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I’ve been doing a lot of talk lately about finding time to write during busy days, or finding places for inspiration for your writing. But one thing I haven’t talked about might be one of my favorite things about being a writer and a blogger — a writing space! Having the perfect inspirational and organized writing space to work on your manuscript or other writing projects is crucial, as it can make or break your productivity and motivation to work. So here’s a little guide on how to make your writing space your own, and even a few tips if you need to take it on the go!
HAVE A FEW FAVORITE PENS
This is one of my favorite tips, especially because pens are things you can take on the go with you if you have to work in the library or in a coffee shop. I love writing with Pilot G2 pens when I’m writing, and when I’m taking notes or bullet journaling my to-do lists, I normally use Micron pens in either 0.25mm (01) or 0.45mm (05), depending on what I’m using it for. I also always have my Staedtler Triplus Fineliners in my purse for when I need a little extra pop of color or for filling out my dailies in my BuJo.
USE STATIONARY AND ACCESSORIES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL ORGANIZED AND PRODUCTIVE
Let me tell you, there is nothing more dangerous for me than being in a stationary store with a full wallet. Finding adorable and productive stationary has become a hobby of mine (okay, more like an unhealthy obsession), especially when it comes to notebooks and small desk accessories. When I went to London and Paris, I bought a notebook from pretty much every major area I was in, because I know when I use them, I’ll be reminded about my time abroad and inspired to write even more. If for you, just having a few plain sticky notes and a mug to hold your pens in, just use that! You don’t have to follow the productivity norms you see on Pinterest or Youtube if you don’t want to use them.
Related: MAY 2016 AND STUDY ABROAD WRAP-UP
FIND AS MUCH NATURAL LIGHTING AS POSSIBLE
I’m moving into a new apartment in the Fall, and when setting up the furniture in my room, one of my most important things I needed to have when placing my desk was natural lighting. I’m not a big nature person, so I don’t really care about having a nice view or a birdhouse or anything outside my window, but having natural lighting helps your eyes stay alert and helps you feel more refreshed and energized when working in front of it. I highly recommend working with natural light when you can (plus it’s great for taking selfies ;D)
HAVE A GREAT DRINK AND SNACK ON HAND
Whether it’s tea, coffee, hot chocolate, a cold glass of milk, or just a plan cup of water, having a drink to keep yourself hydrated and your heart pumping is critical when it comes to your writing space. The same goes for snacks; I actually find if I’m chewing on something, I can stay focused for longer, especially as I’m working through a diet, as it keeps my mind from wandering to my next meal. Sometimes, I just use a piece of gum or even a few baby carrots, anything that doesn’t require a lot of attention or coordination. Besides, if you’re at your desk for a long period of time, you don’t want to stand up after five hours and realized you haven’t had any water!
KEEP MOTIVATIONAL BOOKS AND REFERENCE GUIDES NEARBY
Just this past week, I was able to pull out an old bookshelf and organize the (few) books I have back here in California. I ran out of space and ended up putting all my non-fiction and writing reference books on top of my desk in a little corner. This “accident” has been so helpful in motivating me to keep writing, as it allows me to have quick access to any writing tips I might need. I’ve been using a lot of my New Adult holy grail, Writing New Adult Fiction by Deborah Halverson, as well as the few books by Chris Baty of NaNoWriMo that I’ve bought over the years.
TAKE BREAKS AND PHYSICALLY MOVE AWAY FROM YOUR SPACE UNTIL THE BREAK IS OVER
Even though your writing space might end up looking beautiful and perfectly fit for your Pinterest or Facebook time, try and do that away from your desk. One of the things I’ve learned in the past few years as a college student is that our bodies have a way of recognizing spaces and combining them with feelings or behavior we constantly associate that space with. For instance, if you walk over to your bed, where you sleep, and try to get work done, some people might have some trouble working without falling asleep. The same goes for your desk — if you train your body to start seeing your chair and desk as “writing zone” only, it’ll be a lot easier to fall into the routine when you return to it. It’ll also be a lot easier to fall out of it when you leave the desk, which gives you much-needed relaxation time. That way, you can get as much work as possible and still have time to recover in-between sessions!