December Sell-a-bration Day #10: Taking Back the Space

By Joanna Nesbit

The big leap I took in 2008 was to stop sharing the desk and computer with the rest of the family. Seems like a no-brainer, but it wasn’t obvious to me until I did it. I bought myself a laptop with the money I earned from a national-level article (very exciting in and of itself). I didn’t realize until I had moved onto my new computer how much writing time I wasn’t taking advantage of because of the rest of the family being online or playing computer chess or creating a picture collage. (Composing on paper seems to be a physical impossibility for me.) Now that the family computer has been relocated to the dining room, which, incidentally, required hiring an electrician to put in new grounded outlets and buying another desk, I have the office space all to myself. Whoopee! These days I can count on my paper piles to remain exactly as I leave them.

The personal space and personal computer are paying off. In 2008, I published three national articles in two parenting magazines, with a fourth and fifth in the works. I won’t give my new space all the credit, but it does help.

I’ve also learned, courtesy of Christina’s Short Stuff class, how to look for the smaller opportunities that pay $50 or $100, such as tips and ideas. I’ve sold two ideas so far, an outdoor game idea and a favorite candy shop idea. My tips are still out there. Now when I go through a magazine, I’m scanning for that little blurb about “Got an Idea?” and the accompanying email address.

My goals for 2009 include more of the same. And the next big step is to go beyond the research stages of a website and get something up and running. Something I can afford. I admit to hearty brain overload on this and have been doing a good job of not dealing with it. But after reading Sell-a-bration #3, I’m feeling re-inspired. Perhaps I need to call someone’s son.

In the meantime, you can find me blogging as Moxie Mom at


3 Responses to “December Sell-a-bration Day #10: Taking Back the Space”

  1. 1 Jenni December 10, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Okay, after reading your good luck from taking your own space (and Julie Steed’s as well, Sell-a-bration #2) I feel called to dust off the desk upstairs. I haven’t been using my own space because it’s located in a common area–a large upstairs landing–and I’m afraid the sound of the keys or rustling papers will wake my slumbering son. Not to mention that I can’t conduct phone interviews from there. Nevertheless, it would be better for my career (and my back) to re-adopt this space I’m so fortunate to have.

  2. 2 Erin Goodman December 11, 2008 at 6:58 am

    Good for you!! I am in the process of converting our family’s “computer room” into my writing studio. It’s such a powerful shift to make space for our work!!!!


  3. 3 writerinspired December 11, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Joanna – good for you! Sometimes the smallest changes bring us the biggest moments!

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