We all have bad days. Sometimes we come home, see the mess we left from the morning or smell the stinky milk from the fridge and our mood sours with it. Suddenly, from car to home we find our mood shifting in the direction dictated by our environment. I believe we sometimes forget how much of an influence our environment can be both on our mood and creativity.
Until recently I thought the idea of dedicating a space for your creativity was some kind of writer’s feng shui that I just couldn’t buy into. It wasn’t until I moved into a new environment where I had to find my corner of creativity did I realize that I had naturally created a writer’s haven for myself in my last home. My desire to write suffered without it and my ability to fight writer’s block went out the window. I was suddenly hyper-aware of the truth in the words ‘Make yourself a writers haven’.
Now, when I talk about a Writer’s Haven I am not talking about building a new room attached to your house with a three-story library and oak desk. (that would awesome though!) I am referring to finding a place, a spot or a room, that you can flourish creatively.
For some of us, attempting to make a Writer’s Haven may seem like a mysterious thing. I know that I had to quickly learn how to recreate the place I had accidentally formed before. The best way I found to sort out how to make your own Writer’s Haven is to pay attention to your five senses.
Smell: You wouldn’t think that scent makes a difference in your space but it can have quite an impact. Imagine attempting to write in a room with an overwhelming aroma of rotten food, choking chemicals or stinky shoes. You grimace just thinking about it don’t you? Try being creative while you are turned off by the smells around you. Light a candle, find an Airwick you like or maybe just keep incense burning. Control the scent of your room and you will find yourself able to concentrate on creating and not on what in the hell is that smell.
Taste: This is one that I thought wouldn’t really matter but as I have applied this principle I find that it does. Keeping a drink nearby to keep yourself energized or nourished is incredibly important to keep up your pace. Along with drink, making sure you are not gorging down food that is going to cause sudden mood swings or crashes is probably wise as well. Sugar is great, but no passing out on the keyboard people!
Sight: Of course you need to be able to see to type or write out your stories. But how you see is just as important. Make sure you have enough light for your work. Make sure that your screen is at a comfortable height and your eyes are not strained by the setting. Your workspace should be clear of negative distractions and if you insist on clutter, make sure it is the kind that helps inspire you. Having a game nearby you can play or a movie you love to watch is just going to stop your creativity dead in its tracks.
Sound: One of the most common items that writers tend to take advantage of and control is the sound around them. There are a plethora of writing playlists out there for you to listen to along with a lot of places online that provide the ability to mix your own like Spotify or iTunes. Sound is incredibly important. Listening to music that doesn’t distract you and inspires you can help. If you happen to be the person that prefers silence, find a place that provides that. No matter your preference, the noise in your haven should be controlled.
Touch: This one might seem a bit obscure, but how we sit or handle our instruments that we use to create is just as important as all the other senses. Make sure you have a keyboard you like or a pen that is comfortable for you to write with. Be sure that you are physically comfortable in your chair when you write. Touch or interaction with physical objects while you are creating can be just as distracting or helpful when it comes to your overall mood.
Take the time to sort out what works for you. Test out different places in your house with different factors that lend to your senses. Eventually, you will find the perfect combination and be able to claim a space of your own as your writer’s haven.
Do you have a writer’s haven? If so, we’d love to hear about how you created yours! Leave a message in the comments!