Creating a writing space is both incredibly important and incredibly daunting. You need a space that will encourage your creativity without making you feel overwhelmed, which can be difficult to balance. Here are some tips to make it a little bit easier to build the perfect space for you.
1) Find a Comfortable Chair
Having somewhere to sit is key for a good day’s work, even if you work at a standing desk. You need something that is tall enough for your feet to touch the ground but not tall enough to dangle, offers lumbar support and works in the space you’ve got.
2) Stock the right Writing Utensils
Figure out what writing utensils work best for you. Some people work well on their phones while others work best with a pen and paper, while others do their best work on a computer. This will probably take some trial and error, but once you figure it out, you’ll be set!
If you use a computer, you’ll need to have space for your keyboard and mouse. You will also need to figure out what kind of hardware you need. Find a keyboard that is comfortable for you to work at for long periods of time, and a mouse that fits your hand well.
You might also think about trying dictation software. Google and Apple both offer this as a service built into their laptops, but if you want to use it long term, you might be interested in a paid option like Dragon Dictation. It’s trainable to your voice, the way you talk, and the noise surrounding you, which makes it incredibly helpful.
One of the hardest things about working on a computer is all of the distractions it offers. If you find yourself struggling with distractions or you work remotely a lot, you might also find small word processing devices like the Alphasmart’s helpful. It only connects to the internet to sync your word document and doesn’t let you get stuck in editing, making it really helpful for drafting your novel.
If you like writing with notebooks, figure out what works for you and have a stock of them on hand for any story ideas that strike you. You might also want to think about your writing utensils. You can work with anything as simple as a pencil or as fancy as a fountain pen. Whatever works to help you get the words on paper is what is best for you!
4) Cut Down on Distractions
To make it easier for you to relax and get down to the business of writing, you should make it easy to cut down on distractions in your space. This will change based on your needs, but here are some ideas.
- Have a door you can close
- Install a social media blocker for when you’re stuck in a loop refreshing Facebook or Twitter
- Soundproof the space with cushy furniture or actual soundproofing materials
- Get noise-canceling headphones
4) Think About Ergonomics
Carpal tunnel is a real problem for people who spend tons of time at a computer or writing by hand. You don’t want to deal with it, so keep ergonomics in mind when purchasing things for your writing space.
Make sure the keyboard you purchase offers an angle that reduces stress on your hands and wrists, or that you leave room for a wrist rest to avoid repetitive stress and carpal tunnel syndrome. This can be done for a desktop or laptop computer as well as a physical notebook.
If you tend to drink while you work, make sure you have space for two piles of dishes – one for the coffee mugs that you will be drinking from and one for dirty dishes. That will keep you from accidentally drinking three-day-old coffee when you meant to be drinking the cup you just made and keep your life a lot tastier.
You should also make sure the height of your desk’s surface is suited for the chair you purchased and your use. If you are shorter, you are going to need a shorter desk in general. This might require you to try out a few options at your local brick and mortar store before you find the right height but will save your back and shoulders a lot of pain in the long run.
5) Decorate with Pretty Things
Last but not least, you want to make sure that you decorate your space in a way that makes you happy to be in it and comfortable looking at it for long periods of time. If you aren’t, you aren’t going to want to be there. There are enough barriers to getting your writing done without making more for yourself by over- or under-decorating your space. This is all based on personal taste, so have fun!
Heather Viera is a lifestyle expert and researcher for FamilyLivingToday.com. She is dedicated to achieving a balanced lifestyle, even with two small children and a full-time career. In the little free time she has, she enjoys hiking with her partner and taking her dog to the beach.