By: Cecilia Shutter
One of the most significant challenges writers face is the lack of separation between their writing space and the rest of their life. But delegating your workspace is only half the battle.
Not all writing spaces are created equal, but specific tweaks will increase your productivity, efficiency, and (sometimes neglected) general well-being.
Since you spend so much of your time in your writing space, it’s worth investing either time or money – you’ll be glad you did. While I can’t guarantee you’ll be more creative, I can assure you that you’ll be more comfortable, less distracted, better focused, and wait – those will improve your creativity.
#1 Your throne should be fit for a king
I can’t stress how important a good chair is. As a writer, you’re likely going to be spending the majority of your day sitting down. While home improvements can be costly and the temptation to take the cheap route is all too appealing, making sure you have a good, supportive, ergonomic desk chair. This is an investment you won’t regret, and your back will thank you. It doesn’t need to be top-of-the-range expensive, but it should support your lower back and be adjustable so that you can get the perfect height for your desk and avoid hunching over.
If you want to be even kinder to your body, consider investing in a convertible desk or desk riser, allowing you to move between a standing and sitting height for those days where you feel like you’ve been sitting down for too long.
#2 Minimize distractions
Even if you’ve streamlined your device usage and aren’t held hostage to the constant buzzing of a phone, there’s bound to be something that sends your mind wandering. Be honest with yourself about what distracts you and keep its presence in your writing space to a minimum. If you have the luxury, a quiet area is ideal for a writing space. If you have access to only a portion of a room, try to face away from the ‘action’ that might be taking place in the rest of the room to minimize things catching your eye and distracting you. Leave devices on silent or outside the room and make a concerted effort to keep open tabs to a minimum at a micro-level.
#3 Maximize Light
Although natural light is not necessarily something you can control, you can certainly take measures to maximize the amount of natural light that reaches the area where you write. Exposure to sunlight increases energy and boosts productivity. Place your desk in front of or opposite a window, depending on whether looking into the sunlight bothers you.
Where possible, keep wall colors as light as possible so that even on gloomier days, they reflect what little light there is and give an illusion of brightness. And if you don’t want to repaint a whole room, a strategically placed mirror should do the same job.
If you’re a night owl, artificial light will have to take the place of natural light. Bluer lights tend to be better at keeping you awake than warm, fuzzy yellow lights; experiment with both and see which works for you. No matter which choice, make sure to use lamps to light your desk when it’s darker, so you don’t strain your eyes.
#4 Get some greenery
Plants and greenery are the perfect way to improve air quality in a potentially enclosed space where you’re sitting. Another advantage to plants is that they absorb sound and so reduce potentially distracting noise levels. Plants add some decor, sprucing up the place and creating a relaxing atmosphere with just enough sensory stimulation to keep your creative juices flowing.
#5 Invest in a second monitor
Do you make use of your computer’s split-screen function or find yourself chronically flicking between tabs? If you do, this reduces attention span to just forty seconds. A second monitor may be the answer to all your problems. An additional screen will allow you to consult your detailed outline or refer to your favorite worldbuilding software as you write without keeping multiple tabs open. While this is more of an investment than some, it does expand your writing space.
#6 Add some personal flair
Since you’re at your writing space so much, you want your writing space to be a place that fills you with inspiration and joy and makes the more challenging days of writing just that little bit more pleasant. Do you have a favorite scented candle or piece of artwork that makes your heart sing? Maybe you’re a visual worker and want a whiteboard or muse board that inspires you when you look up from your writing.
These are all personal touches that can elevate a writing space to your perfect writing space.
#7 Keep some comforts at a distance
Distancing your comforts might seem like a strange one but hear me out. While a coffee station within arm’s reach of your chair sounds like an excellent idea as it lessens the times you have to get up, it may do more harm than good.
A writing space that is so fully-equipped that you didn’t need to leave the area — or even your seat — for the entire day means you’re spending all of your time in the chair staring at the screen. And if your chair is not comfortable, you’ve compounded the problem.
Getting up and moving about breaks up your work schedule, offering your brain a chance to recuperate from the last task you were carrying out and maintaining motivation.
#8 Tidy up regularly
You may revel in your messiness being a product of your creative mind, but ultimately, it’s not practical. Have you ever sat down at your desk full of momentum to start writing only to realize you can’t find something you need and then losing your initial vigor by the time you see it? Avoid wasting your freshest moments on hunting for notes or pens by getting into a habit of putting things back where they belong and having a system for organizing any work materials. Plus, a tidy-up makes a wonderfully satisfying addition to tick off your done list.
Staying organized is a crucial bit of upkeep that will preserve the effects of all your other writing space designing efforts.
Writing is the only way you’re going to produce a post. These tips might mean you’re more inspired, comfortable, and creating better posts.
Author Bio: Cecilia Shutter
Cecilia Shutter is a writer with Reedsy, a marketplace that connects self-publishing authors with the world’s best editors, designers, and marketers.
In her free time, Cecilia enjoys reading cookbooks and playing board games.
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