Better Writing Through Environmental Design

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Some writers can write just about anywhere. I’m not one of them and I bet you aren’t either. For most of us, our surroundings make a big difference in the quantity and quality of our work.

Here are some things you can do to take control of your physical writing environment. You may not be able to do everything. Just do wat you can to improve the space where you work.

Be ready to write when it’s time to write

You can increase your efficiency and maintain momentum if you know what you’re going to write at the beginning of each session. Part of that is discipline. You need to plan your next writing step when you finish a writing session.

It will be easier for you if you have one place where you put everything related to your writing project. There is no rule about how to do this. If you’re a piler, pile. It doesn’t matter if you’re messy or neat if you can find what you need at the beginning of a session.

Personally, I don’t like traditional file folders for this. They simply don’t have enough capacity and often don’t allow for the books that are part of the reference material I use. I use a combination of a box and several stacks for every writing project.

Have the right tools.

Make sure you have the right tools and that you can use them comfortably. The rule for tools is that you should not be conscious of them while you work.

Start by making sure that your keyboard is the right height for easy use. If you write by hand, make sure the surfaces are comfortable to work on.

Use accessories to make your work easier. Easels and various clips can hold notes for you. A whiteboard can help you diagram a project, or you can cover it with sticky notes.

Choose software that makes it easy for you to write well. Some writers swear by software that’s been developed specifically for writers. I’m a fan of using basic word processing software. Pick what works for you.

Minimize distractions.

Distractions are the devil. They can stop your writing flow just when you get going good.

Put your phone in another room. Close the door to your writing space. Use a sign, a door hanger or an armed guard let others know you’re working and don’t want to be interrupted.

Try using noise-canceling headphones to block out distracting noises. Lots of writers like them. Lots of writers don’t.

Make some things harder to do.

There are some things that you like to do but that don’t make you productive. So, make them just a little harder to do.

Web sites and social media accounts lure many a writer away from productivity. You can buy a program that blocks you from using the Internet. Or, you can just put your computer in airplane mode.

Make some things easier to do.

There are probably some things you don’t like to do but that make you more productive. Make those things just a little easier to do.

The more you can create an environment where it’s easy for you to do your best work, the more of your best work you will do.

Takeaways

Take control of your writing environment.

Be ready to write when it’s time to write.

Have the right tools.

Minimize distractions.

Make some things harder to do.

Make some things easier to do.

The more you can create an environment where it’s easy for you to do your best work, the more of your best work you will do.

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