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Creating Your Perfect Writing Environment

November 23rd, 2018

  1. Whether you are lucky enough to have a dedicated office space, you work in the spare bedroom or have to work at the dining room/kitchen table – keep it tidy.  If your ‘writing space’ is free from clutter there’s a better chance that your mind will be, too!
  2. Make sure you have the necessary equipment.  A good broadband connection isn’t a luxury.  But we haven’t yet achieved the ‘paperless office’ so a printer and a filing cabinet – or some form of storage – is more or less essential.  And don’t forget supplies of stationery and any necessary reference books.  You might be able to ‘google’ any information you need but most writers still build up a library of their favourite reference books.
  3. Be organised as well as tidy.  When you sit down to write have everything you need to hand.  There’s nothing more distracting than having to jump up every few minutes to get something you’ve forgotten.
  4. You also need to be disciplined.  Some people write better in the morning when they’re fresh; others prefer to burn the midnight oil when everyone else is in bed.  Find what works best for you and then make sure that you fit in time for your writing. See Where Does All The Time Go for tips. You might not manage to write every day but the more regularly you write – just like exercising your body – the stronger your ‘writing muscles’ will become.
  5. Don’t be afraid to be anti-social.  When you’re concentrating on your writing let the phone ring and then pick up the call later. Don’t be seduced by the ‘ping’ of emails and texts. Tell family and friends that you need some ‘me time’ for your writing – so popping round for coffee and a gossip isn’t an option.
  6. Make sure you’re comfortable.  Is the temperature right? Are the light levels right?  Is your computer screen set at the correct brightness? You want to avoid eye-strain at all costs. Is your chair at the right height? Are you sitting at the optimum distance from your keyboard and screen?  Laptops are convenient, but they tempt you to slump. Make sure you’re sitting right or you’ll end up with a bad back or a stiff neck. Why not check out the NHS guidance on how to sit correctly.
  7. Make sure you drink enough water. Nothing saps your concentration and gives you a headache faster than dehydration.  You might need a strong coffee to kick-start your brain but then leave the caffeine alone and drink lots of water.
  8. If you settle down to write for a prolonged period, make sure you get up every twenty or thirty minutes to stretch your legs and take a few deep breaths. Also make sure you get enough sleep and exercise. You don’t need to go to the gym; a brisk walk, some gardening or, dare we say it, a bit of strenuous housework should do the trick!
  9. You’ll find that it really aids your creativity if you are surrounded by things that give you pleasure.  It won’t be the same for everyone but it can be as simple as a nice view from your window, pictures of people or places that you love, scented candles, a slice of cake…
  10. And finally, the easy chair!  The previous nine points have concentrated on you working away at your desk, but writing is a bit like an iceberg.  There should be plenty of thinking time under the surface.  So, treat yourself to the most comfortable chair you can find, sit back and let those creative thoughts flow…

Author: Diana Nadin

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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