Writing Your Goals for 2011: Part Four-Workspace Goals

Fourth in our series designed to get you set to write your best in 2011 is a focus on your workspace. You may wish you could write in a secluded mountain cabin, or adopt the office of a famous writer, but reality dictates that all you have to work with is what you've got. Here are some ideas to make the most of it.

You may be dealing with a corner of your bedroom, or a spacious extra room. Perhaps you write in a coffee shop, or on your lunch hour. Think through your five senses, and see how you might be able to make that space your own with a few tweaks.

Sight. Visually, your space has a huge impact on you. It's time to figure out what inspires you, and what handicaps you, in regards to your writing. Some writers need lots of natural light. Others only the light of their computer. One writer is inspired by a fantastic view while the next finds it distracting. You may feel the need to work alone, or in a place bustling with activity. Try a variety of visual stimuli to figure out what works for you.

Sound. Quiet or noise? Classical music or rock? You may find white noise (a fan blowing, or a wave machine) helpful to block out distractions. Some writers work better when there is noise all around and they're able to create a quiet space in the midst of it. If you have small children, you may find you work well during nap time, or in the middle of a noisy kids' program.

Smell. We don't think about smell much. My daughter gave me one of those reed diffuser air fresheners for Christmas, and now my writing space smells like a spring rain. For you, it might be a scented candle, or the decision to remove the litter box from your office.

Taste. What gives you the energy to keep going during a long writing session? For me, it's a hot cup of tea, and maybe a scone or something. Keep a stash of nuts or seeds, and something to drink nearby. Train your body to realize it's time to work when you eat certain foods.

Touch. You may like the smooth feel of the keyboard under your fingers. Or maybe that's just the only way you've written. Try grabbing a legal pad, or a leather-bound journal and moving away from the computer. Yes, I know you'll have to type your words eventually, but sometimes a pen in hand connects to the creative side of the brain in a way that typing does not.

What have you done to create a workspace that makes you want to write?


  1. OK, as you know I'm not a writer, but the artist's studio has the same needs. Just the other day I wrote down what steals my thunder. And top of the list? Light and temperature! Doggone Fragile Creative Spirit!

  2. I hadn't thought about temperature, Adina. But then, I don't work in a garage! I'm loving your blog. : )


  3. Right now I am in a temporary apartment while mine is being repaired, and it's so true about your workspace setup effecting your productivity and concentration. While my productivity is still the same because I'm stubborn like that, I don't feel the same as I do in my office. I painted it my favourite colour blue, put in good lighting, a window treatment, and made sure that I have easy access to anything that I need. I also have a shelf of signed books from my clients nearby to stay inspired, and made sure to keep it nice and organized, so that way no matter what the rest of my apartment looked like, I had a little area that was always in order, lol!

    Now, I'm in a room that barely fits my computer, white walls, too much light (sometimes I can't see my computer screen very well), there's cords EVERYWHERE because I can't integrate everything the way that I need to since it's just a temporary space, and there's boxes of stuff from our other apartment that don't need to be unpacked that somehow ended up in here. It's just yucky. I'm pouting.

    I like the idea of keeping certain foods and drinks nearby--I was thinking of grabbing one of those little hot water dispensers for tea to make it feel more homey in here. Great thoughts!

  4. Wow, Krissy, sounds like a challenge. And even more bittersweet since you have such a beautiful-sounding space waiting for you! I hope the repairs go far faster than expected, and that something in your current room will inspire you.




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