How to Create Space for Your Writing

Here we look at the ways to create space for your writing, giving you the best chance to focus on what you want to achieve.
Being an author can be tough. One minute you’re full of ideas, firing and ready to write. The next minute, you might be struggling to get out of bed, let alone be ready to write a novel or non-fiction bestseller. Here we look at the ways to create space for your writing, giving you the best chance to focus on what you want to achieve:

Create space for writing during lockdown

If you’re attempting to write during lockdown, setting yourself small, achievable goals will help give you a sense of productivity. As our sense of time is affected by being indoors, a schedule will help you structure your day to get on with writing. We recommend keeping a clear boundary between your working time and rest or creative play time: if you can, move to a different space or use a different tool to write - for instance, a notebook will give you some valuable off-screen time. These are such strange times, and it’s important not to put too much pressure on yourself to over-achieve while you may be dealing with a household on lockdown.

Create mental space for writing

To ensure you’re emotionally ready to write, you need to create mental space so that you can think clearly about your plans for writing. You can try meditating or journaling to prepare yourself, both which help to leave you with a peaceful mindset. Some authors prefer more physical activities such as dancing or singing to boost their energy levels. To avoid distractions, switch off your phone and turn off notifications from your iPad apps - and let your household know not to disturb you unless absolutely necessary. For more tips to get started, take a look at this article from our Learning Zone, How to Plan Your Book.

Create physical space for writing

Giving yourself a dedicated workspace for writing helps both your productivity and your creativity. Set up a desk with a comfortable chair or clear an existing desk so you have a pleasant physical space for your writing. Making sure your space remains organised - and is away from distractions where you can’t see the housework around you - enables you to easily pick up where you left off. Instead, create visual prompts such as books for reference or inspiration to get you thinking about your own writing. Decorate the space in an inspiring colour - orange is great for creativity - or simply add accessories in the colours that you love. If you can shut the door to your space, even better, to help your concentration levels. To make it even more comfortable, get bright lighting and add a plant or two.

Create diary space for writing

To build a productive routine, think about the times of day you feel most creative. There’s no point sitting at your desk all day slogging over your writing, if you can find the right time to have a burst of activity. Are you an early bird or a night owl? Schedule the time in your diary and ensure you give yourself enough breaks and time to get your daily essentials done. It’s better to create a consistent routine that you can sustain for several weeks, rather than burning through days and nights, exhausting yourself on a long stretch of writing.

Another way to create an artificial deadline is to ask someone for feedback and tell them when you plan to send the writing over to them - creating just enough pressure to help you stick with your writing plan. If you’d like help with this, try SilverWood’s Reader's Report Service - our cost-effective quick-start manuscript feedback service.

Create space for ideas

The second benefit of asking for feedback is that it creates space for new ideas by seeing your writing through someone else’s eyes. However, having lots of ideas and delving into your characters or topic can keep you awake at night. We recommend a notebook by your bed or blank paper on your desk to jot down ideas at any time. If you prefer working electronically, there are online tools like Evernote, Trello or Pinterest to gather images, actions and ideas into a single file. Sometimes the best way to generate new ideas is to take a complete rest - the break can bring you inspiration and ensure you return to work with fresh vigour and energy.

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