. Always reading. The stack on the right is my “to be read” stack, which I try to keep in order. The stack onthe right is my manga, which I read whenever. And on top of the notebook in the middle is my current book, which in this case is Leviathan Wakes.
And there’s also a cooling fan in the middle because I live in Australia and like the comforts of life.
Do you need all of this stuff? HELL NO. In truth, all you need is a PC and you’re good to go (or a notebook if you’re one of those crazies that still likes to write by hand – no thanks). But do keep in mind your back and neck – if you plan on writing a lot, perhaps invest in a separate monitor and keyboard/mouse, just to elevate your eyes and keep you from staring down at a screen. It’s really bad for your neck. Also, invest in a good chair to take the pressure off your back, and get up to take a walk at least once every hour.
To be honest, my setup is messy and all over the place – I’ve added to it over the years and really need to optimise, particularly my desk. It’s coming soon, I am planning to buy a looooong desk and probably having 4 screens side by side – separating my work and personal lives completely. But all of that is yet to be seen. I’m happy with it for now.
In terms of software? I’ll probably do a more detailed write-up, but for the moment I use Scrivener. Do I recommend it? Not sure – if you’re a new writer, stick with Google Docs. It’s constantly backed up, available wherever you are, and if you need a local copy, you can download it any time. Plus, it tracks all of your revisions, and you can scroll back in time to see how things changed. Scrivener has different functions that make it worthwhile, but they are absolutely not NECESSARY for your first novel.
The beauty of Google Docs? You can also use it for notes, so you can keep all of your pertinent info all in one place, in a folder in your Google Docs. Yes, I’m kind of annoyed at myself for switching to Scrivener, but again, I’ll get into that further at a later date.
And that’s it. The rest is up to you. Computer and a desk and Google Docs – that’s all you need… Oh, and think about your back and your neck. And coffee. Coffee is pretty important, too.