Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Spring Clean Your Writing Space (or Don’t)

Full disclosure: I’m not a spring clean type of person. I think it’s great to have milestones throughout the year that can offer new beginnings and a feeling of rejuvenation, but we need these more than just in spring; the turning of the seasons or the new year. I keep the place around my desk in a state which makes me feel most peaceful and motivated, and of course that changes throughout the year and according to my mood, so I alter the space around me to fit.

(I was however, forced to do a physical spring clean on Monday to rid my home of smoke from an actual fire – toaster set alight - but that was begrudging and involuntary!)

Anyway, every procrastinating writer knows the benefits of tidying up their writing space. And to be fair it probably is a better way to delay tackling that plot slump than cruising on Facebook for an hour, but I have good news for those who prefer to sit within a mess of books/banana skins/loose bits of paper/toenail clippings (OK that’s a bit gross)… According to Women’s Health mag, it’s better for your mental energy to embrace your mess than to force yourself to work in a clean, clutter-free space. (Barbook T (2017, March). The Energy Crisis. Women’s Health, 114. U.K.)

I believe it’s important for any writer to identify what keeps them happy and motivated and to surround yourself with that when you write. That might be complete minimalism, block colours which don’t distract you from your creative thinking, or murals of inspiring images from your WIP around your writing desk. Don’t be afraid to switch up the space around you as your mood changes, too. I can’t stand things becoming stagnant, so my writing space will be cluttered and crazy one month, and so barren the next month you could probably catch some tumbleweed floating past it.

So change up your pictures, invest in a new scented diffuser, stack your books high…. Or don’t! Think about what makes you happy right this minute and surround yourself with it. But the moment it stops being a place where you want to sit down and continue your character’s stories, switch it up. Don’t wait until next spring!

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