Thinking about redecorating your home office? Or just carving out some space to begin with? Then this next post is for you. Kimberly Kincaid, who writes “foodie romances” such as the recently released The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap, talks about writing spaces: how the places where we write should mesh with our personal style and the way we live. Welcome, Kimberly!

“No matter how small your space… add something you love”

Whether you write full time or you manage your writing time around another job, one thing is certain. You need a space for your creative endeavors. One of the first things I did after I sold my first series last year (after the requisite screaming and crying and maniacal laughter) was to look my husband right in the eye and say, “I need an office.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. Carving out office space is a daunting task for pretty much everybody. Very few of us have superfluous square footage (not to mention the spare time) to whip up writing space. I’m extremely lucky in that I had a whole room at my disposal when I started. But you don’t need four walls (or a door!) to create a niche that will suit your needs.

First, I made a list of my “musts”. For some people, this might include natural light, or if you’re balancing parenting with your writing tasks, you may need a direct line of sight on your kids’ play space at home. I’m easily distracted by noise, so a door was on my “must” list. Try to keep your “wants” separate from your “musts”. If the list gets too long, it’s likely you’ll have a really hard time taking your space from concept to reality.

Speaking of wants! They go on the next list. I knew I wanted a dedicated space—after all, this is my office, the place where I work (and writing part time does *not* diminish the value of treating writing as a job!) This doesn’t mean that my kids’ homework assignments don’t creep into my space. After all, I’m their mom, and sometimes, we’ve got to multi-task our jobs! But for the most part, my writing space belongs to my author stuff. Also high on my list were a lot of book storage space, and a desk and chair where I could get really comfortable.

writing space, home office, bookshelves

Next, I put my plan into action. Just like most of us don’t have that extra space lying around, extra money is usually pretty rare too. I started with the essentials (desk, chair, laptop) and crossed things off my list (paint, bookshelves, décor, extra chair) as money allowed. And yes. Even though I “moved in” over a year ago, there’s still clutter. It’s a work in progress!

There were things that were important to me as a visual writer that others might not prioritize, and I cannot say enough how crucial it is to examine *your* ideal space. I work well with images, so one of the first things I did was to make permanent bulletin boards so I could pin up story ideas as I wrote. Other people are only comfortable if they’re organized, so file cabinets are key for them. Still others may want the option to be active while writing—exercise desk, anyone? Find your best combination, knowing that it’s changeable.

Kimberly Kincaid toy dish

Lastly, I’d say one of my favorite things about my writing space is that it’s full of things I love (yes. Even the clutter). Old cookbooks line my shelves with reference books, family photos are side by side with writing awards. I even have a little dish of toys and trinkets on my desk to get me through those tough days. No matter how small your space, even if it’s a nook in the kitchen or a booth at Panera Bread, add something you love to this mix. A little creativity (and a little clutter) goes a long way!

More About Kimberly

Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she’s not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as “The Pleather Bomber”, she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to éclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a 2011 RWA Golden Heart® finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. Her digital “line” series is all about the hot cops and sexy chefs of Brentsville, New York. She is also thrilled to have collaborated on a Christmas anthology with Donna Kauffman and Kate Angell, titled The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap, to kick off her Pine Mountain foodie series with Kensington books, to be followed by her first full-length print novel, Turn Up the Heat. Kimberly resides in northern Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters. Visit her any time at www.kimberlykincaid.com or come check her out on Facebook (www.facebook.com/kimberly.kincaid1) and Twitter (@kimberlykincaid).

The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap, Kimberly Kincaid, foodie romance, Pine MountainAre you thinking about creating or redecorating your home office? Does anyone work in an unusual space? What are some of the things that you keep in your work space to keep you motivated or inspired? What about Christmas cookies? Anyone thinking about them yet? Favorites? I hope everyone had a terrific weekend. Thank you for guest blogging today, Kimberly!