Monday 19 March 2018

Work Environment - The Creative Process


I don't think I've talked about this any time recently, but while reading a post on tumblr, I thought about approaching the subject here. I have two places where I write - my desk in my office, or my bed-desk in my bedroom. The photo at the top of this post is the former. I've had this set up since we moved into this place back in 2009. My desk was a birthday present from my mum in 2010 and I have to say it's freaking awesome! I have space and while it was initially used for my uni work, now that I'm a full-time writer, it's just perfect for me.

That I have an office at all is pure luck that anything. We used to live in a one-bedroom flat for a very long time until we were housed in this awesome place. Because I have a lift that goes from the ground floor up to my bedroom, it left a room that wasn't really going to be used for anything else, and hence became my office. When we moved, I never really thought about writing in it too much. I'd just started my degree and I was more focused on that than getting writing done. It was only as I got closer to finishing my degree, and started to get published again that I realised I needed an office. I have my filing cabinets and I have space for my chair and all my notes. It worked out the best way for me because now I have two spaces where I can write to my hearts content.

That said, I do know that a lot of writers go out and about for their work hours and that's completely fine too. I've written in hospital, in coffee shops, on trains and in the car. You gotta do whatever you can to make it work. But this piece isn't just me showing off my awesome space and desk, but also to give you some advice about what you should and shouldn't have in your writing space. It's gonna be another list people, brace yourselves!

If, unlike me, you have to rely on office furniture to sit while you write, then it needs to be something that is comfortable. There's nothing more irritating than being sat down and it hurting your butt while you're in the middle of an awesome scene. That just leads to not getting the work done.

I say it like this because I'm someone who can't write with music on, I try and I just can't. But I also know that a lot of writers are the opposite, they can't write in complete silence. So basically, depending on which one you are, make sure you have the right volume of background noise because it's hard to concentrate when you're distracted.

I know the majority of people will ask why I didn't just put coffee, but here's a fun fact about me: I'm allergic to coffee. Makes me wheeze! So I'm a tea writer. It's gotten to the point where I can't write if I don't have a drink on hand. So wherever you are, make sure you have something to quench your thirst.

This should be obvious, but it does depend on whether you're like me and a hybrid or a plotter or pantser. You gotta have the notes and tools to do your work with. If that means just characters notes or what not, that's cool. For me, it's my chapter plan, my writing log and characters notes. Without those, nothing is getting done.

Now, again, for some people this isn't an issue. I'm one of them. I can pretty much multi-task with no issues. But for some people, having access to the internet and people to talk to is the recipe for not getting any work done. I have that from time-to-time when Miss D has a friend over or people are in and out of my office, tends to lead to me not actually writing because I hate the feeling of people seeing my work over my shoulder. Plus it's rude to lose yourself in your book when someone is trying to have a conversation with you.

So there we go, my five tips for your work environment. While it makes sense to be sure you have everything you need, other things I've not mentioned are more my personal choices, like access to wifi and disabled access, also plugs because there's nothing worse than trying to finish your book when the battery is at 5%! But what are your top five things for your work environment? Let me know in the comments!

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