How to Establish a Proper Writing Space
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How to Establish a Proper Writing Space

An important part of starting to write – whether you’re just beginning a project or continuing something you’ve been working on for years – is having a proper writing space. The environment that you choose for your writing determines how effective your writing process will be. In addition to the specific location where you will write, you must also consider the surface, seating, lighting, and atmosphere.

An important part of starting to write – whether you’re just beginning a project or continuing something you’ve been working on for years – is having a proper writing space. The environment that you choose for your writing determines how effective your writing process will be.

Often, writers will establish a distinct area of their home that they use for their writing. This may be an area that is also used for something else, such as the dining room table. More likely, this space is entirely separate from the other aspects of your life. One example is setting up a small writing desk in the basement or sun room, where you go to write and where nothing else is allowed to intrude. Having this separate space is useful for achieving mental clarity when you want to write something. It also doesn’t need to be in the home; it can be in a coffee shop, a park, or any place that you find comfortable.

Regardless of the area that you choose for your writing, there are several aspects to consider in order to create a functional, comfortable writing space.

The Surface

- The surface should be organized and free of clutter. The old adage that a cluttered life leads to a cluttered mind is often very true.

- Everything that you might need for your writing – pens and pencils, notebooks, reference material, food and drinks – should be within reach so that you’re not constantly getting up and down.

The Seat

- Where you sit while you write should be as ergonomically correct as possible: comfortable, but also firm. If you plan on spending long periods of time writing, find a chair that is ergonomically correct to avoid putting strain on your spine.

- If you’re typing, make sure your arms are at a 90 degree angle with your desk, since having them too high or too low causes arm and back ache over time.

The Lighting

- Wherever you write should be well lit. However, avoid making your space too bright. Light reflecting off paper or the glare of a computer screen will strain your eyes as much as having too little light.

- If glare proves to be a major issue, light-absorbing blinds or dark curtains will improve the visibility of your screen.

The Atmosphere

- Some writers prefer absolute silence, while others enjoy having background music. Which of these two options you prefer is entirely dependent on your ability to focus.

- If you prefer music, consider what source you want for that music, such as your computer or a stereo across the room.

- If you prefer solitude, find a writing space where you know you won’t be bothered.

- Writing at home can be difficult because of distractions from household needs, family members or roommates, or other things that you would like to do aside from writing. Try to keep these distractions out of sight; if they become unmanageable, your writing space may need to be out of your home.

- If particular things inspire you to write – books you love, photographs, personal items – keep them nearby, so they can continue to inspire you.

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Comments (2)

Wise advice!  Well-presented and useful reminders for all of us writers.

Excellent advice! Space is truly a prime consideration in order to write well.

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