"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Write Environment- How to Create a Home Office That Inspires Creativity and Productivity




Guest Post by: Kathryn Weber

Don't believe the hype.
If writing was easy, everyone would do it. It's not. It requires creativity, focus and concentration and discipline. But how do you create an office that nurtures those qualities and creates the image of a serious, professional writer?

It’s all about balance. Writers need the right environment to do their best work, and balancing that environment with a space that’s both stimulating and supportive is the key. Fortunately, it’s easier to set up a writing environment than writing the great American novel, but it might just help you write one.

Writers often find that they put their offices together from what they have around the house. If you’re just getting started, it might seem like a good idea, but try to avoid this. Writers are often discounted, especially in the beginning, by well-meaning friends and family. Too often no one believes we’re really going to become a professional or published writer.
Well, one way to convince them – and yourself – is to set up a professional looking office.

Once you decide that you’re going to take the plunge into writing, resist the urge to pull out the old card table from the basement or reuse your kids’ old school desk. Instead, why not try a local resale shop, such as Habitat for Humanity’s Restore outlet or an office furniture resale shop for quality office furniture. While not as inexpensive as Goodwill or other second hand store, office furniture resale stores have professional-grade furniture. This is so important when you’re working for hours in a seated position. Investing in a quality desk, keyboard tray and comfortable, supportive chair is paramount.

Creating that professional feeling when you’re a writer helps you be more focused and feel more professional. That can carry you when inspiration is waning and words are hard to come by. Look at setting your office up like that of any CEO and battle any impulse you have to push your beautiful new (even if it’s just new to you) desk against the wall.
Over and again, offices are set up for the convenience of the electrical gadgets that fill the office and not the people who occupy them. Too often, desks are turned to face the wall because that’s where the plugs are and it’s easier to hook up computers and printers when the plugs are less than two feet away. But today’s outlet strips now come with extra-long cords making this irrelevant. If cords are stretching across the floor to the desk, they can be covered by a rubber cord cover designed for just this purpose.

One of the reasons it’s so important for writers to turn their desks around is because writers need open space in front of them. When desks are turned around to face the wall, there’s no where to look except at a blank wall. Writer’s need inspiration. That’s why turning the desk around so that it’s out in the room or facing a window is so helpful. If that’s not reason enough, then chalk it up to feng shui. It’s a basic tenet of feng shui that desks are pulled away from the wall so that energy can circulate, and energy is key to creativity.

But don’t stop there. Really work at making your writing space into a professional office complete with accents, coordinated desk accessories and bookshelves. Be sure to add in accomplishments too.

Nothing can keep your motivation going like actual examples of your work. Create a collage of your clips on your wall, frame your book covers and newspaper clippings you’ve written or that are written about you. Visual validation of your efforts, like diplomas in your doctor’s office, speak to the writing professional you are or aspire to be.

Read more about décor and organization tips for the home and office in Kathryn Weber’s new eBook, Living Space: Simple Steps to Transform Your Home, now available on Amazon.com.


Thoughts?
How is your home office looking these days? What would you do differently? Do tell.
 

25 comments:

  1. Hi Jen,
    No matter how expensive my furniture or materials, I'd still have a pile up at the end of the month when I go through my stacks and rearrange. Good advice though to present yourself as a professional starting with the work area.

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    Replies
    1. Linda,

      No matter what you're doing, (or not), I'd say it's working out well for you--based on your ever-growing list of publishing credits. LOL

      Thanks so much for stopping by and starting us off here. Have a great week.

      Delete
  2. Jennifer,

    Thanks for this very interesting post. I have a long way to go before my writing space starts to look professional. However, you have given me some timely tips and ideas that I will definitely take into account as I start to shape my writing space the way I want it. I like the idea of framing book covers. I also agree with desks facing windows. Thankfully, my desk does face a window, so I enjoy taking breaks just to enjoy nature. Thanks again for a really useful post.

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  3. Yasmin,

    Most of our offices are a "work in progress". :-) I too like the idea of desks facing windows, however, because of the way that my space is structured, that's not possible. But, I think it works well and is lovely just the same. :-)

    Great to get your feedback on this. Thanks!

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  4. I just set up a writing room for myself. My newly purchased antique desk is facing the window. I love it.

