When writing, one of the most important aspects for being productive is the atmosphere or environment. It is common for a writer to have a particular set-up for writing. Whether that is a special place in their home, such as a desk dedicated to only writing, or just cultivating a particular writing atmosphere, where and how writing takes place is quite important.
Where writing occurs can be essential in creating a productive writing atmosphere as documented in the case of many famous authors: some authors such as George Bernard Shaw and Roald Dahl had dedicated writing spaces in the form of a writing shed, separate from their home. Maya Angelou was known for renting a hotel room where she could go during the day to write, free from the distractions of home.
Even if they did not designate a specific space for writing, other authors have focused on how they write. It’s common to sit at a desk, but Ernest Hemingway and other writers have preferred standing up while writing, while others like Mark Twain and George Orwell swore by lying down to write. Vladimir Nabokov wrote on index cards so he could rearrange the cards if he wanted to change the sequence of events. Other authors prefer writing longhand, moving to typewriters or computers for later drafts.
Most writers don’t have the kind of flexibility that famous authors do in creating the perfect writing atmosphere. But you can still try to create a more productive writing environment starting with these strategies.
Writing in seclusion or at home?
As discussed already, some writers absolutely require seclusion when writing. Are you this kind of writer? Do you find yourself easily distracted while at home or at your desk? Do you live with other people who do not understand the meaning of a closed door, or the request to give you some quiet time while you write? If this sounds familiar, you might need to a secluded writing spot away from home.
Now, I can’t imagine many readers will have the luxury of building a writing shed à la Shaw or renting a hotel room à la Angelou, but you can still get out of the house. Try finding a public space where you can work uninterrupted. There’s the cliché of writers at coffee shops for a reason: some people need to get out to write, whether that’s because they need to find some outside inspiration or they just can’t get any writing done at home. Continue reading