Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Your Creative Environment

Mitchell Wiesjahn
Most writers will want to have a separate environment for writing their greatest works. So if you have this separate space, wherever it may be, you should now prepare it to be a proper writing environment. You may ask: what would qualify as a good place to write? How do I prepare it for writing? Why do I really need to prepare it for writing?
Preparing a proper space is necessary because your designated writing space needs to allow you to write without distraction and needs to ensure maximum creative productivity. This is part of the reason you won’t want to write in a living room that could have distractions like television, people, or pets disturbing a peaceful writing session. Distractions like these not only hinder your writing, they can take away from your creative muse. That great idea you had is gone as quick as your dog can bark. A proper environment should block out the rest of the world to let you write in peace. Think of places in your home that might provide such a place. You may have an office space already, but if not, you could set up shop in a laundry room (Stephen King did that at one time), an attic, a basement, or even possibly your bedroom, if you can modify it to your needs as a writer.
             That’s not to say that your environment should just be about finding peace. It also can bring up great inspiration. As a writer, you may be building fantastical worlds for readers to escape to. Think of setting up your writing space as an exercise for building your grand world. Think about your work and what you need to envision as you write, then just decorate as necessary.  As a fantasy writer, maybe you’ll try to fortify your space with illustrations of Middle Earth. Science Fiction writers will probably want to use this space to properly set themselves in outer space by setting up constellations. Throwing in a Death Star would most likely help too.
            You might also want to think about making your space as real as possible, not just an artificial environment that you are piecing together. If we are to think of this place you’ve constructed being as real as any setting, not to mention making the space help you write about vibrant settings, could you add a touch of smell that could invoke your creative muse? Maybe you are writing about a doctor as a main character and his adventures in the medical field, how about making your working space smell as sanitized as a hospital to help you become one with the character? Depending on what you want to write about, you may want to put some thought into what sort of smells your characters will encounter, for that can only help you in making your own writing come off as realistic and sensory as possible.
            If we talk sensory, then touch is also noteworthy. It might be easier to envision than smell, as you might be more aware of what you touch than what you smell (unless the smell is very distinctive from others). If you’re in fantasy, maybe incorporate some tree bark or castle concrete into your space. This not only serves as a visual element, but if you are procrastinating and suffering from writer’s block, touching these items could get you back into the fold, and they will serve as comfort in such times. In this case, your environment is becoming a breathing entity, and if you’re incorporating smell, then it becomes even more alive with every addition you make.
Decorating doesn’t need to be expensive, but it needs to inspire you to write. What you write could potentially benefit you tremendously, so keep in mind that this expense of decorating (or world building exercise if you prefer) is really just a small investment. Posters are not expensive, and if you’re nerdy like me you may just use childhood toys to help you out. Something that you may also want to consider is the positivity you should put into your space. You may think a cheesy line about believing in yourself doesn’t help, but a few inspirational quotes can go a long way in getting through those plot holes you need to fill up.
Maybe this doesn’t work for you, or you aren’t sure how to go about using space to generate creativity. You might consider examining some of these articles, which can provide you more information about where to write your great novel or short story.

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