As a writer, you know how important setting is. It establishes mood, sets the environment of the story, and can create conflict for your characters. When it comes to being a writer, having a cozy, positive, and comfortable workplace can put you in a productive frame of mind. Messiness, chaos, or a total lack of writing space doesn’t prepare you for success. Read on to find out some easy steps to make 2020 your best writing year yet.
Carve out a Space at Home
Many of us enjoy the freedom of taking our laptop to the coffee shop or library to do our work, but sometimes the noise, crowds, or bad weather can interfere. There’s something powerful about having zero commute time to get to work, which is why a home work space is so useful. Many of us have jobs outside the house, and our only time to write is before or after the workday. Knowing you have a space of your own that’s devoted to writing can make writing time easier.
So…find your space. Not everyone is blessed with an entire room that can be used as a dedicated office. That’s okay. You don’t need a big house or a new addition to create a work space. You just need to have a place in your home—and it’s okay if that place is the kitchen or a corner of your bedroom—where you write. It doesn’t have to be an ideal space as long as it’s yours. As E.B. White, author of Charlotte’s Web rightly said: “A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.”
Still, whether you wake up early in the morning or wait until the kids have gone to bed, you need to know that there’s a spot where you can work. Making that space is important for habit formation. You don’t want to add on any drama about where to go. When it comes to doing something hard (especially something hard that you’re not currently getting paid to do), putting some of that habit on autopilot goes a long way toward actually getting it done.
Feng Shui Your Work Space
Although this is only a simplified, Western interpretation of Feng Shui, one of its principles is easy for anyone to understand. It’s important to declutter your space. If your desk, office, kitchen counter, or coffee table is filled with disorganized stacks of papers, falling post-it notes, or other junk…it’s not going to be an inviting place to work. Organize it! Don’t turn it into an excuse to procrastinate, but if you are procrastinating, take a few moments to declutter. I know it puts me a better frame of mind.
Make it Cozy
In addition to a neat place to work, try to make your writing area cozy. The more inviting the space, the greater the chance you’ll want to be there. Our brains are still wired for a primitive reward center when we do something hard, so give your noggin what it wants. Light a candle. Invite in natural light. Start work with a yummy warm mug of coffee or tea. Studies show that when we pair a new habit with something enjoyable, it’s easier to stick with that habit. Instead of writing feeling hard, it will be enjoyable.
We all love to write, and we have a dream to be published. However, getting started on that new manuscript can be daunting. The key is to not let that feeling of insecurity, doubt, and overwhelm get the better of us. The cozier, more organized, and dedicated our home work spaces are, the more likely we will be to want to stay in them. If you’re looking to make this your most productive year, consider these tweaks and get to work!