5 Things Every Writing Space Should Have
As I currently redesign my “writing room,” I’m constantly thinking about what I want the room to be. What color should I paint the walls? What kind of decorations do I want to hang? What should I fill my bookshelves with? What do I want the general feel of the room to be? I understand not everyone is lucky enough to have an entire room they can call their “writing room” (and I feel very grateful to be one of the few) but I think every serious writer needs a “writing space.” Somewhere they sit down and immediately feel like writing is the right thing to do. If you want to be a writer and don’t already have a writing space, make one! It could be the desk in the middle of your living room or the corner table at the local coffee house. It could be the porch in your backyard or a park bench with a notebook on your lap. Wherever it may be, however big or small, keep the following in mind when you choose a new spot or perfect your current one.
1. A Sense of Comfort
If your not comfortable, you won’t be able to focus on your work. If your too cold or too hot you’ll be strangled by blankets or wishing you were jumping in your neighbors swimming pool the whole time. If your in public and worried about that creepy barista staring at you, get out of there! If your roommate’s giggles are echoing through the apartment as she watches that movie with her new crush, put your headphones on. Control the things you can control, put distractions out of reach.
2. Writing Tools
At the minimum you need a notebook and a pen/pencil. Maybe also a desk, a computer, a chair, post it notes, inspirational photos, a window, a whiteboard to sketch an outline, music, headphones. Not everyone will need all of these things but everyone’s writing space should have all the tools they need to make Number 1 a reality.
Is this not the thing that inspired us to write in the first place? Then it should be there to always remind us and to teach us. Reading is essential to any writer’s success, so make sure to have books close at hand. We’ve all heard Stephen King’s quote, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” And he is right. Reading is how we learn as writers, its how we figure out what we like and don’t like, what works and what doesn’t, what makes our eyes zoom across the page and what makes our eyelids heavy. Not to mention that if you enjoy writing, I’d be shocked to hear you don’t enjoy reading. So keep your books close!
This will most likely be more books; a dictionary, thesaurus, a book of interesting facts or jokes. Books on writing. I know what you’re thinking, why do I need books when I can search all that stuff on the internet? Well, when you’re hunched over your keyboard for hours and you suddenly can’t spit out the word on the tip of your tongue, why keep hunching over the keyboard to Google it when you can lean back in your chair, grab a book and flip a few pages until inspiration strikes?
5. Something That Reminds You Why You Write
Place your favorite book on your desk and mark your favorite passages. That quote that puts it in perspective, paint it on the wall above your desk. Pictures of people and places that inspire you. A collage of beautiful, mysterious, interesting, curious, unique thought-provoking Google Images. A Wordle image that includes everything you need to remember while writing. Make it personal. Make it something that when your head feels completely empty and you throw your head back in despair, this something will catch your eye and say to you, “There’s a reason you’re doing this, don’t you remember? This is what you’re suppose to do. This is your art.”