Every author’s writing space is different. Some have a whole room, some just a small space. For me, I have a tiny desk tucked away in a corner of my bedroom. It’s not much, but when I sit down there, I know it’s time to write.
What makes an author’s writing space so unique and special? We all know one of the first rules of writing is to use all five senses when describing. They help bring your story to life. The same can be said for your writing space. By thinking in terms of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch, we can find things that are working for us or distracting us in our creative spaces.
Sight: cables and stationery
Other than the obligatory laptop, there are cables galore littering my small desk. Not to mention the museum-sized collection of pens, pencils, notebooks and post-it notes that are spilling out of my one drawer. I’m sure it just looks like a mess to most people but I have everything I might need close at hand. However, more storage would be great.
I usually create playlists for each story I work on. Listening to these playlists helps me to get in the right zone for a particular story. And helps block out distracting noises. Noise-cancelling headphones also work wonders for this. When I’m listening to the ambience of a medieval marketplace, I don’t want to hear a car go by outside.
Smell: scented candle
Lighting a smelly candle just before I start writing is part of my writing routine. It helps me get into the right frame of mind to write. I have different scents for different seasons. As we head into spring, I’m using a cute, little cherry blossom scented one.
Taste: crispy snacks
If I don’t have snacks (and a drink) close at hand, I’m constantly getting up and going to the kitchen. And when I’m out of my room, people think I’m free to chat and it’s an age before I’m able to return to my desk again. I’m usually fuelled by something crispy. The key components for a good snack are: easy to grab mid-typing and doesn’t leave a huge, sticky mess.
I’m not going to lie… my desk chair is the worst. It’s one of those plastic, fold-up chairs with a cheap, flat cushion I’ve added for extra “comfort”. It’s very uncomfortable. Not great for long hours of writing. But great for reminding me to get up and move. This is something I can definitely improve in my writing space.
After thinking about my workspace in terms of the senses, I realised I need more storage to organize my stationery and more importantly, a comfier chair. Also, that I love to snack. But who doesn’t, am I right?
I’m intrigued to know about your writing space. How would you describe it using the five senses? Are there any areas that help your writing process? Are there any areas that distract you from that process?