Amy Feezor is the copy director at Real Simple magazine, she is also a freelance writer and blogs at M-Dashing about home design and decor and her obsessions with photography, artisan foods, travel, art, local restaurants, etsy.com, and organizing. This freelance life happens from her Brooklyn headquarters — a corner of her studio apartment. I thought this was a particularly appropriate ‘Inspriation’ after the last post about small spaces.
How long I’ve worked from home…and where is “home”? I have two offices: one at work-work, and one nestled in a nook within my small studio apartment.This is where I blog and work on freelance projects. I’ve been writing professionally for about ten years now, and my home office expands well beyond my desk and my Mac. It’s by my bedside within notebooks I keep handy in case I think of something while I am falling asleep (a common occurrence). It’s on my couch and my coffee table [an Eames molded plywood coffee table that was a recent purchase]. It’s in my kitchen. It’s even on the subway—I find that I do a lot of writing there (it feels strangely private…I even wrote much of this stuff on the F-train). I grew up all over the South, and don’t have an official hometown, per se. So that means that home is wherever I am at the time. Home as has been Birmingham, Nashville, London, Charlotte, Austin, and now home is Brooklyn. But it’s probably not my last home; we’ll see where the next few years take me.
What an average workday involves: Thinking quickly, writing quickly, eating quickly. Quick check-ins on email, Twitter, and my daily blog. Eating quickly again. Taking three to four meetings, in person or on conference call. Trying to find quiet moments to actually think a concept through. And reminders to myself to get up and stretch every once in a while.
Technology that inspires me? My new SLR digital camera. I can’t stop taking pictures right now, and I am really interested in how photography tells a story. As a writer, it’s a new way to adjust my eyes—to challenge myself to look beyond words and learn to rely more on the visual. It’s definitely starting to influence my work. I learned film photography back in college and have a cool metal-bodied Minolta that used to be my dad’s, but this is a whole new ballgame. I am learning more about how to control it and how it controls me. And for the record, I love my little machine so much that I’d probably make out with it if I could.
How I organize my space: My physical space is pretty organized and painfully neat. There’s not much clutter (what a disappointment; aren’t creative types supposed to be messy?). But I just can’t deal. Everything has its place with me, mostly because I’m very forgetful. Being organized helps me be less so. Also, there are folders. Many, many folders. And sometimes, they’re color-coded. My digital space largely mirrors my physical space (read: lots of colorful folders). I have a big to-do list I’ve created in Excel. I deal with bills in Quicken. And I also tend to have a bit of post-it note/Internet bookmarking problem, so I’ve been trying out Evernote.
Item on my desktop that I cannot do without: My red pen. It’s my magic editing wand. My notebook (can’t go anywhere without it). And the calendar…I’m always juggling deadlines and timelines, and need to constantly reference it. I’m still a bit old-fashioned about it, though—I like to have a paper one within reach by the desk.
What inspires me: Great storytelling, whether it’s from a book, a film, a TV series, a song, or a spot-on comedy routine. How my words look in different fonts. The designers I work with. Graffiti. Independent artists and people who post their art anonymously on the street just so it will be seen. Powerful small businesses. My camera in my hands. A big blank wall. Beautiful everyday objects. The Pacific Ocean. Other writers. Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Hampstead Heath in London. People who do things instead of just talk about them. Olive oil. Anything with butter in or on it.
Most important piece of furniture in my workspace? And what I would change about my office if I could? My desk in my workspace and my coffee table in my living space—they’ve become interchangeable, in a way. Since my studio is small, I move back and forth between the two areas to brainstorm, write, and think. They work together as my writing table, my computer holder, my place-to-find-a-pen, my library, and my dinner table. If I could change something it would be more space! A place to have a printer (mine currently lives under the bed). And a cute assistant who smells nice and has large bicep muscles (does that count?).