10 Things That Live on My Desk

Posted on: 22nd May 2013  /   Categorized: Geeking Out

I’m enamored with writers’ spaces, and I love to see the different things other writers surround themselves with to be productive and inspired. So today I thought I would give a little tour around my writing desk (where I sometimes actually write!).


01 Desk

10 things that live on my desk…

1. My laptop! (Obviously…) And, lately, the little stand to keep it more at eye level, even though I think it puts a greater strain on my wrists. But hey, ergonomics is a tricky thing.


02 desk


2. Pens and highlighters. I’m forever refilling this little cup—I don’t know what it is about pens that makes them disappear all the time!

3. My writing calendar (that’s the three-ring binder on the bottom of the stack). I’m frequently scheduling events or Skype visits or checking deadlines, so this binder is never far from reach.

4. A spiral notebook. I jot notes to myself all the time—things to remember for the next book, or a line to add in a previous chapter, or don’t forget to do a search and replace for “shoulders” because holy cow my characters shrug a lot. I find it easier to switch to paper for these little notes than to switch between computer files.


04 desk


5. A thesaurus. Stephen King once said that any word you need to look up in a thesaurus is the wrong word. Ignore him. I use mine all the time.

6. Cinder and Scarlet. I’m constantly checking things that happened in the previous books to make sure the series stays consistent.

7. A beverage. Usually water, but sometimes coffee or wine.


03 desk


8. Fanart! Fanart from recent events usually ends up on this stand. Someday I want to have a whole wall of fanart! I adore this drawing that has all the main characters through Scarlet and little symbols for each one (a crown for Kai, tomatoes for Scarlet, and the Rampion for Iko… OHMYGOD so cute.)

9. A scented candle. I don’t burn it all the time, but sometimes you just need a little extra something to get in the writing mood.

10. My wand from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I’d like to say that looking at it fills me with inspiration and dedication to my craft because J.K. Rowling is such a friggin’ genius, but mostly I just like to twirl it around when I’m stuck, or attempt to cast “do something interesting” spells on my characters.


And that’s a peek into my little writing world. What do you keep in your space?



  1. Julie P. commented on:

    Love it! Maybe I’d be more productive if my writing space wasn’t such a cluster****, but unfortunately my entire house is at this time. I might also be productive if my kids weren’t constantly, “Mom! Mom! Mom!” but such is life. Thanks for sharing, Marissa! 🙂

  2. Julie P. commented on:

    P.S. I have an idea for some fanart and eventually I *am* going to draw it! 😉

  3. David commented on:

    It’s interesting to think about what we writers have on our desks. It makes me wish I had a desk with which to clutter with stuff! But my desk switches from day to day so I guess the only thing I have on my poor desk is the laptop which holds all of my writing…

  4. Ikhlas commented on:

    Haha, love the wand! My desk is filled with library books, a bunch pens, notebook, and of course my laptop. The scented candle is a really good idea! Maybe it’ll help me get back into the writing groove….

  5. Christine Monson commented on:

    Lol. My writing space looks very similar to yours, except my fan art comes from my twelve-year-old daughter and I have Hermione’s wand. What I don’t have (besides two published books of my own) is the stand. Where did you get it, I could totally use one?

  6. Stephanie Allen commented on:

    I wish I had a magic wand to wave around, but when I’m stuck I usually end up spinning around in my chair and staring outside at the rain.

    My writing space is full of sticky notes. Which I use for everything. My desk is basically made of sticky notes.

  7. Christene Houston commented on:

    Marissa, your desk is so nice and clean, I love it! I especially love the notebook and what you write in it and the HP wand.

  8. Cassidy Leora commented on:

    That’s awesome!
    I have a shelf to the side with all of my favorite books (Guess what? YOURS is at the top of the stack!), all five of my notebooks to look back through and write stuff down, a whole bunch of highlighters (My favorite is the pink one that is like wax. High gliders, I think it’s called? <3), My laptop and…A cat. Always a cat.
    I hope things are going well with CRESS! Remember that you're an amazing writer, and you can do ANYTHING you set your mind to!

