Designing Your Writer's Workspace
Recently, something wonderful happened. Something beautiful, something exquisite. I finally got my own tiny office space! See, for the past many months...years, really...actually, just about my entire life, I've done most of my writing (and freelance editing, when that became my official day job) lying on a couch. Or even a bed. Now, don't get me wrong, it's wonderful to curl up on the couch with my laptop and a cup of tea and strangle some words out of my brain. In fact, I still enjoy doing it some days. But, there's also a rather big downside to this form of working: the neck pain.
Which is why it's been a real life saver to finally have my own desk and workspace, along with a comfortable, ergonomically-correct office chair at my disposal. It's been especially fun pimping it out so that it fits my particular tastes and I even find myself wanting to take a seat and start typing, rather than just plopping down on the sofa again.
So, today I thought I would share some of my tips for designing your own creative workspace. Whether you have a full room in your house, or a minuscule space in the living room like I do, there are plenty of small ways you can make your workspace more inspiring. Here are some of my favorites.
This is arguably the most important part of setting up your workspace. For me, I wanted something that looked clean, simple, and modern, with a good amount of drawer space for storage, so it would be easier to keep my desk space clear of anything I don't use everyday. I went with this MICKE series desk from IKEA, which has lots of other great and affordable options, too.
Or, maybe an actual desk isn't your style, and you just want a really nice kitchen table that can double as a place for your laptop. Or a lap desk, even. Whatever floats your boat. Just make sure, whatever you do, you have a designated space available for writing that isn't the same place you sleep every night.
If you're someone like me who gets back/neck pain from lying on a couch or bed while working on my laptop--and I feel like just about all of us writers do--then you may often find yourself daydreaming of getting a massage every week. Of course, that's not usually practical, so I did the second best thing: got myself a really comfortable office chair that offers great support for my back and neck, and sits at the perfect height for typing without hurting my wrists. I picked up mine at IKEA (can you tell I love IKEA? It's just the best.) but there are so many affordable options out there!
I'm all about organization and keeping my workspace clutter-free, so the very first thing I did after purchasing my desk was start looking for cute storage organizers for my desk drawer. I got my favorite set from The Container Store--which I'd never been into before and omg it's pretty much heaven for Type A's like me. My other favorite places to find organizers and desk decor are Home Goods, Marshalls, and H&M Home.
Now, organizational tools are great, but it's also important not to go *too* crazy or else it kind of defeats the purpose. So I made sure to figure out before I went to the store exactly what I would be keeping in my drawers--bookmarks, business cards, pens, envelopes, etc.--and measure out the size of each organizer I needed. The two questions I asked myself were: Is it cute? (Because aesthetics of course), and How will I use this? If you want an inspiring but minimalist workspace, everything must have a practical purpose.
FINDING THE INSPIRATION
Let's say you've picked out your desk or worktable, your chair, and you've figured out how you're going to organize your essential tools of the trade. Now it's time for the fun stuff--adding in those small pieces to your workspace to help you find daily inspiration! Getting yourself in the writing headspace every day is so important, and the physical space around you can really have a positive--or negative--impact. There are so many ways you can go in your decorations. Artwork! Inspiration boards! Quotes to help you get your butt in the chair! Even something as simple as a candle that smells really freaking good and makes you think of forests and rain could help get your creative juices flowing.
One of the biggest ways I find inspiration when I sit down to write is by putting in my headphones and turning on my film soundtrack playlist, which ranges from Lord of the Rings to Pirates of the Caribbean to Wonder Woman. So for me, a solid pair of headphones is always important to have on hand, whether I'm at home in front of my desk or out writing at the library. Maybe you do your best writing to the white noise of a coffee shop or park. All of us have different tastes and styles; the most important thing is to curate a writing space that works for you.