Create a seasonal writing space
Having a dedicated space to write is a fabulous way to boost your productivity while keeping any research materials to hand. It doesn’t have to be an entire room in your home; it could be as simple as a desk in the corner of the kitchen or a dresser in your bedroom.
Having a special space that’s just for your writing creates an environment of authenticity, enjoyment and fulfilment and can have numerous psychological benefits.
Many have enjoyed writing outside during the spring and summer. Now the temperatures are cooling, you may feel more like writing from your sofa using a lap desk, wrapped in a blanket, with a steaming mug of hot chocolate close to hand. Darker nights and mornings, inclement weather, and the craziness of the festive season are on their way, playing havoc with motivation and creativity, and there’s no better time to create a cosy writing nook.
Sort the essentials
There are a few key items that will ensure your space supports your needs:
- Sturdy desk and comfortable chair.
- Plenty of light (either natural or a good lamp).
- Electrical point if you’re using a computer or laptop.
- Wi-Fi if you need it for research or no Wi-Fi if it distracts you!
Personalise your writing space
Begin by thinking about the way you work. Do you use a computer or laptop or do you prefer a pen and notebook? Do the four walls of a small office help you stay focused, or do you yearn for the great outdoors and a bench to sit and write?
The writing space you create needs to reflect your nature and personality as much as the genre, themes and styles in which you write.
If you’re writing a memoir, consider positioning yourself closer to family photographs and albums. If you write fiction, a nice view or a vision board of ideas might be all you need to feel motivated. A travel writer may prefer to write on the move, taking with them a favourite notebook and a few inspiring things they can get out in coffee shops or in a campervan.
If you can’t get outside and long for it, surround yourself with photos of nature and other things that make you feel closer to it such as pinecones, dried flowers and autumn leaves.
Other inspiring items for your desk may include books that you admire, writing quotes and beautiful stationery.
Silence or noise?
There is often a division between writers who need solitude and silence to write and those who can only create a 100,000 novel from a busy, bustling coffee shop.
Which one are you?
When I was much younger, I needed silence to work, but as I’ve got older and developed my writing skills, I find I’m more productive surrounded by white noise.
When faced with a quiet room, I use an app on my phone that provides the clink of cutlery and buzz of a coffee shop so I can recreate the atmosphere I need to feel creative. Others enjoy the sound of the ocean, trees blowing in the wind or gentle snow or may turn to music like jazz.
Two great white noise apps are Rain Rain and Nosili. You can also find sounds videos on YouTube or could even record your own when you’re out and about.
A space that gets you writing
Having one area dedicated to your craft will help to keep you organised. It’s a safe place for your notebooks, favourite pen, laptop, ideas pad, research notes, and all the other paraphernalia that writers accumulate.
Even though you create a writing space, it doesn’t mean you have to use it. Sometimes it can be enough of a motivation to know it’s there should you need it.
Don’t put off writing until you’ve created your perfect space, though. It’s very easy to use a lack of desk or office as an excuse for procrastination. As E.B White once said, ‘A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.’
Make the most of whatever you can and let your space evolve with you.
Remember, the most important thing is not how it looks but that it gets you writing!