When your writing workspace is a chaotic mess, it steals the energy you’d otherwise use writing your novel. When you create an energizing novel writing workspace, the words flow better.
So let’s talk about that place you go when you’re ready to be Stephen King, Judy Blume, JK Rowling, George RR Martin… or yourself (a badass author).
This is the second in a 5-part series on the 5 Areas of Chaos you need to conquer for your most brilliant writing life. The first post on decluttering your living space so you can write better is here.
Create an energizing novel writing space
This means your office, your desk, your computer. It’s wherever you write most of the time.
Don’t have a designated writing workspace? Then that should be your first priority.
We all need a writing workspace other than our bed or couch. It helps your brain shift into ‘make words happen’ mode. When you’re at your writing desk, your brain knows it’s time to write. But when you’re in the bed, your brain thinks it’s time to get snuggly and go to sleep.
“When you’re at your desk, your brain knows it’s time to work. But when you’re in the bed, your brain thinks it’s time to get snuggly and go to sleep.”
Ignoring this could lead to problems other than low writing productivity. If you constantly write in bed, your brain will forget that beds are for sleep (and sex), and you’ll find it harder to go to sleep and sleep soundly when you do.
That’s the reason behind why we’re told to get out of bed and chill on the couch for a while if we can’t fall asleep at night. It keeps your brain in bed = sleep + sex mode.
Keep your writing workspace tidy and clutter-free to eliminate a sense of chaos when you sit down to work on your novel.
Take special care with things like:
- Paper documents
- Computer files
- Email inboxes
- Social media distractions
- Room temperature
- Adequate privacy and quiet
Challenge yourself to create an energizing novel writing space
A place where you get PUMPED to write when you’re there. A place where the thought of NOT writing when you’re there is unfathomable.
How can you do that?
Design a writing workspace for ultimate creativity and productivity, without discomfort or distractions.
MUG MONDAY! This past summer, Mr and I went on a babymoon and one of our stops was the Theo Chocolate Factory in Seattle. TKO's name is Theola so I had to pick up 2 of these babies + a fabulous onesie with the Theo Chocolate monster on it. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I don't use them as much as I should because I'm afraid of being all absent-minded-new-mama and dropping it, but I love that they exist. They always give me a little bit of extra writing motivation on weekends! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #IGwritersDEC #writersofinstagram #writersofinsta #writingcommunityofinstagram #fictionwriter #fictionwriting #writingvibes #amwriting #amwritingfiction #writerscorner #amwriting #amwritingfantasy #amwritingromance #writinglife #writinglifestyle #writersofig #writingtips #authormindset #writersoninstagram #writewritewrite #selfpublishing #novelist #declitwrit #wordsmith #ilovewriting #creativewriting #mmromanceauthor #celebratemmromance #booksandcoffee
An example EPIC workspace for a writer
Freelancer, blogger, or novelist, it doesn’t matter. Setting up a good place to write is the best way to avoid writer’s block.
You need a few key things for a good writing workspace:
- A flat surface with enough space for your computer and a notebook to take handwritten notes on
- A comfortable chair
- Desk/surface height + chair height configured to minimize strain on your neck, wrists, shoulders, and lower back.
- If using a laptop: A stand to bring the screen to eye-level and a separate mouse/trackpad and keyboard (non-negotiable)
- A door that can be shut to keep sound out (as needed)
- A comfortable temperature
- A glass of water + another glass with coffee/tea/wine/your creative “spirit” of choice
- An inspiration of choice: mood board, quote poster, before + afters, and so on
Stop fumbling the dreaded “What’s your book about?” question!
& make outlining SUPER EASY in just 1 hour!
Ergonomics are so so important for your best writing. If you’re uncomfortable, you can’t focus well. If you develop neck problems from always staring down at your laptop you won’t WANT to write anymore.
Believe me—I know this one first hand and it’s a problem I’m still trying to fix. Once you’ve screwed up your neck muscles, they don’t go back to baby soft and supple without a fight.
DO NOT mess around with a laptop without a stand unless you’re on an airplane.
- How to Ergonomically Optimize Your Workspace via Lifehacker
- How to Set Up an Ergonomic Workstation via CNET
- Office Ergonomics: Your how-to guide via Mayo Clinic
All of these guides have great advice that you shouldn’t ignore. However, there are 2 further tips that I’ve learned from holistic health practitioners about office ergonomics that I didn’t find in any of these three guides:
- Your seat cushion should be stable enough that you can stand on it — this is because it keeps your core stable and in alignment.
- Your eye-gaze focus should “pull back” so that, at all times, you are aware of a wider frame of vision than just your monitor — this keeps you from developing Forward Head Posture.