Resources The Writing Life

My Writing Garret

Every writer needs a writing place, a garret, a place to focus on the task at hand.

The garret is a mythical refuge from busyness that offers quiet and inspiration. Some writers have an actual workshop separate from their living space where they can spend the time productively. Their tools are close at hand; their surroundings are comfortable and inspiring. They live the writer’s life in seclusion.

I’m not one for seclusion. I actually relish the buzz of life around me. Ideas flow all the time.

The trick is to capture those ideas when they happen so I can use them in the future.

My garret is my recliner at home, or my home-office if I need to sit up straight.

I use a Sony laptop with windows 7. I’ve used a PC and Windows since the early 90s. I’m not likely to make any switches to an Apple product — Ever. I do use Linux Ubuntu now and then, however, for my geek fix.

[Edit: My Sony croaked, so I’m now using a Toshiba Satellite Laptop and Windows 8.1, soon to upgrade to 10.]

I use Scrivener (for Windows) to manage my writing projects and to do the initial writing. I can export it to a variety of file types for publishing or any final formatting. It’s new to me, and I’m just getting used to it; I like it. My Amazon Affiliate link to it is here, both Mac and PC:

I wrote this blog post with it. I exported it to an html file. Then I opened that file in a plain-text editor and copied everything between the <body> and </body> tags. Finally, paste it into my WordPress editor in the “text” tab.

I use LibreOffice Suite, a free Open Source suite compatible with Microsoft Office. You can get it here:

I use Evernote to collect random thoughts. It is cross-platform. I can access it from my laptop, my desktop, my Tablet, or my iPhone. If I use its “tag” feature, I can access any thought, anywhere. There are free and for-pay versions here:

My blogs are self-hosted WordPress blogs. I have two I’ve been working on-and-off for several years. This one ( represents my commitment (finally) to spend more time practicing and developing my writing skills and output. You can also blog on hosted.

I use the “Editorial Calendar” plug-in for WordPress to help me stay on deadline.

I do use pen or pencil, and paper, but nothing fancy. I troll the back-to-school sales and get those bound composition books for a quarter or so. I have stacks of them to use and fill.

My old Collegiate Webster’s Dictionary fills in for the odd word lookup.

In the final analysis, I don’t have anything that makes my garret special. I just use plain-vanilla tools available to all. It’s my mind that creates my writer-space.

What tools do you use? What’s your garret like?

By John Larson

John is an experienced small business owner, management consultant, project manager, and family man. John has been married since 1967 to the same beautiful bride. He has two sons and eight grandchildren. He makes his home in Carlton, Oregon, USA.

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