As we think about what we are writing, we might also think about where we write. The recent Textbook and Academic Authors Association tweetchat focused on ways we choose and shape our writing environments. Facilitator Eric Schmieder posed a series of thought- provoking questions related to the ways we respond to our writing milieu. Those who participated in the chat talked about the ways their surroundings either helped them to focus, or sapped productivity with distractions.
Creating Your Writing Space
Sometimes we have the opportunity to create a writing space that reflects our personalities and tastes. I like having a window and skylight for natural Colorado sunlight and a view of nature. I am surrounded by shelves of books. My office walls are decorated with my hard-earned diplomas, as well as favorite pieces of art. I use one large monitor, which dominates the desktop, with pens and paper for side notes. I try to keep my writing area as clutter-free as possible.
What about you? Use the comment area to share the things that make a space right for writing.
Here are some resources to help you think about ways to create or update your office or writing nook:
- 18 Ways to Improve Your Work Environment and Optimize Productivity
- Being Able to Personalize Your Workspace May Have Psychological Benefits
- Creating An Environment Conducive To Writing
- How to Create a Productive Writing Environment
- How to Create an Ideal Writing Environment at Home
- It’s Time to Declutter Your Writing
- Set Up The Perfect Writing Environment For NaNoWriMo With These 7 Tips
- Six Simple Ways to Improve Your Writing Environment (and Get More Done)
- Ten Ways to Declutter Your Mind and Free Up Mental Space
Taking it On the Road
Of course we can’t always be in familiar surroundings, so another AcWriChat question focused on how do we find a place to write when traveling. When I am in a hotel room with a desk, I make it my own by setting up my laptop and pulling out my notebooks. I have a hard time doing serious writing in coffee shops, where I find the noise and comings and goings to be disruptive. If I need to work in public places I use the time for background reading, correspondence, and other tasks that don’t require full attention.
What about you? Use the comment area to share your strategy for writing when away from your home base.
Here are some resources to help you think about ways to maintain writing momentum on the road:
Sounds or Silence?
Whether we are writing in our home or university office, or tapping at a keyboard in another location, we each have aural preferences. Some in the tweetchat enjoyed music, others used white noise to create a neutral environment. My choice is silence. If I am doing something mundane, I sometimes play classical music or jazz, music without lyrics. But for me, deep concentration happens in the quiet.
What about you? Use the comment area to share the ways you use or escape from sounds when writing. Post links to your favorite playlists too.
Here are some resources
- 5 Wonderful Background Noise Resources That Will Boost Your Productivity
- Increase Your Word Count with Ambient Noise: 5 Tools to Get More Done with Sound
- The Science of Background Noise and the Best Sound Apps for Work, Sleep, and Relaxation
- Writing and the Creative Life: The Magic of Ambient Noise
- Playlists for writers: Spotify YouTube, and Amazon
Let’s Chat about When to Write.
On Friday, November 16 all are welcome to join in the next chat. Simply log into Twitter, and use the hashtag AcWriChat. The 1-hour chat starts at 9 am EST (find your time zone here.)