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How to Create a Writing Room That “Inspires” You

Updated: Mar 25, 2020

Writers these days arguably have it much harder than their predecessors. Whereas only a few decades ago authors had to contend with the beating staccato of their typewriters, today’s writers must face the added challenge of forcing themselves to unplug from all the distractions that come with owning a PC or Mac.

And that’s saying a lot.

No matter where we go, there is something to distract us. If it’s not our blinking buzzing phone, it’s our TV, Instagram our music, Reddit, YouTube, the black hole that is Pinterest, you name it. And unless you want to invest in a distraction-free word processor like the swanky Freewrite (or an actual typewriter), you’ll be hard-pressed to focus long enough to get into the flow of writing.

So, how do you create a workspace that inspires you to unleash your creativity? The answer starts by changing the question.

Inspiration vs. Concentration

I'm willing to bet that when people say they’re looking for “inspiration” for their next novel or screenplay, what they’re really looking for is the physical and mental space to write. Those of us who go looking for inspiration may never sit down and do the actual work. If your characters are filling up your head and you can’t seem to find the proper outlet for your story, what you need is somewhere to sit down and, you guessed it, write.

Consider Yourself Hired

So, you want to be a writer, but you don’t have a dedicated space to write. You have your laptop and a pocketful of ideas, and that’s about it. While that’s a great start, it’s time to ask yourself how truly, madly, deeply you want to be a writer. If the answer is somewhere in the ballpark of “more than anything else in the world and I’d sell my nephew to be a published author,” then it’s time to start taking yourself seriously. In fact, the more you think of writing as going to work, the more likely you’ll treat it like one. And that starts with having your own personal workspace.

This workspace should contain the following:

  • Four walls or the ability to physically separate yourself from others

  • A desk or writing surface

  • Your writing instrument

  • A chair that’s comfortable enough to sit on for long periods of time but not so comfortable that it induces sleep

  • A nice plant to clean the air doesn't hurt

This workspace should not contain the following:

  • A television, radio, game console

  • Pictures of your friends and family (as much as we love them, they can be distracting)

  • A window facing too much outdoor stimulation (i.e. busy sidewalk or adorable squirrels)

  • Excessive or unwanted noise

  • Another person!

A Word to the Wise

Everyone has a different flow. Some of us need solitude and silence to get a decent amount of work done. Others thrive on the white noise of a crowded café. I'm not here to tell you that what you’re doing is wrong. If you have a steady writing rhythm just by sitting on the couch sandwiched between your dog and your three-year-old, all the power to you! However, if you’re struggling to find moments of real inspiration, I suggest making a major adjustment in not only where you write but how you think about your writing. Setting yourself up in your designated area away from the disruptions of everyday life will help you start thinking of writing as “going to work”.

You don’t need matching furniture, expensive throw pillows, or inspirational posters to sit down and craft your story. If you’re having trouble staying motivated and sticking to your writing schedule even after you've made these changes to your workstation, contact me for professional coaching and writing advice.