Tuesday, April 16, 2013
The Write Environment- How to Create a Home Office That Inspires Creativity and Productivity
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.
How is your home office looking these days? What would you do differently? Do tell.