As you know, Bill and I travel a lot and each time I arrive at a new location, I need to set up a space for writing. Whether writing on the go or writing at home, here are the top 7 items that I include in each writing spot:
- Take time to set up a dedicated space that’s conducive to creativity. Select somewhere that isn’t cluttered or likely to get cluttered, such as a kitchen table. Stephen King described his early writing spot as a desk in the laundry room. I usually move a desk to the window with the best view in the quietest part of the new abode.
- Get yourself a comfortable chair, but not so comfortable that you’ll want to curl up in it! I often rotate between two chairs so that my body has a break (like changing shoes in the middle of a day of walking).
- Determine your view. Michael Connelly says that he sits on a couch and writes in a dark room with little sensory input. I like writing where I can look up and out the window to ponder, so long as it’s not a busy view.
- Have an adequate amount of storage around your desk so that your writing surface can be clear of clutter. When I travel, I tend to organize in writer’s conference bags – Bouchercon for the current book, ThrillerFest for the next book, Killer Nashville for the supplies, etc.
- Assemble your supplies before sitting down – water, snacks, pens, other books for inspiration, etc. I always have either a cup of hot tea or a glass of iced tea at hand on a Dollar Signs coaster.
- Take yourself seriously and respect your time. Turn off anything that may distract. I found that if the email notice went off it pulled me out of a scene, so I completely close-down email when I’m writing. However, I can write with the TV on something like Law and Order reruns or in a coffee shop with white noise background. Some writer friends actually require ambient noise for creativity. Know thyself!
- Set the mood with music, special lighting, etc. and/or a talisman that speaks to creativity. I always put flowers on my desk and a ceramic wolf I found on a trip to Alpine, Texas. When I turn the wolf to the window to face the moon, the space is officially launched. Time to write!
Next week, I’ll have some surprises in the newsletter. Stay tuned, and…