No matter what you’re writing – short fiction, legal briefs, AP English essays – whether you’re writing it longhand or on a computer, it’s important to have a comfortable environment that is conducive to productivity. As an avid writer during childhood, an English major in college, a fiction editor, an English Master’s student, an aspiring author, and a regular writer for Pencils.com, I have a wealth of experience with writing in a multitude of locations. I’m happy to share with you some tips for setting up the ideal writing space.
Choose Your Location Wisely
When choosing a location, make sure your space can accommodate your most important needs: sufficient lighting, a nearby electrical outlet (if you have to plug in a laptop or a lamp or a space heater), enough room for all of your furniture and materials to fit, etc. Functionality is absolutely key when it comes to a winning workspace.
Love Thy Desk
Whether it’s an antique roll top or a card table with legs that fold, having a desk that you love is important when you consider how much time you will be sitting at it. It also has to meet your requirements in terms of size, comfort, and aesthetic. In college, my desk was a good size, but it was flimsy and shook precariously whenever I printed anything. When I started grad school, I looked high and low for the perfect desk – it had to be big, higher than average, with plenty of storage space. I ended up Frankenstein-ing a desk together from two low shelves and a desktop from Ikea, and it’s my favorite piece of furniture I’ve ever owned.
Get Inspired, Not Distracted
Whenever I come up against a case of writer’s block, I have a tendency to get distracted by whatever is in the vicinity. In those moments when you need to look up from your work, it’s best to be surrounded by things that will give you a refreshing break without sucking up all of your time and attention. I don’t keep my cell phone near my desk when I’m writing, because Candy Crush eats time like I eat, well, candy. Instead, I have little trinkets like gummy erasers and hair clips that I can fiddle with but will lose interest in quickly, and art on the wall by my desk done by family and friends, which inspires me to get my own creative juices flowing again.
Do you have a workspace that you absolutely love? Tell us about it in the comments or, better yet, show us on Instagram!