I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I absolutely adore my job. Sure, there are days when the research can become overwhelming and the words just won’t flow onto the page. But most of the time, I feel so unbelievably lucky that I get to wake up, sit down in my sunny office with a big ol’ cup of coffee and spend the day going back in time.

I’ll tell you something I don’t like about being a writer, though: the deadlines. They’re totally a necessary evil—if it weren’t for them I never would have researched, written and edited a book a year for the last eleven years--but sometimes, deadlines drive me a bit crazy!

Somewhere around my fourth or fifth book, though, I finally figured out a few routines and habits that make my deadline-driven work more bearable. If you ask me, it all starts with what you keep in your office.

So what’s on my desk? Here are three of the most important items. Take one of these away, and there’s a good chance I might miss my daily deadline. You don’t want to run into me on a day when that happens!

Keyboard Wrist Rest (boy, that’s a mouthful!)


Sometimes I’ll be typing away for hours on end and not realize how long I’ve been holding my wrists in the same position. OUCH! These wrist rests (try saying that three times fast!) are great for, well, resting my tired wrists as I pound out one scene after another. If you’ve never used a wrist rest before, trust me, it could change your life!

A Beverage With Sugar or Caffeine

I’ll take any combination of sugar and caffeine I can get my hands on. Lattes, hot cocoa and sweet tea are constant companions at my desk. I love my beverages for the extra burst of energy they provide, but sometimes, its more about the routine than the caffeine itself. Some days, I’ll pour myself a cup of coffee and then let it sit untouched on my desk while I write. Something about having that steam and aroma in the air just gets my creative juices flowing!

Do Not Disturb Sign


Okay, so this one isn’t technically on my desk, but it’s too important not to include. My cute little cross-stitched “GO AWAY” sign actually lives right outside my office, on my door handle. It’s probably more crucial to my ability to hit deadline than anything else. I sure do love my family, but distractions while I’m “in the zone” can really mess up my groove! A closed office door and a nice little Do Not Disturb sign are great tools for those who stop by know that I mean business today. Too bad Cowboy can’t read… 


What items do you keep in your office to help you stay on top of your work? And are you as addicted to caffeine as I am? Let’s chat! You can find me on Twitter @DeeanneGist or on my Facebook page!