Beyond the Words Episode 3: Your Writing Space

Beyond the Words Episode 2: Conquering Perfectionism
March 1, 2017
Beyond the Words Episode 4: Finding the Time to Write
April 5, 2017

Where should you write? In a cafe? At a bar? With one hand on your Xbox control? Holly highlights some writing areas, and encourages you to find your own style. Includes a review of ‘The South Forsaken’ by Rachel Drummond at the end of the episode.

To buy a copy of The South Forsaken, click here


Having just come out of another year of NaNoWriMo – or national novel writing month – I have had to adapt quite a bit to get back into the habit of writing every day. One of the key parts to doing that was setting up my own writing space, where I could go when it was time to write. Everyone has their own spaces – some use a certain seat at a café, some, like me while I was still attending university, use a certain seat in the back of a particular university lecture, and some people do it via voice recordings on the way to work.

Your writing space is an area that can be either physical or mental. For the people with great discipline, they might choose to do a particular meditation before they write, to get them into the groove. Some have their favourite song or playlist going in the background, something they can jam to, but also tune out, to focus on the task.

I know one person who literally has a ‘thinking cap’ that he writes with. Without it, he can’t get his focus.

My own personal writing space is a simple one. For the last month, I have been holed up in our spare bedroom, surrounded by DVDs, books and statues from movies and anime. There has been a pokemon game sitting next to me for most of it, as well as some form of Disney movie on the television in front of me. My writing space is chaotic, messy, noisy and full of cats. Counter-intuitively, all these things give me a greater focus on what we’re all trying to achieve: that disciplined mindset that means there will be pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard – for a decent chunk of time. This may be a ten-minute sprint before the baby wakes, or that hour-long marathon you promised yourself before you can play Halo for the next four hours.

Your writing space can be incredibly personal, as mine is, but it can also be very public. Most people know of JK Rowling’s writing space: that tiny café in England that must now be the busiest little writing hub in the world. She would take her children for a walk, and while they were asleep in the pram, she would nurse a cold coffee and write.

Find a place that makes you comfortable, one that fits, and nurture it, keep it going. If you have to change, then that’s not a big deal. If your favourite coffee place closes down, head to a local library, where you can find any research material you would ever need (and not waste countless hours on Facebook).

Your writing space can be both physical or mental, but these traits are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Find somewhere that works for you, and get to work!

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