Apr 252007

Writing is never easy. You have to have an idea, motivation, time and persistence to make a story work. You’re creating an altered state of reality where your idea of how you want the world to be collides with a reader’s preconceptions. You’re touching people millions of miles away and in some cases, your stories are reaching people years ahead in the future. You’re doing something magical, isn’t it time your writing space reflects that?

Take a look at where you write. Now ask yourself, does it inspire you? Does it look like the laboratory of a person creating society challenging fiction? does it look like a shrine to primal lusts and desires? Does your space make you want to turn someone on?

Well it should. The human mind is a creature of habit. Give it a space that makes it feel comfortable and creative, and the human mind will leap into action. You can train your mind to write more impulsively if it feels like it is in a place to unleash. In time you won’t be able to sit down to your writing place without your fingers itching to write.

Creating the space can be tricky. Don’t litter it with icons and knick-knacks that look like something a writer should have, but has no meaning to you. Surround yourself with objects that remind you of the things or ideas you want to write. It can be a sexy little figurine, it can be a picture of your current lust object, or even a quirky little thingamajig that reminds you of your favorite writer. Get rid of bills, magazines and anything that doesn’t directly make you want to tell a story.

Don’t limit it to your physical space; modify your computer as well. Pick wallpapers that remind you of your current story as soon as you sit down. During BDSM Beach, I had nothing but beach scenes and bikini babes on my desktop. Cut down the number of programs you are running. Only have two web browsers running: One for dictionary.com and one on your favorite search engine. No mail programs, no downloaders and for the love of your muse, no chat programs.

Find your inspirational music. For me it’s instrumentals and weirdly enough, anything by Placebo. You want music that creates a mood and yet is unobtrusive with it’s lyrics, leaving it up to YOU on filling the silence. The music should become a soundtrack to your writing, not something you emulate. Let the music follow your story, not tell you where to go.

Now some of you have to share your writing space. You might have children hanging around or you might have spouses who don’t know your erotic alter-ego. All is not lost. You just have to build a secret lair. Your wallpapers can be of locations as opposed to characters. You can have an object focus that you bring out of your desk only when you are alone. The principle is still the same no matter how secretive you have to be. Instead of a shrine, create a hideout.

I hope I have changed your writing area. The key is to figure out how you approach writing. If you feel it is spiritual, then infuse your space with inspiration and icons. If you feel it is logical fabrication, then turn your space into a private workshop. Whatever you choose, make sure your space is worthy of the unique art you are creating.

  3 Responses to “Build A Better Sanctuary”

  1. I agree, although I can’t do the music thing, music ends up being counter-intuitive to the creative process for me, but otherwise yu’ve described my space exactly. Although now, it tends to be my entire apartment.

  2. I believe this is applicable for any creativity one dabbles in. Be it writing, painting – creating in general.

    I do a tad bit of writing but I love stamping (that whole rubber, wood & ink thing) and I find when my little area is cluttered that creativity goes directly out the window.

  3. Getting in the mood to write is one of those experiences like getting ready to go to work in the morning. I know when I’m distracted, I go visit web sites, play shisen-so, Einstein, or even Go. I managed to break the Go habit though, that is a fast 2 hours out of my life when I’m suppose to be writing.

    As for backgrounds, I usually just set my writing program to zoom at 300%, fill the screen, and avoid the use of the Ctrl-F keys (virtual desktops and distractions). I also noticed I picked up a habit from my mother, when I do heavy writing, I turn up heavy beat music louder than I would ever consider outside of writing and use that to mask the outside world.

    Other than that, I actually avoid being around whatever I’m writing. Once I do the research, most of the time I like simple focus so I watch horror movies on the TV next to my computer or listen to music (Bond lately, pretty and great sounding).

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