One of my early steps of taking my writing seriously was when I set up a space for it. While I do like to go to Starbucks, get an iced coffee, and set up camp in a cozy corner of the cafe to write, I need a space at home for it. I need storage for my notebooks, dictionaries (yes, I’m old school), and laptop. I need a file cabinet for my rejection letters, workshop/conference handouts, edited drafts, and legal documents such as book contracts and tax info. I need wall space for my inspiration boards, and desk space for my curiosities that make me happy. And I need a space to work. By making physical space in my home for my writing, I also made metaphorical space in my life for it. And the physical space dedicated to writing sends a message to me and my family that writing is important enough to merit its own space.
When creating any type of creative space I go by the Three Ps: Personal, Practical, and Pleasing.
Personal: your space should reflect who you are. Do you love bright colors? Then get a turquoise chair to sit in. Or organize your tools in brightly colored boxes. Are you minimalistic? Then choose clean lines and neutral colors. Surround yourself with personal tokens of yourself and your story. Right next to my desk I keep my published books to motivate and remind me of what I’ve achieved. I have old office supplies from my grandmother’s desk: little stapler, typewriter eraser and brush, and tin boxes of staples to remind me of my magical childhood with her.
Practical: your space should be set up to easily allow yourself to work. My writing space is in a corner of my bedroom, which is a quiet place to work. It is also right across my side of the bed so it’s a visual reminder to get to work! My file cabinet is right next to my desk so I can easily find a hand-out or a note. My lamp is on the left side of my desk because I’m right-handed and don’t want shadows cast on my paper. An outlet is right behind my chair so I can easily plug in my laptop or charge my phone. My notebooks are kept in the top desk drawer so I can grab them easily.
Pleasing: your space should be set up in such a way that you love being in it. I used to have my desk facing the wall, but that was killing my inspiration. So I thought outside the box and put my desk in the corner facing out. Now I have a view of the room and out the two corner windows directly across the room. This part of the house gets lovely natural light for most of the day, which is important to me. I periodically change my inspiration boards to please my eye and imagination.
Whatever your creativity lends itself to (writing, painting, sewing, crafting, music, you fill in the blank), it deserves a space. You’ll find you will do it more if there is a space for it that is Personal, Practical, and Pleasing. When you make room for it in your space, you’ll also make room for it in your life.