Whether you’re dashing off a quick blog post or drafting a 100K novel, it helps enormously if you’ve got a place to write. What turns out to be your perfect writing space depends on your personality, but once you’ve found it, productivity goes through the roof.
The trick is finding it. These tips will help.
How to create your own writing space – know yourself
Someone else’s idea of heaven might be your personal vision of hell, so don’t be swayed by what others tell you is needed for the ideal writing space.
Not everyone needs quiet; some people need plenty of noise and activity around them to get their creative juices flowing. Not everyone needs a desk. Some people prefer a laptop or tablet on their knee, or a hardback journal they can write in with a fountain pen while sitting by a stream in the woods.
Take some time, a week or two isn’t too much, to really figure out when and where you’re most productive. If you can stare at the wall for an hour while you’re at your desk but rattle off the first draft of a chapter while watching movies surrounded by noisy friends, that tells you something about the space you need to write.
Once you know how your brain responds to certain stimuli, what fires it up, and what shuts it down, you can work on creating the kind of space that will consistently provide the atmosphere you need for productive creation.
And you may find you need two different spaces. One for the actual creative process of finding words, and another with a different atmosphere for editing.
Choose your furniture
Again, go with your own preferences over what other people say you need. Some will tell you it’s impossible to write without a desk, while others are convinced you can’t write effectively without an entire, dedicated study or office. Both are true for some people, but the only things you personally need are the ones that matter to you.
So if you like a comfy armchair with a laptop, scout out one that offers physical support and is big (or small) enough to be comfortable for several hours of writing. If a desk would help you keep pens and notebooks organised, choose a style that fits the room and area. Corner desks can save space, but if you don’t like facing the wall while you work, consider turning an ordinary desk perpendicular to the wall. Not only will you have a better view, but the desk itself can also become a sort of room divider in a shared purpose room.
Acquiring an entire room for writing might involve repurposing the spare bedroom. This is easy if it’s not in daily use as a bedroom. If you need to keep hold of guest beds and don’t have storage space at home, a self storage unit keeps things safe and secure. Then when you’re preparing for guests to stay overnight, it’s a quick and easy process to retrieve your possessions from self storage and turn the room back into a bedroom.
Alternatively, you could refurnish the room with dual-purpose items. By swapping a guest bed for a day or sofa bed, for instance, you could make room for a desk while providing comfy seating (for reading drafts) that’s also cosy for sleeping when someone needs it.
Craft your space
Regardless of whether you commandeer a whole room or simply a corner of another room, your writing space should encourage you to get on with the business of writing.
Fill your space with the things you need. Maybe it’s just a convenient plug socket to keep your laptop charged, or alternatively, a set of shelves by your chair to hold reference materials or notebooks.
Some people also swear by having the right colour decor or motivational art on the walls. Others say being able to control light levels is important, especially to avoid computer screen glare. Fitting blinds at the windows may help create a comfortable ambience.
The ideal writing space is more than somewhere to park yourself while you herd words. It’s a space that puts you in a writing mindset, that lets you switch off from daily concerns and commune with your muse. Where isn’t as important as how, and the how depends on your personal creativity triggers.
This post was created in collaboration with Big Yellow.