Cool light. A comfy chair. A wall full of pictures screaming "Write about me!" Or maybe a padded cell with a laptop? A good writing space reflects the author's personality. Creating a writing space that helps you write doesn't have to be a chore.
Your personal writing spot will look different from anyone else. Your space should inspire you, not your neighbor, and not Steven King (unless you are Steven King!) It's the place where you go to write; the place where you feel motivated. Thus, it's going to be unique.
Cover the Basics
There are some things that you have to have to start writing. You need something to write with, whether that's pencil and paper or a laptop. Some people still like to write by hand. It allows them to think about the words before they write them. Others prefer the ease of use of a computer. A laptop or tablet with a keyboard makes your writing a little more transportable.
It can also help to have a filing cabinet, or other way to organize your printed material. This way, you can easily find your research. This is helpful for both fiction and nonfiction writers.
A great chair is very important if you are going to write for an extended period of time. If your body starts hurting, your productivity is going to quickly decrease. Go to an office supply store to sit in chairs. You'll quickly find which provides the best support and comfort.
A few optional items you may want for your writing area include a bookshelf and a whiteboard or bulletin board. A bookshelf can store your favorite books on writing. Once you have some of your own published, you can put them here for inspiration. A whiteboard gives you a space to quickly jot up ideas or projects that you are working on. A bulletin board allows you to hang pictures that inspire you. Of course, all of these things are optional and depend on your space.
Where Will You Write?
Credit: Parker Knight via FlickrBefore you create your place to write, you have to decide where you will put it. Some people are fortunate enough to have a whole room. Others make do with a corner in a living room or bedroom. Still others like to write outside, or travel to a coffee shopt to get their wordcount in.
One option to consider if you have limited space is converting a closet into a desk/writing area. If you have an unused closet, you can take off the doors and place a desk and shelving inside. Then you can decorate the walls as you see fit in order to inspire you.
Most people find that it's best to make sure their writing area does not have distractions in it. For some people, seeing a TV makes them want to turn it on. Having the fridge right in your line of sight can lead to extra snacking. Consider your weaknesses, and make sure temptation is not present where you want to write.
Organized or Not?
Consider your tolerance for disorganization. Some people can't work with mess. They see it, feel guilty, and have to clean before they can get started. Then they never get started writing! Others are inspired by having everything they love around them at once. Choose your personal style, and don't feel guilty about it!
However, make sure you can find your basic writing tools. If your laptop is buried beneath a pile of paper, you're not going to be very productive. Even if you like to have everything around you, it can help your writing to have a basic space cleared for your supplies, like your computer, notebook, and pencils.
It can also be helpful to have a way to keep your previous projects organized. Some people choose to keep all their work on the computer, sorted into folders by project. If you do this, make sure you have all your writing backed up somewhere other than your computer! Some people like to print out their work. If you do this, it can help to have a basic filing system so you can find what you are looking for without frustration. Having file folders for topics you are researching can also save you frustration.
Credit: Shannonyeh PhotographyCreate a wall of inspiration. Cover the direction you face with items that inspire you. It could be pictures, quotes, magazine articles, or even a window with a spectacular view! Let it be a place you can look to and inspire creativity. It can also be a place where you put your own successes or failures - whatever motivates you.
Use inspiring paint colors on the wall. Many people like to paint with more neutral or softer colors, like green, blue, or beige. But studies have shown that certain colors make us more productive. Colors like orange, red, and yellow are all good selections. You can choose a shade that you like for your wall color, or use one of these colors to accent with if you can't paint.
Have a sound system available to play music, if you want. Some people find that they write better when working to music. Just something about the computer keys clicking in rhythm to the tune gets their creative juices flowing. Others get too distracted by music. Try both ways and use the method that works for you.
Try the timer method. Some people find that setting a certain amount of time to write helps them feel motivated. Tell yourself you are going to write for 15 minutes without stopping or editing. Then set a timer, and see how much you can get done in that amount of time. This method alone has gotten me through many a case of writer's block!
You may also benefit from having a go-to object, the one thing that makes you really feel like a writer. For example, maybe when you wear a certain sweater, you feel like you look like a writer, which makes you think like a writer. So if you have a bad case of writer's block, get out your sweater. It's like stepping into your writing brain. Other helpful props include glasses, a special pen, or certain slippers.
Change the Scenery
Occasionally go somewhere else to write. While your writing space may be comfortable, stepping out once in a while can reawaken your creativity and inspire your muse. You can go somewhere you know and love if you need to feel reassured. If you want to feel challenged and creative, try visiting somewhere new.
So find whatever inspires you and use it to create your writing space. Make it an area you enjoy being in, and you'll be amazed by your own productivity!