Finding time to write is difficult for almost everyone. It can also be challenging to find a dedicated writing space, especially if you have kids or live in an apartment. Creative planning and keeping things simple can help. The must-haves include a comfortable location to sit or recline while writing, a place for your laptop, a small area for your notes and pen and perhaps a beverage, some storage, and a light. Anything else is extra.
Think About Unused Corners for Your Writing Space
You don’t need a separate room for your writing space. A walk-in closet can be converted to a small office if you have that luxury or simply use an empty corner of your bedroom, living room, or kitchen. A fold-down desk attached to the wall can be used with a chair pulled up when you’re writing, folding out of the way when not in use. Or attach a shelf to a sunny windowsill in your kitchen to create a desk. Even the laundry room can become your writing space if you add the right features.
Don’t skimp on your chair. It’s hard to focus if you’re uncomfortable, so spend what you can on getting a good chair, whether you prefer a swivel office chair or a comfy wingback. Whatever works for you to settle in for the long haul. An ergonomic desk chair that supports your back properly is a wise investment.
Natural lighting is best because it’s easy on the eyes and relaxing. If you can’t create a space near a window, choose indirect, incandescent, or LED lighting rather than fluorescent lighting. Fluorescent lighting is harsher and causes eye strain.
A Distraction-Free/Quiet Writing Space
This may be the most difficult aspect of creating a place to write. It can be hard to get your family and friends to understand that you aren’t available when you’re in your writing space. If you’re in an area where you can close the door, it’s easier. If you’re in the corner of the living room, it’s more complicated. Try wearing headphones. Or hang a sign on your chair’s back that says, “Do Not Disturb – Writing in Progress.” If noise is an issue, try a white noise machine or listening to nature sounds or instrumental music at low volume. Lyrics can be distracting when you’re writing.
Keeping things uncluttered also helps, which means having a bit of storage for your notes, pens, and other incidentals. A pencil holder and few small storage boxes on your desk or at your feet should be plenty. If you have a small desk with a side drawer or two, that may be enough. Every few weeks, pare down what’s on your desktop and anything you’ve stashed and get rid of whatever isn’t essential.
Finally, carefully select a few inspirational pieces to complete your writing space. Surrounding yourself with inspiring objects can help you refocus when you have writer’s block. They are also a lovely way to take a break, rest your eyes, and reward yourself without having to walk away from your writing when you’re on a tight schedule. A few inspiring ideas might be:
- A beautiful plant
- Photos of loved ones
- Favorite books
- Travel mementos
Once you’ve created a writing space, be sure you dedicate it only to writing. Resist the urge to use it for paying bills, craftwork, helping the kids with homework, or other activities. You want to associate it only with your writing, so when you sit down, your creative juices are flowing and your mind naturally turns to your manuscript.
Dudley Court Press
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