WE HAVE A WINNER!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS TO JUDI PHILLIPS!!!
I am thrilled to welcome Robin D. Owens, award-winning author of futuristic fantasy romantic fiction, who will discuss the writer’s environment. For me, whose writing space consist of a laptop and nothing else (my son jumping on my bed as I type this), that is a topic that makes me dream!
Robin’s latest release HEART CHANGE is out in November and she has kindly offered to give away any book of your choice from her bookshelf (including HEART CHANGE) to one lucky commenter, so don’t forget to say hi!
Today I’m going to talk about a writer’s physical environment. Naturally different people have different wants and needs. For instance I have friends who like to write in the family room on their laptops when their family watches television. That would drive me crazy. My writing area was a corner of my bedroom for a long time, but I always needed (and continue to need) a desk.
Think about your space. Where do you write best? Do you need tidiness or a certain level of mess to be comfortable? Is a big chair and a laptop fine with you, or do you need some sort of table/desk/surface? Find your space and claim it.
What sort of light do you have for your office space? And what sort of light do you prefer to
I have a window (that looks out on my neighbor’s house about 10 feet away) and an overhead light fixture with 2 bulbs. My office is about 10 x 12 and I write at night. My overhead fixture is bad for writing so I have three small lights – one for my desk, one focused near my keyboard, and another for my credenza — that I use when writing. This helps my eyes.
I have the overhead on when I do email, chats, etc. TURNING OFF THE OVERHEAD LIGHT AND TURNING ON THE SMALL LIGHTS “NOTIFIES” MY SUBCONSCIOUS THAT I AM READY TO WRITE.
So, first, check your light.
Do you like clutter around you or not? How tidy does your desk, writing space, need to be? I once was able to handle more clutter than I can now. Give yourself “permission” to spend a reasonable amount of time cleaning up when messiness starts to bother you.
Make sure your “tools” are within easy reach. For me these are dictionaries, baby namer, thesaurus, reference books, The Artist’s Way, and Walking on Alligators. I also like my journal/appointment book, The Sacred Journal, near as well as the critiqued pages of the chapter I’m working on. Supplies: pens, paper, computer floppies.
POSITION OF COMPUTER, DESK, CHAIR, KEYBOARD:
Be aware of your personal needs. Do you need desk space to write/edit on as well as your computer? Is your chair comfortable enough, ergonomic? What about your keyboard and monitor? It took a while, but now I have a computer arm that will let me swing my computer around to a couple of locations. I have a keyboard stand that will do the same. Have NOTHING in your space that makes you physically uncomfortable: light that glares in your eyes, a chair that makes you stiff, a keyboard set where you have to strain to use it.
How many of you work with a computer on your day job? I did. One thing that I found was NEGATIVE for me was that the computer screen at my day job included the same COLORS as that on my home.
I literally walked into my office one night and thought “I can’t face that cream-colored screen.” Yes, dabbling around with the colors (and sounds) of your writing computer can “waste” a time. For me, this is making my environment suite me. Again, I really believe that having the same color of computer screen for your day job and your writing is NEGATIVE. You begin to visually associate your writing with your day job. Also, BY BOOTING UP A DIFFERENT COLORED SCREEN YOU NOTIFY YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS THAT IT IS TIME TO WRITE.
I change the screen colors when I tire of them or I find myself thinking “I can’t face that xxx colored screen.” I know some people who change the screen when they hope for inspiration – such as a darker colored screen for more emotional writing. You can save various display colors/desktop themes and access them easily. I have a shortcut to “Display” on my toolbar so it is a click away.
My entire computer is completely personalized for me. I have a cursor which is a fountain pen. my “waiting” cursors are a blue-green die (dice) that is rolling, and a scroll opening and closing or a book with a bubble rising from it. I have sounds that encourage. When I turn off my work computer, I have applause – for me because I did my work.
So look around you and see what your writing environment is, what easy things you can do to change it so it fits YOU!
Thank you so much for your great advice, Robin!
And everyone, don’t forget to comment for your chance to win a copy of one of Robin’s novel!