  9. Loie commented on:

    Neat post! I have candles, an ivy plant, notebooks, post-it-notes, and water/coffee/wine around depending on when I’m writing 🙂

    Loie xx

    PS I want a wand aiii must pick one up before I leave London

  10. Marissa commented on:

    Christine, I love that you have a wand too! They’re great to fidget with, right?

    The stand that the fanart is on came from Staples, the stand that I my laptop is on I think I got at Bed Bath & Beyond.

    LOVE everybody’s ideas of what to have on your desk! Sticky notes and a cat FTW.

  11. Shauna commented on:

    Your desk is so neat! You can actually SEE it! lol

    My writing desk is very cluttered because it’s very small. It has the computer, of course. A stack of mini-drawers to keep pens, pencils, note paper, miscellaneous stuff (my poor attempt to keep it UNcluttered). My iPod, a little portable speaker to listen to my iPod, and one or two of my smaller BJDs ’cause I like looking at them. I’d sit the Shadow King on there with me, but unfortunately I have a VERY small desk and he’s much too big to fit.

  12. Liz DeJesus commented on:

    That is the cleanest desk I’ve ever seen. I’m looking at mine and just shaking my head in shame. LOL You can barely see the actual desk. 🙂

  13. mercuriovenus commented on:

    Muy bonito tu escritorio, y ordenado y todo. ¿No lo habrás puesto así para la foto…?. Ja,ja.
    Por que el mio era un caos de papeles, no había quien encontrara nada.
    y digo era por que ya no tengo. ” en mi habitación no caben mas cosas “. Ahora me toca ir con el portátil al de mi hijas, que por cierto son igual de desordenadas que yo cuando tenia su edad.
    Lo bueno del portátil es que te lo puedes llevar por toda la casa.
    por cierto, tengo que conseguir un soporte de esos, me ha gustado.
    Gracias por enseñarnos donde escribes y por las horas que he disfrutado leyendo tus libros.

  14. Marissa commented on:

    Muchas gracias, mercuriovenus! Y tambien, Bing Translator. 😀

  15. am2142 commented on:

    That is one of the nicest desks I’ve ever seen!! You should see my mom’s . . . except, you know, her’s is too cluttered to see. 🙂 I, on the other hand, have NO desk at all. 🙂 I just like to write on my bean bag or bed, listening to Bon Jovi, Journey, or just 80’s on Pandora. Other people say I’m strange, *cough-my brother-cough*, but my friends and I just embrace it. I DO plan on getting a desk at some point, though. 😀

  16. Alexa Y. commented on:

    It makes me so giddy that you have your wand on your desk. Because, you know, wands are important and essential in the writing process! I too twirl mine around and point it at random objects while I write or while I read what I’ve written aloud. It’s the PERFECT thing to use 😉

  17. hannah C brown commented on:

    My desk doesn’t actually have many writing things on it because all my notes, thesaurus and inspiration pics are contained within my precious laptop.

    What I DO have on my desk is said precious laptop, my headphones (cause theres no writing problem music can’t fix), a cup of pencils plus a ruler (but I use that more for drawing then writing), a collection of piggy banks (what? That’s not weird…), and a random stuff that there’s apparently no better place for like my dad’s camera, my DS, random pieces of paper and a pink rock. Oh, and there’s usually a glass of Gatorade cause I’m ALWAYS thirsty.

    And in my desk is a plethora of notebooks and folders filled with drawings and ideas from my childhood.

    BTW I agree with you on the thesaurus thing, without it I think my writing would get boring with the same words over and over; and I’m bad for forgetting words.

  18. Sarah Hipple commented on:

    My writing spot is usually my bed or sprawled out on the floor with my laptop on my lap. Sometimes I think I’d do better with a dedicated writing desk. Other times I’m not so sure.

    I actually just read Mindy Kaling’s book & she has a picture of her writing desk which is nicely designed (and which she never uses) and a picture of her sitting in bed, where she actually does her writing.

    So I guess it takes all sorts. (But I like your set up. Just maybe get a USB keyboard so you can keep your eyes, back, and wrists all happy at once!)

  19. Stephen E. commented on:

    Your desk is certainly neater and more organized than mine is! 🙂

  20. adele commented on:

    On my desk: Laptop, dictionary, pottery bowl with pencils, framed photo, bookshelf hooked onto my desk- so cool! Also, three ring binder 2 filled note books 2 blank notebooks!

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