Sometimes the creativity and intrigue of writing must be set aside in favour of the essentials. We’ve already talked about the strange talismans some famed writers have kept at their desks (see Writing Wednesday: 10 Strange Superstitions of Your Favourite Writers), but what about the purely practical necessities one actually needs to get down to work?
Here are the basics of what you’ll need to set up an efficient (and comfortable!) writing space:
A Space That Inspires
If you’re lucky enough to be able to set up or design your own work space, try to make it as anti-cubicle as possible. Even if you can’t go outside, being by a window can help keep up your levels of vitamin D and add the option of a cool breeze when needed. If natural light isn’t available, make sure there is enough artificial lighting that you can see properly and don’t become claustrophobic, which can make you feel closed in both physically and creatively.
If you’re constantly getting up from your desk or having to run to another room for something, it will be impossible to settle into a work flow. Make sure you’ve got everything you need within reach: pen, pencil (and sharpener), notebook, laptop, reading glasses, dictionary, research notes, etc.
For better or for worse, writing and drinking tend to go hand in hand. It’s important to keep your wits about you by staving off dehydration, so add a tall glass of water (or three) to the mix to replenish the fluids lost from caffeine and extended periods at your desk.
A Comfortable Chair
The actual writing part of being a writer is a largely sedentary activity. If you’re going to splurge on any component of your writing space, a good chair should be it. Test out a few options and do your research on the ones best suited for long stretches of sitting. Make sure you end up with a high-quality, ergonomic chair that is preferably on wheels, allowing you to stay in the work zone with ease.