When we writers sit down to write, there’s a lot more affecting our writing than just what’s going on in our heads. The environment in which we write has a huge impact on our work and our writing habits. Some writers don’t give much thought to their writing space and seem to be able to be productive anywhere. Others are obsessed with it, particular in the organization and set up of their writing space.
I used to think I was someone who could write anywhere. Put me in a quiet park or on a plane with screaming babies – it didn’t matter what the situation…I could write.
And, to an extent, this is true. I can write. But the quality of my writing changes dramatically when I create an environment tailored to my specific needs.
While I’ve found myself experiencing more productive spurts of writing at a coffee shop (chalk it up to all the caffeine I consume while there), I’m horribly distracted by other customers…and maybe I used to spend some time making eyes at the cute barista. So in past months I’ve taken to writing mostly at home, in my room, where I can have quiet and privacy.
In a previous post, Cristina talks about why you need a designated writing space (if you don’t have a designated writing space, I suggest you go check it out). But what about the specific elements that you tweak to get your writing area just right? What are the different building blocks you can construct your environment out of?
A lot of factors go into building a productive writing space. And some people write better than others in certain types of environments. Some things to consider when building your writing space are:
Public or Private
Do you write better without the distraction of others around? Or are you at your best when you can feed off the energy of others and do some people watching for character inspiration?
Clutter or No Clutter
Do you like having a lot of space? Are you distracted by clutter? Do you need to feel cozy to get into the writing groove?
Quiet or Music
Does your mind need total silence to work? Or do you let music inspire your writing?
Do you snack while you write? Do you have a preferred beverage? Coffee? Tea? …Alcohol? (Yes to all three of those for me!) Or is all that merely a distraction, keeping your hands from typing faster?
Pen and Paper vs. Computer
Do you write better by hand when you can let the inspiration flow at a natural pace or do you need to type fast enough to keep up with your thoughts? And does anyone still use a typewriter?
Is it easier for you to talk through your thoughts and transcribe them later? Or do you need to see the words written out in front of you?
There are a ton of other elements to take into consideration when writing, but the above are some of the big ones that I tend to play with.
So how do the three Sprint Shack ladies write? Here are some photos of our writing spaces!
Taylor’s Writing Space
In my writing space at home, I enjoy a bit of clutter – so long as it’s organized. Too much space and I get fidgety. Too much disorder and I feel the need to clean instead of write. I also always have some instrumental music playing, plus I like to keep some tea (or coffee) on hand. And I often enjoy switching between longhand writing and typing on Scrivener. I’m also realizing just now how much pink I have in my writing area…
My writing space changes drastically at night since that’s when I do more of my editing and have more electronics set up for references. And the evenings are also wine time.
Cristina’s Writing Space
Cristina sent me this email of her writing space and called it “disorganized.” But I didn’t even notice that because all I could think was “Wow! LOOK AT ALL THAT SPACE!” That’s a huge desk. And look – two monitors! So jealous.
Faye’s Writing Space
So how do you write? Send us pictures of your writing space on Twitter or tell us about it in the comments below!
Need some inspiration for your writing space? You’re in luck. There are plenty of websites and Pinterest boards devoted to writing spaces. Here’s an awesome collection of various writing spaces from Sara Ingle.