Wednesday, July 06, 2011

How to Create a Productive Writing Space

Recently, I’ve been thinking about how to be more productive in your writing output. I firmly believe that having the right processes and environment are big contributors to productivity.

I'm forced to ask myself: do I have a solid set up for productive writing?

Overall, I would say: Yes, I do.

Keep a dedicated space 

Most of my creative writing occurs in a dedicated place: my home study. Just being in that room gets my energy level up and the signals going to my brain: now’s the time to write.

Best of all, my study is far enough away from the kitchen and family room, which form the hub of activity in my house, that I’m not distracted by my family going about its daily routine. Unless they yell, of course.

Another advantage of using the study to write is that there is very little else in the study: just another desk with no computer and a set of bookcases filled with tomes no one wants to read. So, in other words, if I find you in my study while I’m writing, you won’t even have a good excuse to defend yourself with.

Have all of your tools on hand 

All of the necessities to get me on my merry way (writing, that is) are on hand in my study. What I need are: my computer, a desk and chair, my USB drive and internet connection for research.

Yep, that’s it.

All of these items are kept within arm’s reach of me as I write. Nothing breaks my concentration more than having to run around the house searching for a file on one of my myriad flash drives. Having it on hand may not be necessary every time I write (I use my USBs mainly for transporting files and back up) but having it there eliminates a potential distraction.

Comfort is key 

My desktop computer sits on a sturdy wooden desk. My keyboard is perfectly aligned to my height and reach. My chair is soft and infinitely adjustable. If there was one thing I would change, however, it would be the lighting. When the sun is shining, I can open the blinds and obtain optimum light, but when it’s dark, the sole overhead light is insufficient for any significant time spent on the computer.

In the end, though, my writing space allows me to sit for hours without cricking my back or straining my wrists – ideal for a long day of writing. Because isn’t that the real goal?

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