Tips for an Inspiring Workspace

Lots of things can block your creativity. But your workspace shouldn’t be one of them! If you’re struggling to put pen to paper, check out the list below to make sure your workspace supports your writing.

Cut the Clutter.

Clutter comes in many forms. Physical clutter is easy to spot: stacks of junk mail…a sink of dirty dishes…a pile of “stuff” without a place. Ruthlessly banish these inspiration killers.

Mental clutter can be trickier: undone errands…a looming deadline…relentless communications (calls, texts, emails) vying for your attention. Mindfully defend against these distractions. Either take care of them before you sit to write, or decide to ignore them until after you’re done.

Get the Right Light.

Make sure your workspace is brightly lit, and pay attention to the type of light you’re using. Scientists theorize that fluorescent lighting can be disruptive to our bodies’ circadian rhythms. Natural lighting is the best way to go, but a nice lamp will do in a pinch. If your workspace doesn’t have a window, try using a full-spectrum bulb that replicates sunlight. Whatever type of lighting you use, be sure it’s bright enough to avoid eye strain.

Collect Your Thoughts.

When inspiration strikes, you’ll want somewhere to pin it down. Many writers use notepads to record their ideas. Consider adding a whiteboard or pin board to your workspace to catch thoughts when they arise. Some find it helpful to create a mood board: a collection of images that express the tone or mood of their story. This can be helpful in jumpstarting your creativity after time away from the desk.

Pay Attention to Ergonomics.

Ensuring healthy posture in your workspace is critical for working well over long periods of time. Nothing kills a good creative burst like carpal tunnel syndrome! So get familiar with basic ergonomics, and make sure your desk is ergonomically optimized.

Use Personal Inspiration Boosters.

Does lighting a candle get your creative juices flowing? What about a sip of a favorite beverage? Or maybe you’re inspired by photos of beautiful places? Find things that lift your sprits, and add them to the mix.

Whatever sparks your creativity, define it and put it into action. Most importantly, make your space an inviting place to write—then sit down…and write!

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