Claim Your Writing Space

This article is posted in Brain2Page.


Where do you like to write? At your home office looking out a big bay window on the sand and surf? Curled up on the couch with a blanket and your laptop, sipping a hot cup of tea? At the library using public computers in near tomblike silence? At a coffee shop with your tablet, a cappafrappalatteccino and your headphones?

Maybe you like to vary your writing places and your writing spaces. Maybe you go sit on a park bench with a notebook and write while watching dogs catching frisbees out of the corner of your eye some days, and others you close yourself in a small, dimly lit space that could be a sensory-deprivation chamber if not for the sound of keys tapping away.

Because you asked (you totally did), I have three main “writing spaces” I like to utilize. I don’t have a specific purpose for these writing spaces, but varying my space from time to time allows me to focus on the writing instead of on feeling like I’m cloistered in a corner of my bedroom, never to see the light of day.

Space One is my computer desk. My home office. I could have placed it facing the big bay window, but the window looks out on the parking lot of my apartment complex, and as such isn’t exactly inspirational. It’s cluttered. It tends to have my DnD dice scattered about. There is a stack of writing reference books and a second stack of fiction books I want to read on the printer stand where no printer has ever stood. There is a candle. I don’t know why. There are notebooks and random pages. My tablet and giant headphones hang out nearby. There are art prints and a silly zombie poster on the wall within direct sight.

It is my writing space. I do not share it. If I had a significant other, or children, I would still not share it. I’m selfish like that.

Space Two is my couch. When I’m tired of staring at my computer screen I take pad and pen and go curl up on the couch. I set music going and I just scribble. I have two thirds of a fantasy novel that exists only in notebooks, that I should really, really transcribe someday. I like the process of analog writing because it makes editing as you go so much more difficult. I don’t write in pencil, because you can erase pencil. Scratch something out, make a note, move the hell on.

Space Three is anywhere in the wide world that I feel like I can get some writing done. Usually it’s a coffee shop, but sometimes I’ll go to a restaurant, order a drink and an appetizer, and just start writing. I tend to tip the server more than my check when I do this, because I know I’m being somewhat of a nuisance. I never do this during busy times for a restaurant. Tables are valuable and I don’t want to take up a space that should be serving commerce instead of some ass with a tablet who isn’t going to order more than jalapeno pepper poppers and an iced tea.

The point here is that no matter where I am – my home office, my couch, or a random seat at a random place – I make the space mine in some capacity before I begin. Even if that means carrying around some personal item that I can set out and feel like the place is mine for the short time I’m there. If I’m not comfortable I can’t concentrate on what I’m doing. If I let in ambient noise I can’t focus. Essentially I build a tiny pocket universe that I can inhabit. I cut out distractions and I get to work. You can do it almost anywhere.

Just remember to make the space yours.

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