Whether it’s a corner in a room or a full-scale office with all the luxuries, every writer needs a writing area. This is the place the writer goes to allow his or her creativity to soar. If you write there every day, especially if you schedule a time to write, you’re training your subconscious that this is the time for you to be creative. This is the time and place for the words to soar.
My husband has taken over our office area, so my writing area is my livingroom. We have a family room in the basement where we keep the TV, video games, etc., so the livingroom is not a high traffic area in my home. I have a laptop desk on wheels I can move out of the way when company comes and an end table with a small book shelf on it and a place to hide away my files and notes. I also have a rolltop desk in my livingroom where I store all my supplies. There’s a large front window with a view and a couch to take a nap on when I need a break. It works well for me. I’ll post pictures on Friday.
The important thing is to be creative about your writing space. If you can have an office, that’s great. But there are certain items every writer needs in her writing area.
1. Computer: The days of the typewriter are over. Thank God. Make sure you have a good computer that’s easy for you to use. I recommend a laptop. That way, you don’t have to carry around a jump drive if you’re away from home. An Ipad with a Documents to Go app and a portable keyboard is also a great tool for when you’re on the road.
2. Internet: Internet is essential for writers in today’s world. It gives us marketing tools, email, online writer’s communities, writer’s tip blogs, research at our fingertips, and access to publishers’ and agents’ websites. The only caution here is to schedule when you’ll be on the internet and when you won’t. You may want to schedule a certain chunk of time for the internet. I have the internet running all day, but I only check it once every couple of hours, and if I’m not done writing (unless I’m doing research), I don’t stay on it longer than five minutes.
3. Library: Every writer needs a library that includes writing books, a dictionary, a thesaurus, and books he enjoys reading. Some of these books may be on-line. Some won’t. See this link and this link for the books I believe every writer should have.
4. Files: Every writer needs a place she can file research, plot outlines, character sketches, ideas, agent lists, and other important information. Some writers use online files such as MS One Note. Others like hard copies. But you need somewhere to store information.
5. Online computer back-up: Don’t take a chance. Subscribe to an online computer back-up service. They aren’t expensive, and if anything happens, you’ll be covered. Schedule the back-up to automatically back up your files at least once a week.
6. Music: Whether you use an i-pod, your computer, a CD player, or some other device, you’ll want something where you can play music or some kind of white noise. Some writers like it quiet when they work, but even they benefit from listening to music before or after writing. Also invest in a good set of headphones that will be comfortable to wear for hours and will block out most noises including the phone ringing.
7. A comfortable chair: You’ll want a chair where you sit up straight, your feet are flat on the ground, and your back is supported. Don’t prop your laptop on your legs while you type in a recliner. Your back will thank you later.
8. A desk or table: Don’t use one of those portable lap desks unless it’s short term. You need something you can put your computer on even if it’s a card table or a TV table.
9. No distractions: If you really want to escape into the world your writing and let the prose flow, you’ll need an area without television, video games, or a telephone ringing. A door that can be closed is even better.
10. A notebook: Keep a small notebook with you to jot down ideas. If you have an IPad or a memo app on your smart phone, this works even better because it will always be with you. Before you begin writing, record these ideas in your idea folder.
So that all you need to begin writing. Other than the computer, most of these items are free or can be purchased for very little money. Make this investment in your writing career.