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The Writer’s Life: Establishing a Writing Space

Writing Prompts

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November 2012
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Monday, November-05-12

By Dave Hood

Writers like to write in a place that provides inspiration, has few distractions, and allows them to think about what they are going to write and how they are going to write it. Some writers write in their bed; Others like to write in a cafe with their headphones on.  Many writers have a special “writing space,” such as a room where they write.

What is most important?  You ought to write in a quiet place with few distractions. Your writing space should allow you to tune out the world. That is why many writers have a writing room, which allows them to close the door, sit in silence, and think about what they want to write.

What should your writing space include? Here’s are a few suggestions, some of them obvious:

  • Desk to write on
  • Comfortable chair to sit in
  • Laptop computer to write on and to take other places
  • Dictionary, thesaurus, and book of quotations
  • Notebook to jot down ideas that pop into your mind

I have found that a laptop, desk and chair, and window are essential. I cannot write without them.

If your writing space is a room, include a bookshelf of inspirational books of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction. You can refer to these for writing ideas, for writing advice, for examples of good writing, and for taking a break from your writing project.

It is important that your writing space provides structure to your writing life, in the same way a work place or workout room provides structure. When you go to your writing space, you work at your writing, and  not do something else. I suggest you make writing a high priority on your to-do list. Schedule time for writing each week. Use the writing room on those scheduled times.

When you get stuck in your writing, change your writing space. And so, if you have a writing room, try writing somewhere else, such as a cafe.

There must be a window, wherever I write. A window to look out of when my mind becomes tired. It also provides some light and scenery, so that I don’t feel as though I’m living in a cave.

Music, such as a stereo or radio, is optional. Sometimes, I like to listen to soothing jazz or classic music as I write. Other times, I require the quiet of a still house. Music can be a distraction.

To provide inspiration, you might include the photographs, drawings, paintings of your favorite artists, mementos, anything that inspires.

When you have lost the desire to write, take a break from your writing space. Turn off the laptop, go read a magazine or newspaper, take a long walk. The point I am making is to change your mind. When you are reinvigorated, return to your writing place.


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