All the Super-Important Stuff on This Writer’s Desk

All the Super-Important Stuff on This Writer's Desk

Everybody knows it: a writer’sย stuff is really important–especially all the stuff on a writer’s desk. A few weeks ago, after I posted a pic of my work-laden desk in my Helping Writers Become Authorsย e-letter, my critique partner Linda Yezak suggested I do a post about all my super-important desk junk. She sent me a link to thrillerย author Joseph Finder’s interactive desk tour, and it was so much fun, I figured I’d better do the same.

Welcome to My Writer’s Desk

(And please feel very special because it’s only this messy in your honor!)

Click on the black dots to get more info about the most important treasures.

Let’s chat! Whether you’re a writer or not, what are three things on your desk right now? Tell me in the comments!


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  1. I love it! My 2 faves? Your Kcup holder shelf – very clear, I love Ah! items when they can be re-purposed and your eraser board notebook. I love gadgets, but I’m still partial to pen and paper.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      I did use my iPad for a while for taking notes on story structures, but the notebook is just easier. It’s easier to whip off a note by hand than type it in–and having to correct autocorrect. /facepalm

  2. I pretend to be left-handed on the computer too! If I use a mouse with my write hand all day at my computer at work, then come home and write on my computer, it just kills my wrist. So I switched to left-hand mouse two years ago and I’ve been okay since. I like that you have a chocolate cup AND a chocolate box. I actually try to keep my desk relatively clean. Every few weeks I’ll purge the papers on it because I have a hard time thinking when surrounded by clutter. But only when I’m stressed. Usually I can write in, on, and around anything. Thanks for sharing your desk!

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      I clean my desk off every evening when I finish work. Everything goes back in its place, and then I’m ready to start fresh the next morning!

  3. Melanie Carter Winkler says:

    Well as i recently cleaned up the desk to actually find something. I have a long hand version of a story i am typing in.
    I have my laptop as always. Then a pile of papers, and a container of pens. I am sitting by the phone so for messages the paper and pen are easily accessible. I put all my writing/ WIP all in the same place and purged all repeated stuff. and rubbish that got mixed up with everything else.

    There is still some things but it’s sorted and i know where most things are. I would love to have a desk which is just mine. I could use the drawers and get rid of the old printer and old computer monitor

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      I have to do a purge of my desk and my computer once a year. It’s amazing how quickly “stuff” piles up, even when you’re conscientious about being organized.

  4. Lorna G. Poston says:

    On my desk: computer, desk lamp, devotional, Bible, a music box from Mom’s house, a stapler, a plastic bin that holds all my pens and highlighters, coffee, and a copper paperweight (he looks like a Beta fish) that a friend gave me. Plus lots of loose notes on paper. My desk is messier than yours. :p

  5. Such a fun post, and a neat way to do it by hovering over the picture! Love the “KAWFEE!” sentiment. =D I, too, have a coffee cup on my desk right now, which is sadly empty (I should probably refill that…I scarfed it down way too fast this morning), a map of Kentucky that I got at the State Fair a couple days ago, and this week’s planner pages. By the way, your desk is the farthest thing from messy that I’ve seen in a while. I would call it cozy– lots of fond items close by. =)

    I always love seeing writer’s desks. I actually did my first writing spaces post yesterday and did a detailed walk-through of my desk. It was WAY too much fun. =) Great post, Katie!

  6. Joke’s on me – I don’t even have a desk. In all seriousness: I don’t. I use my laptop, and I only need a notebook and a pen. Too much stuff is a nuisance, but (and this is ironic) if I don’t have a notebook and pen, at some point I’ll go looking for them and end up getting distracted by something else. When I finally come back, two hours later, I’ll have missed some good writing time. So while I don’t have a desk, it’s important I have the stuff I need.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      I’m a totally guru of minimalism–so good for you! But I also like having a designated writing spot. Like you say, it keeps me from getting distracted.

  7. Rebecca Fleckenstein says:

    I’m seriously loving the Kcup holder repurposed as a storage unit/riser! I’ve been looking into getting a stand to put on my desk for when I feel the need to stand and type, and that seems to be a perfect solution!

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Most monitors, if we just set them on our desks, are at totally the wrong height for good posture. My neck feels so much better now that I’ve lifted my monitor by a full six inches. And this solution is great because it’s aesthetic and offers storage space too.

  8. Thanks for introducing me to the thinglink image caption service – I may use it in the future. I try to keep my desks minimalist and clutter-free, however I like the romanticism of working at a desk surrounded by random inspiration and work-in-progress. But (the only) three things on my desk at work are: my laptop/monitor/mouse combo, phone, and a mason jar full of water. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. My desk is very small so I just have the essentials: lamp, laptop, notebook with ideas, outlines etc, folder with different drafts of current work in progress, and my pen collection. I do have a branstorming wall that I fill with sticky notes of ideas and inspiring quotes . I like that Snoopy is your mascot, that is cool. Thanks for sharing. I always enjoy your pots and helpful writing tips. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      I actually really like the idea of a small desk. Of course, every time I consider switching, I consider the fact that I have no idea where to store all my mountains of papers, notes, and office supplies if I do that!

