Making a space for success
When you are setting up for writing success, don’t forget to make a space for yourself to write. J.K. Rowling just got blasted on social media recently because she mentioned she had a writing room. Of course, she does. She’s J.K. Rowling. Some people in the Twitterverse thought it was a luxury and a ridiculous display of wealth. However, no one blinks twice at a photographer or an artist having a studio, or an attorney having an office. It’s the same thing. Professional writers need a place where they can work.
But even if you can’t have a room in your house or rent an office so that you can write your novel, you can still carve out a little niche somewhere that’s entirely yours. This is important for three reasons.
1. Having an area where you go to write, automatically puts you in the mindset that it’s time to get down to business.
2. It helps others to see that you are serious about writing as a business instead of a hobby.
3. You can organize your writing space so your notes, plotting board, planner, and other office equipment are at your fingertips. This saves time and procrastination when it’s time to write.
My writing space is either on the recliner in the living room with my laptop and the dog lying between my ankles. Or it’s at the corner desk in my bedroom that’s set up with my reference books. Both places aren’t ideal. After a hard day’s work at my day job, I find myself nodding off in the recliner. And if there’s laundry to be folded in the bedroom basket, I can get distracted. But at the moment, I don’t have the space for a room of my own to call my office so I make do.
Preparing my writing space can venture into the procrastination zone, so I have some tricks to keep me focused on the tasks. If I’m in the recliner in the living room and someone wants to watch television or play video games, I put on my headphones. Then, I either play classical music or white noise to drown out my surroundings. If I’m in the bedroom and the laundry is a distraction, I delegate it to my husband or son or put it in the closet as is, and then shut the door.
If I know I’m going to be writing for an hour or more, I will also get myself a cold drink and a snack. Sometimes, lighting candles works as a signal to myself: it’s time to start working. Comfort is key, so I also have nearby thick socks or fleece slippers and a shawl or blanket in the winter months, and a fan for the summer ones.
Finding a space to write at home could be a challenge. If you are cramped for space you’ll need to get creative. If you’ve got the budget for it and live in a moderate climate, you could have a she shed outside. Pinterest has some great examples. Just don’t go to Pinterest when you should be writing! It’s the ultimate black hole time suck. You can also flip through the Ikea catalog or if you’re lucky enough to live near one, go and see how they utilize smaller spaces. I know someone who used their walk-in closet for an office. It was a little cramped, but it had a door. Don’t overlook a folding chair and a card table. What it lacks in comfort, it makes up for in mobility and the ease to store it away when needed.
If you absolutely can’t squeeze in a little table and chair, consider using the library as your office. You can get a laptop bag with several sections for your writing supplies and you can have a mobile office just about anywhere. Coffee shops that allow you to linger are always a nice change of space as well.
No matter how you set up your writing area, make sure you’re choosing one suited to your lifestyle and writing process. If you know that you need absolute quiet to create, you should think about a room with a closed door or the library. If you can’t be interrupted or you lose your thought process, you may want to write away from home or when everyone is out of the house.
USA Today bestselling author, Jamie K. Schmidt, writes erotic contemporary love stories and paranormal romances. Her steamy, romantic comedy, Life’s a Beach, reached #65 on USA Today, #2 on Barnes & Noble and #9 on Amazon and iBooks. Her Club Inferno series from Random House’s Loveswept line has hit both the Amazon and Barnes & Noble top one hundred lists. The first book in the series, Heat, put her on the USA Today bestseller list for the first time, and is a #1 Amazon bestseller. Her book Stud is a 2018 Romance Writers of America Rita® Finalist in Erotica. Her dragon paranormal romance series has been called “fun and quirky” and “endearing.” Partnered with New York Times bestselling author and actress, Jenna Jameson, Jamie’s hardcover debut, SPICE, continues Jenna’s FATE trilogy.