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    Replies
    1. Missed Periods,

      Wow...a blast from the past! How are you? We'd love to get an image of that antique desk. I bet it is lovely. Sho' wish I had one. :-) Thanks for commenting today; I appreciate hearing from you today.

      Delete
  5. My desk faces a wall, but there's a window to my right that overlooks the yard. It's a big one and I'm frequently staring out of it and no one but another writer would understand that this is when I'm really "working." Great post!

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    Replies
    1. How true! Thanks, Sue. It's always a pleasure. :-)

      Delete
  6. I need to take some time an sort, sort, sort things to get them where they belong.

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    Replies
    1. Hi there!

      ...I can certainly relate. :-) Thanks for weighing in today, Quietspirit.

      Delete
  7. Thanks so much for bringing up this interesting topic, 'Writers Workspaces that Inspire' is a topic that on my blog actually made it into the Most Popular Posts list. (and I just discovered that a (potential money making) link in that post was pointing to a wrong page! Talking about a (Feng Shui) 'Energy Flow Circulation' :))

    Since I am all for making my Write Envrionment an Inspirational (Fun) Space for Creativity & Productivity, I designed several work spaces, and recently I also actually got a little more Productive with my writing, because yesterday actually wrote (an Exclusive)
    Crispy Fresh New Post











    ReplyDelete
  8. My desk is currently a mess in progress. I am a neat person by nature, but you wouldn't know it to look at my office. Hoping actually, to get some order restored today as I have family coming from NJ tomorrow. The desk faces into the room and I have a window view, so it's very nice. And even better when I can see the top of the desk. :)

    Jen, thanks for the article and intro to Kathryn!

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  9. Karen,

    Cancerians are neat by nature:-) I'm sure you'll pull things together soon. Hope you have a lovely time w/family. Thanks for your input today. :-)

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  10. Great article! Of course, this assumes you have space to set up an office at all :) Yay for apartment living!

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  11. Hi Kate,

    How true! But even with apartment living, it's sometimes do-able.
    A second bedroom can become an office. :-) Happy to have you add to the discussion here. Much thanks.

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  12. Great article. As for my office, I have some rearranging to do! My office is small but there is a large window in it. I plan to enlist some help to move (heavy) pieces of furniture and move my desk to face the window more directly instead of the side view setup I have now. Thanks for the advice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janette,

      Thanks for your input here. Even with small spaces, we can be creative and carve out an office that is professional, warm, and nurtures our spirit.

      Delete
  13. It's not only about 'Engergy Flow Circulation', and Crispy Fresh New Posts, as you could read in the previous comment,

    I also like to have some Fresh Air Circulation in the Workspace, opening a window once in a while, and have some plants. That also can help inspire 'Blog Growth' :)

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  14. Good to hear, H.P., I'm a big fan of plants too. :-)

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  15. Wow, Jennifer, what a great group of interactive writers you have on your blog. I've been away taking care of an aging parent, but didn't want to miss a chance to comment on all the feedback. As a writer of 25 years and a feng shui blogger, I appreciate both sides -- writing and feng shui -- and find when I follow feng shui, the writing is easier. I like what HP van Duuren said, too, about having good air circulation and plants in the room! Great ideas -- and good feng shui as well. :)

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  16. Thanks, Kathryn. They are a great group, aren't they? :-)
    We really appreciate your time, expertise and "energy" here at Pen and Prosper.

    Wishing you (and your parent) the best.

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  17. I try to keep one side of my desk clear because sometimes my level of clutter is unbelievable. And I really don't know where all of that stuff comes from. So, that is one way I make my space workable.

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  18. Isn't it amazing how the clutter seems to come from no where? Go figure. LOL Thanks for stopping by and weighing in. (And B/T/W Congrats on your feature piece in "Write to Done" yesterday.)

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  19. Besides creating Workable, Fun & Inspiring Workspaces, with good Feng Shui, Plants, and good Fresh Air Circulation etc. etc. also good Lighting can be practical.

    Because recently - when I was creating a new extra special cozy place for reading magazines etc. etc. -
    I first didn't really realise that the Lighting wasn't yet optimal for reading.

    So now when needed it's also possible to flip on
    a special reading light.

    ReplyDelete