How do you prepare your writing space? This was the question posed to the 2017 Write Well Sell Well non-fiction panel. All of us on the panel had different answers. In fact, I’ve yet to find two writers who write in the exact same way.
Some writers write best sitting at their desks. They succeed by keeping a 9-5 schedule. Others write best at night, after their children are in bed and the house is quiet. Others, like Rene Gutteridge shared in her post Why I Spend $4 a Day for Office Space, find inspiration at coffee houses.
I agree that a visit to a local coffeehouse is like a mini-retreat. When I’m at a coffee house like Starbucks or City Brew, I don’t have to stare at unwashed dishes or laundry. I also don’t have to answer endless questions or hear about the latest Lego warrior defeat from the small people who share my DNA. Instead, I’m surrounded by adults who are just as focused as I am. Access to high-speed internet is a bonus, too.
But getting away to a coffee house isn’t always possible.
That’s when I prepare my home space to write. Currently, I don’t have a home office, so I have to prepare a makeshift office in my bedroom. Here’s how I do it:
- Communicate to My People
I make it clear that I am working. My children have learned that the sooner I finish my work, the sooner they can have my undivided attention. I set a reward for all of us when I finish like taking a walk/hike, playing a game or making dinner. This entices them to leave me alone to finish my assignments as quickly as possible. If my assignment isn’t completely finished that day, then I set a time that my work will end.
- Break Out the Headphones or Earbuds
I need to block out noise when I write. Hearing conversations, Xbox game play, television or even those Lego warrior battles is not an option. That’s why I love noise-canceling headphones. Then I put on my favorite music for writing. My current favorite is instrumental piano by Jennifer Thomas and Helen Jane Long.
Essential oils have proven to be useful in helping me focus and sparking creativity. When I’m at home—especially when I’m on a tight deadline or struggling to finish an assignment—I diffuse my favorite combo:
- 2 drops lavender
- 2 drops peppermint
- 2 drops clary sage
It works every time.
Of course, the first rule of writing is this—WRITE! There are no shortcuts to plowing through and getting the work done, but preparing your space to write can be beneficial by making the journey to a finished piece easier and more enjoyable.
So let me ask you: How to you prepare your space to write? Please share your wisdom in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you do.
Gena Maselli is a professional writer who loves to see others living their dreams. She has authored several books as well as written numerous magazine and Web articles, children’s church curriculum, direct mail and more.
When she isn’t writing, Gena’s homeschooling her children, playing board games with her family and enjoying the sunrises in Northern Arizona.