A Writing Space of One’s Own

I HAVE often seen and heard the phrase, “Where you write impacts how you write!” along my writing journey. Is it the location that counts most? Inside or outside? Or perhaps the environment of the writing space? Do you prefer the comfortable, cozy, and relaxing setting of a soft sofa, lying elongated and propped up from behind by big comfy pillows, your laptop resting on your legs? Perhaps you prefer a more rigid setting. Maybe a hard-back chair, your body posture straight while your eyes focus on the computer monitor sitting atop your desk, still and immobile.

I have always had a fluid relationship with this binary writing situation. Where I choose to write on any given day is heavily determined by my mood. It is not an exact science using quantifiable data by any means. Art rarely is. I can be influenced by external stimuli, which often direct me toward a specific setting and scene. Still, I usually let how I feel in the moment lead me toward where I will be writing for the day. Feeling or logic? Routine or unexpected revelation? Inspired motivation or Meh—whatever?

On average, I would say that I spend more time writing in a comfy, relaxing setting than I do in a more traditional, rigid setting. Of course, I know I can be equally productive or unproductive in both environments.

I love spending countless hours propped up by pillows on various couches in my home with my laptop resting on my legs. I generally choose the sofa in the living room to write on as it has a relaxing fireplace, and my favourite books surround me. Plus, it is close to the refrigerator when I need a quick break: well deserved from being creatively productive or necessary to relax frustration and overthinking.

While I spend more time in the above setting, I have a room on the top floor of my house devoted entirely to writing and reading. The room is filled with art, objects, collectibles, and other items that reflect my personality, interests, and hobbies. These treasures are meant to inspire, boosting the creative flow from my brain to my hands to the keyboard. It is definitely a safe space where I can imagine and create my worlds and characters with my words.

It is also on the same floor as my husband’s office, and I can be loud and stompy when I am in my writing room. So, this is why I usually write downstairs. I am so considerate.

Writing in an uncluttered and organized space overwhelmingly influences my productivity on any given day. I believe that your current mood and temperament heavily influence your environment. Can you write as eloquently and passionately when you are in a sombre mood as you can when in a contented, bright one? Of course! But frustration only begets frustration, and forcing creativity to come alive only foments anxiety. If your head is chaotic, the ideas muddled and not flowing, your physical landscape will often mirror that. Take a step back. Think about when you write at your best and what the state of that environment usually looks like.

Yes, I have spent hours typing furiously away, sitting in a hard-back, wooden chair at the kitchen table. I have also been perfectly happy and productive on that comfy sofa. The final message I want to convey is that while you may have a defined writing space, it is healthy to switch things up to get a different perspective. Home or coffee house. Park bench or library desk. Sofa or chair. All are valid choices, and creativity can thrive almost anywhere. The most important aspect is that it is a safe space, mentally, emotionally, and physically for you.

Oh, and one last thing. I am one of those people who can only write in near-absolute silence. Both my parents can read, watch television, and tune out the conversations of others around them simultaneously. I did not inherit this superpower.


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