“Where do you work?”
“Oh… I’m a writer.”
“So, where are you going?”
As a writer, you have to create your own working environment. Setting aside the work you do to actually get paid, you still have to make time for your craft. And this work can’t be a second thought, or something you do in bed right before you go to sleep.
Unless that is your perfect environment.
So, create your workspace to write. It’s important.
My aesthetic is steaming tea, a window with rain drops racing down, people around conversing or working on their own crafts, and a soft Spotify playlist that takes me away from my surroundings.
As a person with ADD, I get distracted easily, so I need distractions. (Yeah, counter-intuitive, I know). But if I’m alone in my room trying to write, I will distract myself with anything and everything. If I’m in a classroom, just sitting, trying to listen, my brain will wander, refusing to be in the classroom with me.
So, I have to create a distracting environment so I won’t be distracted. I doodle in class so my brain is satisfied, and I will leave my room so I can focus on my craft.
I go to coffee shops. I let myself get up and explore every once in a while so I don’t burn out. I set my materials out on my chosen table (I try and get the same table every day) and order a hot cup of tea. The distractions are there if I need them, pleasing my brain so I don’t have to go looking for them.
This is my environment. This is where I do my best work. In fact, I’m writing this blog post at Mama Carmen’s, cup of coffee next to my laptop, window in front of me (it’s even raining!), headphones in and people discussing their own lives all around me.
And I’m being incredibly productive.
Pinpoint your aesthetic and make an environment out of it.
Some possible work environments include, though are not limited to:
- Coffee shop
Caffeine and snacks are available at your fingertips at this location, something all writers need during their work time. Scope out a table next to an outlet so your computer doesn’t die in the middle of your manuscript before you’ve saved it. It can be nice to be surrounded by others doing their own work, but be sure not to overstay your welcome without buying anything, or buying very little. This is a business afterall.
Similar to a Coffee shop, this can be a nice place to sit for a while, order a drink, and write. I’ve found this is better for older writers (I’m only 20) or those who like to work later at night.
- Bedroom Nook
Maybe you’re one of those writers who doesn’t actually want to leave home, hey, at least you don’t have to pay for your coffee or snacks, and your cat can purr by your ear while you write.
It can be nice to get a hike in before you start writing, and when you finally get to the perfect location, you’ll be secluded with no wifi (no other option than to write) and surrounded by nature.
I know there are some of you who need silence while you work. Plus what better place to write than a somewhere surrounded by novels and inspiration?
- Classroom on Campus
This could be an honors lounge or a classroom that’s always open. Utilize what your university offers! Computer labs can be helpful as well. And if you aren’t in college, maybe you have an office that is already a perfect writing place.
- Your porch or balcony
It’s like leaving the house without actually leaving the house. You get fresh air and free snacks, all without being interrupted.
- Public Park
Fresh air while leaving the house and without a long hike. Also you can immerse yourself in your community. Just be wary of small children.
- Animal Shelter
I promise this isn’t as weird as it sounds. There’s an animal shelter here in Fayetteville where volunteers can take the dogs out for walks or to play in outdoor cages. I like to take my favorite dog out and sit between some trees while I write ideas and notes in my notebook.
- Museum, Zoo, Aquarium.
Based on your interests and aesthetic, you could make your city’s attractions your personal office space. Write while staring at a lion, jellyfish or a sculpture.
Whatever it may be, make your work environment personal for you and your needs.
Environment is important. And you get to customize it.