Many writers and editors agree that a good writing environment makes for quality writing. A suitable writing environment should produce focus, comfort and inspiration. It should be the retreat for you to through yourself completely into your writing project, whether it’s a novel, short story or poem. Here are 4 ideas for you to consider when self evaluating and improving your writing environment.
Write somewhere quiet
Noisy environments can be distracting, avoid them at the peril of your word count! Find yourself an environment where you may concentrate on the paper or computer screen in front of you. And be aware that it’s not just sound that creates a noisy environment, there are many culprits in this key scenario. Perhaps your social media is buzzing on your phone or sitting in a tab next to your research? Maybe there are many people walking past you or doing various activities that you find distracting?
It’s important to consider that some writers enjoy going to venues such as their local pub or coffee shop, as they can block out potential distractions but find the background noise to be of comfort to them. Consider what suits you best and adapt!
Arm yourself with your writing notes and plan, keep them nearby
Nothing can be more time consuming than looking for essential research notes for that crucial scene. To create a good writing environment, you are also creating a routine or respite. You are a creating an atmosphere for yourself to be able to function as a writer and to enjoy the process. If you enjoy writing regularly it may do well to have a personal desk that’s yours and yours alone, where you may store and organise your writing notes. Perhaps you could have a file holder nearby? Some writers like to create a spreadsheet and update it with important information about their plot or characters. Imagine how helpful it must be for writers who have hundreds of characters, to check within thirty seconds what colour eyes one character may have? No matter where you go, when you make time to write, always make sure you can arm yourself with your writing notes and plan, and that they are always nearby.
Write by the caffeine tap
According to Twitter, which is by no means a representative source, many writers are addicted to some form of caffeine. Whether you sink into a creamy latte or dive into a cappuccino, you’ve fallen into writer stereotype territory. It’s not necessarily a bad thing – In fact, sometimes when someone purposefully follows a stereotype like this, it can lead to a positive mindset that you are in fact the desired stereotype you’re hoping to be. In this case, you are asserting the fact that you are a writer! And you absolutely deserve that second mocha or green tea.
Writing by the caffeine tap is my advice to you to make sure you are in a comfortable environment. A comfortable environment can reduce the stress that writing deadlines can cause, it can increase the passion and the excitement that inspired you to pick the pen for the first time. The caffeine tap is a metaphor to suggest that you ensure you are in a place where you can take a five or ten minute break, whether it’s to refill on coffee or tea, find a biscuit or two or take a short walk outside.
Feed your imagination!
Many writers enjoy collecting images, pieces of music, various objects or relevant research books and journals to help feed their imagination. These items may be relevant to the genre in some form or may be directly related to the plot. Many writers like to have them on hand, perhaps by the desk, the nearby bookshelf or on a computer device. This can help you draw in your personal interests as a motivation and a tool to understand your writing narrative. It is also incredibly common to see or read about writers who went to great lengths to explore the settings they wished to write about, writers who went the extra mile to discover and understand what their characters thought or felt and why, writers who studied in depth the turmoil of society and the result of it, etc. Not all of us can afford to go on such wild and spontaneous adventures, and the reality is that research can actually by quite heavy, demanding and sometimes very difficult to delve into. However the results of research will not go to waste and will feed your creativity and confidence in writing your scenes.
I would encourage you to feed your imagination with research and tangible items, and keep them close to your writing environment.