I love working at MailChimp's headquarters, but I do most of my writing at home. Sometimes you just need a change of environment, and having a separate space is helpful when I need to focus. My desk sits in a quiet corner that overlooks the backyard.
Writing is hard sometimes - especially when you're on deadline - so I try to make my home office a peaceful place. I display photos (1) that make me happy. The one on the left is of my grandmother and me. She was a wonderful writer and an inspiration. On the right is a picture of my husband the day we bought our first house. It's a warm memory for me.
The print on the wall (2) is by Sonnenzimmer, a studio in Chicago. I love their simple designs. I change out the books by my desk, but I always have a copy of the Maira Kalman illustrated edition of Strunk and White's The Elements of Style (3) nearby. I also keep my Kindle (4) close while I'm writing. If I get stumped, I just pick it up and read something until I'm ready to get back to work. I like using indoor plants as natural air purifiers, but this aloe (5) is the only one I've managed to keep alive for more than a few months. It gets a lot of light in my office. I usually burn a soy candle (6) while I work too. It's so nice when the scent fills the room.
I've tried a million different list-making apps, but I still write my to-do lists on Post-it notes (7). They're everywhere. I hate the way they look, but they keep me organised. I drink way too much coffee, and I love the ritual of making it in the Chemex (8). I go through at least a pot a day.
Words: Kate Kiefer Lee
Kate Kiefer Lee is a writer, editor and content strategist at MailChimp based in Atlanta, US.
This article originally appeared in net magazine issue 249.