  10. Loved this, Katie! I don’t know why seeing another writer’s desk and/or writing space is so fascinating, but it always is.

    Three things on my desk are (1.) a broken padlock that I use as a paperweight (rescued from the ruins of a log cabin on my parents’ land in the Cariboo), (2.) a mug mat (minus the mug of coffee or tin of Diet Coke that usually sit on it), and (3.) a printout of Ann Vokamp’s September ‘Joy Dare’ (I’m counting three things about summer today). ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Sylvia Stewart says:

    I have a framed copy of a fortune cookie paper my husband got. It reads, “You are capable of tremendous creativity.” When he opened it, he frowned and said, “Uh oh! I got the wrong cookie. This one was meant for you.”

    I also have a photo of my sweet mama who was the first of the family writers.

    There’s also a canning jar with a slit in the lid. It’s labeled “2015 Blessings.” It’s filling up!

  12. Man, I’m geeking out so much over this post.. LOVE the red tri-plane and eraser-board notepad, total power tools right there ๐Ÿ™‚

    Three things on my desk right now: 1) Cyclops skull 2) The Emotion Thesaurus 3) Modded version of the original Kindle ebook reader, with black & white screen and built-in word processor ๐Ÿ˜›

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      You’ve got a word processor on your Kindle? That’s pretty rad!

      • Yeah I went travelling for 2 months and couldn’t bear the idea of not editing, so I hacked my Kindle and my old Nook ebook reader to run android, and bought a cheap word processor app from Google Play store…my Nook gave me almost a month of battery power & writing time before needing a recharge ๐Ÿ™‚

        • K.M. Weiland says:

          Clever! What version of Kindle do you have?

          • I no longer have the Kindle device but I think it was 4th generation Kindle Touch? I stuck with the modded Barnes & Noble Nook [simple touch] because even though it could handle wi-fi and the gmail app, it was still slow enough that I was never distracted by the wi-fi (dis)function.. Personally I think it’s a real power tool for writing, and everything saves to microSD card as universal text files which is even more handy.

            Katie – what ebook devices do you own?

          • K.M. Weiland says:

            I have a Kindle Touch, a Kindle Keyboard (which I still love for its read-aloud feature–which I use while proofreading), and an iPad.

  13. I’m a righty who uses a left-handed mouse, too!

    I have a four pound sledgehammer to scare off my intruders, an artist’s mannequin hand that holds papers for me, and my ink-bottle collection.

  14. This is such a cool idea. I love your sword letter opener and cap gun…and of course the ample stash of life-giving nourishment (aka chocolate). My desk is nowhere near as exciting and way more cluttered and disorganized. Current contributors to the mess are a pile of colored pens, two CD cases, and a roll of duct tape.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Every writer needs a roll of duct tape. Never know when you’re going to need to tape your internal editor’s mouth…

  15. I sit at the end of my dining room table when I write. At the other end are my supplements and then I have mail, a dictionary, and a thesaurus. I face a sliding glass window so I can stare out to get my space when I need it.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Sounds beautiful! I have windows behind me. Sometimes, I think about moving the desk so I face the window, but I worry I might be too distracted. :p

  16. A cat, usually lying across my notebook, a diary and glasses (reading glasses that is) several pairs… oh and a snoring dog by my feet ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. 3 things I have = a few lego minifigures…. a small wolf statue…. a travel mug that has a picture of Duran Duran’s John Taylor in it.

    Honorable mention – a neat looking rock that’s half marbled & half crystals

  18. Greg Smith says:

    Currently the writing desk is a folding/collapsible sewing table… the loose parallel being that of stitching disparate parts together into a tailored whole… comfy and warm and will hold up to the harshest elements; think Edna Mode (… machine washable, too, darling. That’s a new feature.)

    As neat and tidy as Oscar Madison (or the Grouch) though I do attempt organization occasionally. Paper and pen. Knickknacks… visual cues (super-important, keeps aimed in right direction). Radio, classical… except opera…

    Dictionary. Thesaurus (I’m going to have to get a toy dinosaur and name it that!)

    Then there’s the wall.

  19. I am far from being a minimalist. And I love collecting office supplies (a childhood love that happened to fit perfectly with my career choice).
    So what I feel after looking up at my desk, files of outlines, brainstormings, journals, pen and highlighters, all I can say is your desk is way too neat.
    BTW I am still searching for a suitable pen which won’t bleed with highlighting. Any suggestions ๐Ÿ™

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Hmm. I’m totally not a pen snob, but I’ve always liked the Bic Atlantis. I’m thinking it does pretty well with highlighting. At any rate, I’ve never noticed any issue when outlining.


  1. […] the lead by K. M. Weiland ( and encouraged by my friend Nanette Day, I’m sharing a completely un-staged photo of […]

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