By Jori Hamilton
As a writer, few things are likely as important to you as where you write–except, maybe coffee and your hard drive. Having an effective and productive writing space is crucial to your career success, but it’s also important to your overall well-being.
You might switch up your space from time to time, heading to your favorite coffee shop (there might be a theme here) or even spending time outside while you write to spark inspiration. But, for most writers, the best place to get a lot of great work done is at home.
In 2020, over 44,000 writers were working in the U.S. Depending on the type of writing you do, that means you need to be productive, efficient, and creative to stay relevant and ahead of any “competition”. So, your home writing environment needs to be a space that motivates you to do your best work.
Could your current space use a little sprucing? Let’s cover a few ways you can turn your writing environment into a place that will spark productivity and creativity all at once, so you can get your work in front of readers that much faster.
Revamping Your Space
If you currently have a writing space or office in your home, you’re off to a good start. But, if it’s been feeling lackluster lately, one of the best things you can do is to “renovate” it. One of the easiest ways to change the look of a room is with a fresh coat of paint. Choose a color that inspires you, like blue or green, and you’re more likely to stay motivated. Using a lighter shade could even make your small room feel bigger if you’ve been feeling “suffocated” in your space.
If you’re not much of a DIY-er, there are plenty of quick and easy ways to change the look and feel of your space, including:
- Adding live plants
- Changing the lighting
- Decorating with throw blankets and pillows
- Adding a few personal items
- Upgrading your office supplies
You should also set the “write” tone within your space. Surround yourself with things that inspire you. You wanted to become a writer for a reason, right? Place a bookshelf in your office with some of your favorite novels and journals. Or, hang a bulletin board with some inspiring columns, poems, or whatever it might be that puts you in a creative mood. As a writer, learning and reading should be constants in your life. Surrounding yourself with other people’s works can put you in the right mindset to be more productive.
Considering Something New
Sometimes, updating your current environment doesn’t exactly do the trick. If that’s the case, you might want to consider changing your writing environment completely. If you’ve been considering a move, now could be a perfect time. That’s especially true if you’re just jumping into a writing career for the first time or if you’ve gone through a major life change, like getting a divorce or having to move with kids as a single parent. Whatever the case, there are things you can do to make buying a new home easier for yourself. Create a realistic budget, look for help as often as possible, and sort out your credit if you need to.
The idea of moving into a new space can be daunting and overwhelming. But, it might also be the best way to boost your writing career or cause it to take off in the first place. Sometimes, a complete change of scenery can do wonders for your mental well-being, as well as your productivity.
Getting Rid of Distractions
Even if you have a writing environment that sparks creativity, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will make you more productive. For that to happen, some of your habits may need to change. For example, if you’re someone who gets easily distracted, your space should have as few opportunities as possible.
When you’re working from home, it can seem nearly impossible to eliminate distractions. But, with a few key tips, you can stay focused and on-task.
First, make sure you have a dedicated writing space. You can put your office in a room meant for something else, but don’t let anything else in that room keep you from working. Try to avoid rooms with a television, exercise equipment, or “heavy traffic” areas like the kitchen. Other ways to quickly eliminate distractions at home include:
- Having a routine and sticking to a schedule
- Avoiding too much multitasking
- Turning off your devices
- Putting your devices away until it’s time to take a break
Speaking of breaks–take them! You’re less likely to fall into distracting traps if you feel energized and rejuvenated. Take several breaks throughout the day. Do some stretching and walking, and make time to get outside. It’s a great way to boost your energy and can even improve your mental health, allowing you to come back to your work more focused and clear-headed.
Creating a productive writing environment is easier than you might think. If you’re currently in a rut, consider changing up your space, and you’ll see how much of an influence it can have on your work.
Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of topics but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to freelance writing, business productivity, and marketing strategies. To learn more about Jori, you can follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.