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Writing Spaces

Writing SpacesChris is currently . . .ah . . . confined to Amanda’s experimentation lab. I haven’t asked and I’m not sure I’d want to know, but Amanda promised he would be free in a few days, so I’ll just slip in and take his posting day.

Let’s talk about writing spaces. If you like eye candy, I humbly offer some HERE for your pleasure. I am slightly obsessed with writing spaces and often drown out the sounds coming from Amanda’s section of the lair by daydreaming of my ideal environments.

Though a spare room turned office would be ideal, most of us don’t have that luxury. We carve our writing spaces from bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, spaces under stairs, closets, or whatever is available. The last place we lived, I took over the tiny dining area and made it my own. In this place, my current writing space is a corner of my bedroom. My dream writing space is a little shed in the back yard (power and air conditioning included). Though I often think about getting a real office, I like to write at oddball times and also have a little person to keep tabs on. How about you?

What’s important in a writing space?

Work/create spaces are as individual as the people who use them, but there are a few common elements to keep in mind.

  • Avoid high traffic areas if at all possible, though parents of young children may need to ignore this for a while.
  • If it bothers you to have your back to the room (lets face it, we can zone into our stories pretty deeply) and you can’t rearrange, hang a mirror over your desk or set one next to your monitor.
  • Keep everything you need for your current project(s) in your writing space. If you take something out, put it back when you’re done. Nothing’s worse than having to hunt down your notes at the beginning of a writing session.
  • If you have trouble staying put, stash a few healthy snacks nearby and fill a thermos with your favorite beverage. On the other hand, if you rarely leave your writing space, leave all that stuff in the kitchen. It’s good to get up and move around periodically.
  • Pay attention to ergonomics. Office chair, dining chair, or exercise ball is up to you but try to make the keyboard and monitor heights comfortable.
  • Ideally, a writing space is where you write. For most of us, it’s also where we access the internet, pay bills, and chat on social media. It’s important to define and separate writing from other activities. Do this the best you can. If you need help in this area, let me know and we’ll chat. It’s that important.

For some writers, work takes place at the library or coffee shop. In this case, your writing space is your laptop bag and perhaps a tote. Keep everything together and organized for a quick start when you reach your favorite table. At home, keep your bag(s) in a secure spot but accessible enough for you to grab and go when the opportunity presents itself.

Above all, the ideal writing space is what works best for you. Create a writing space that is comfortable and functional.

Happy writing!

Where do you write? What is your dream writing space like?


9 thoughts on “Writing Spaces

  1. For me, the dream writing space is one I don’t have to leave. I’m writing between other tasks. That picture is an amazing space, but I’m not sure I’d get much done there, with such a view.

    • I love that photo, Dan, but not sure how much I’d get done there. I have a lot of workable spaces on my Pinterest board (the link in the post) but definitely rough if you have to leave it a lot.

  2. My dream writing space doesn’t have Chris’s face on “Missing” Posters… 😉

    I don’t really have a defined writing space at the moment. i got rid of my PC to get a laptop and rather stupidly got rid of my desk at the same time. I write at work or sat on my bed at home. i think i would be more productive with a desk though.

  3. My dream writing space is actually between my ears 😉 When I can clear that space out and organize it properly, everything seems to flow a lot better. Seriously though, I think the most important part of a “physical” writing space for me is one that is free of distractions (usually) and it really helps to have a large monitor to be working on. I like to have whatever piece I am working on up next to my writing tools in a browser (thesaurus, dictionary, and other research tools).

    • Dave, I think the distraction is the main reason I’ll eventually put a writing shed in the back yard. Also, I have a pretty wide monitor, but want to put my old square one up on my desk also for revisions. Would love to have old doc on one screen and revise on the other. Dreaming big 😉

  4. Fantastic tips! My dream writing space is pretty much that lovely picture that you have posted. However, there is a lack of macabre goodies. I think I would have to add my own… personal touches. A jar of fingernails here, a bottle of blood there, a dead body hiding under the desk – oh, wait… you didn’t hear that last part…

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