The beginning of a new year has got me thinking a lot more about my writing. I admit, it’s been quite a while since I did anything constructive. Sure, I started a blog and I’ve been working hard, crafting regular posts and promoting them.
But what I haven’t been doing is working on my novel. One of my goals for this year is to get my first novel, Broken Things, published as an e-book. Although it has developed in other directions a bit now, I originally started this blog to support and share that journey.
So I guess I’d better get moving.
One of the things that makes it easier to write, and write often, is having a dedicated space where you can work. Some people are lucky enough to have a whole office or study in their home, others write at the kitchen table, some head to the library or local coffee shop. I write parked firmly on the sofa with my laptop balanced on my knees, television usually blaring away in the background.
As you can imagine, it’s pretty easy to be distracted.
What I could do with is having my own writing space where I can focus, away from the sofa, which is clearly the place to laze in front of the telly and eat cake (or crisps, depending on my mood)!We do have a spare room/office set up, but in our house it’s known as the man cave and it’s where my hubby likes to while away the hours, machine gunning terrorists on Counter Strike or playing Pro Evo. So my best option might just be to clear the piles of junk and unopened post off the table in the kitchen and set up there. Hopefully the fridge won’t prove too much of a distraction…!
But how can you set up a space that’ll work for you?
Make sure it’s somewhere quiet and comfortableIf you like to listen to music while you work you can always stick your headphones in, but it’s a lot harder to block out the sound of the washing machine or squabbling kids. Equally, you probably won’t be very productive trying to write hunched over the coffee table or perched on the arm of the sofa.
Think about how you like to write
Do you prefer the action of writing with a pen and a pad of paper, or would you struggle to survive without a computer? If you write longhand, then chances are you can be pretty flexible. It’s a lot easier to curl up on the bed with a notepad and it takes no time to get set up. But if you need a computer, then you probably also want the internet and a printer available. If so, make sure you have plenty of electrical sockets and a hub for your internet connection in a suitable place – you don’t want to be trailing cables from room to room and tripping over them every time you go to the loo!
Give yourself plenty of light
A room with plenty of natural light is always best. And if you can manage to set up your desk by a window with a great view, even better! Gazing at the world passing by or the changing weather can be great for a moment’s pause when you’re stuck or you need a bit of inspiration.
What materials and books might you need?
Does your writing involve a lot of research, or do you need regular help with spelling and grammar? If yes, you might need to refer to other books quite often, so it would help to have them around you. That way, you don’t have to interrupt your focus to wander around the house looking for things. It also helps to have a supply of paper, pens, Tipp-ex and whatever else you might need close by.
I’ve seen some fantastic writing spaces over the years and the best ones have been decorated and personalised to reflect the needs and likes of their owners. What do you think makes the perfect writing space?