So, you’re writing at home now. Ahhh. Take it in. It’s great, right? Your kitchen and snacks are right there. And not to mention, you can spend all day in your pajamas!
And then, of course, your bed is across the hall, just letting you know you can take a nap whenever…
No. It’s time to get to work. And one of the best ways you can stay prolific and happy in your writing is to have a fantastic office space that can serve you and your creativity the best.
There are a lot of different kinds of office spaces because there are a lot of different writers. And what works for someone else may not work for you. But there are some things that are pretty ubiquitous in good creative spaces.
In his book ON WRITING, Stephen King famously said, “It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room. Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.”
What a great quote, right?
But let’s talk about desks! Pretty much every writer needs something solid to write on.
Having a writing desk can inspire you to sit down and get those words out. And there are so many styles to choose from!
Maybe you want an antique one, with scuffed legs and drawers that stick. Or something more modern, with clean lines.
Or how about something like an Uplift Desk, that let’s you write sitting or standing at the simple push of a button.
And, of course, maybe you don’t need anything so formal. Some authors swear by writing at their kitchen table or island. The key is to find what works best for you.
Most people are going to need somewhere to sit in order to write. Now standing desks are all the rage and that may be a great choice for you. But chances are, even if you love to stand and write, there are times where you’ll need to take a seat.
So, having a good writing chair can be a lifesaver. Don’t neglect the health of your back. Use something with good lumbar support. Investing in a high-quality office chair can make a huge difference for you and save you money on chiropractor bills.
Traditional writing chairs notwithstanding, there are other options to choose from when you’re looking for the right choice to park your butt. Everything from inflatable exercise balls to reclining gaming chair are comfortable and affordable alternatives to help you make the best of your writing life.
Some people love to take their laptops and write in bed. That could work for you, too! Just make sure it doesn’t lure you to sleep when you’re supposed to be writing. And make sure whatever position you are in, you’re supporting your back.
Time for an important question: do you want to write by hand? Or on a computer?
The choice is yours of course. And what works for someone else may or may not work for you.
But even if technology is your thing, it doesn’t hurt to have pens and pencils and notebooks stored close by. And, let’s be serious here, who doesn’t enjoy picking out office supplies?
Though that can very quickly turn into piles of stuff, so having storage for them is probably a good idea. Maybe you just want some bins to put them in and stack out of sight in a closet. Maybe you like to have them out and within reach, so you stack them on a bookshelf.
And, of course, there’s something charming about the sort of controlled chaos many writers swear by, piles of stuff that are organized in a way that only you understand (and no one else better move things).
When creating fictional lives in your stories, it’s often a great idea to surround yourself with actual living things. Maybe you’re someone who has ten cats. Or three dogs. Maybe a cage of birds or guinea pigs or hermit crabs. A pet can help remind you to take breaks and spend some time immersed in the moment before heading back into your writing.
But even if you can’t or don’t have pets, there are other things you can do, too. Like plants! Plants can not only make an office look beautiful, not to mention clean the air and provide oxygen for you to breathe, they can function the same way as a pet and help remind you to take moments to appreciate everything around you. And don’t worry, even if you have a black thumb, I promise you there’s a plant out there for you. And who knows! Maybe soon you’ll have your office walls draped in pothos branches and the scent of orchid blossoms is in the air! How cool could that be?
Finally, you could always go the Stephen King route and fill your office with your children, watching them play while you write your next bestseller.
The most important thing about a writing space, though, is to make it yours. If your space is boring, or decorated in a manner you don’t enjoy, then chances are you won’t enjoy spending any time in there. And if you don’t enjoy spending time in there, well, how much writing are you really going to accomplish?
So, make the space your own. If you want stark white walls and complete silence, go for it!
If you want shelves stacked full off action figures and geodes, that sounds amazing!
Your twelve dogs and five kids conducting wrestling matches at your feet? What a hoot!
Or perhaps you just want stacks of cages with snakes peering out at you and a humidifier slowly filling the space with mist. Sure!
No matter what it is, as long as it gets your butt in a chair (or in bed, or at your standing desk, or on your kitchen stool, or…) and your words flowing, then that’s all that matters.
And, of course, you can always make your office mobile and head over to your favorite coffee shop or outdoor seating area to enjoy a change of scenery. Your muse will thank you.
Harry Wallett is the Founder and Managing Director of Relay Publishing. Combining his entrepreneurial background with a love of great stories, Harry founded Relay in 2013 as a fresh way to create books and for writers to earn a living from their work. Since then, Relay has sold 3+ million copies and worked with 100s of writers on bestselling titles such as Defending Innocence, The Alveria Dragon Akademy Series and Rancher’s Family Christmas.
Harry oversees the creative direction of the company, and works to develop a supportive collaborative environment for the Relay team to thrive within in order to fulfill our mission to create unputdownable books.
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