Simple Living Minimalism as a Writer

How do I implement simple living minimalism as a writer? For me, it covers everything from having an uncluttered work space, to my work flows, to the types of projects I choose to work on.

Physical Workspace

My desk is a basic Ikea LINNMON/ADILS (not sponsored) in white. It doesn’t give me a lot of room, an intentional choice because there’s no space for clutter to accrue. I’ve got a lamp, my laptop, a pencil case, and my bullet journal. My plush unicorn Vito sits to my left, and my  elephant Fred sits to my right. The stuffed animals are there to add color and humanize my workspace, but they also occupy otherwise empty space where stuff could start to pile up.

The pencil case has the bare minimum: two black pens; three more pens in red, green, and blue for color-coding; a mechanical pencil; an eraser; a spool of correction tape; and short ruler I use as a straight edge.

There is small two-shelf bookcase to my left, the top of which I do use as additional space. This is where my coffee sits. My bullet journal lives there when I’m not writing in it, so it’s out of the way. There are to rolls of Washi tape for color coding, a pad of sticky notes, and tissues.

Digital Workspace

It’s imperative that I keep my Windows desktop as organized as possible. That means keeping things filed in the correct folders, and maintaining as few icons as possible. Because I work in series or product lines, each active line as a folder. There is a shortcut to the 3 projects with the nearest deadlines, so I’m only a click away from opening those. I have a folder for completed projects, basically an archive. There’s a folder for ideas, and one for upcoming projects that I don’t need to be working on yet.

All of that is in the center of the desktop. To the left, separated by a couple of rows of blank space, are the “utility” icons. This is where the trash can, cloud access, the download folder, and so on are located. On the right side of the screen, also separated by a couple of rows, are folders for personal things. This includes shortcuts to books I’m currently reading, a folder full of downloaded podcasts, music, financial information, business contracts, and so on.

Project Selection

When I’m deciding what projects to work on, I look at my options through the filter of simple living. How complicated and stressful is this going to be? Is it going to be disruptive, and if so, is it worth it to reach my goals? Will there be a lot of time-consuming research or fact-checking required, and again, will the outcomes I want be worth that effort? Who will I have to work with, and are they potentially disruptive to my process and my overall peace of mind?

I always consider opportunity cost. What will I have to give up if I tackle this project? What will I not be able to do if I choose to do this?  Simple living minimalism as a writer also means looking at my overall life, from the day-to-day flows to personal relationships to my professional reputation. The more complicated a project is, the greater the likelihood it will have a ripple effect and impact more facets of my life. That’s why I strive to keep things simple.

Simple Living Minimalism as a Writer

This is the latest in a series of posts on Simple Living Minimalism. If you enjoy my posts you can buy me a coffee. Consider subscribing below, so you can read my daily ramblings about the writer’s life, minimalist, being a spoonie, and the intersection of all of those things.


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About Berin Kinsman

Berin Kinsman is a writer, game designer, and owner/publisher at Dancing Lights Press. An American by accident of birth, he currently lives in Finland with his wife, artist Katie Kinsman.

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