10 Ways to Improve Your Writing Environment

Your work space is often one of the most neglected areas in your home, unless you are procrastinating then it suddenly becomes the star of your organizing tirade. Here are ten things you can do to improve your writing workspace. cat on lap

Get a Plant

Improve the air quality while giving yourself something pretty to look at. Pick something easy to take care of and not so big it fights with your piles of paper. It should be something you truly love. African violets and spider plants make great offices mates. If you do not like spider plants, do not get one because you will ignore it and it will meet a quick demise. That in itself is bad Chi. If you are into vibrancy you can try a pre-made amaryllis package once a year for something special.

Post Inspirational Quotes

Get a two sided cork board. Use one side for your story planning and the other to post inspirational quotes with meaning for you, acceptance letters, thank you notes, a list of your favorite words work well. When you are not using your story board flip it so you can see them. Buy colorful magnets to attach notes to your filing cabinet or desk. The rim of your monitor is also a great place for inspirational post-it notes but do not clutter your monitor, pick a new quote ever month. If the post-it is still in good shape tuck it back in your drawer of post-its for future use.


Your desk, your bookshelves, any horizontal surface in your office collects all kinds of things including dust. You should be dusting your space at least once a week to remove dust and mites. You spend a lot of time in your space and should not allow yourself to breath in those nasty particles. Every time you move a slip of paper dust goes flying. It is not good for your health. It is not good for your books. And it is not good for your plant either!

Invest in a Good Chair

Writers sit for long periods of time. One of your second office investments must be a chair. You want to make sure it is ergonomic to prevent back, hip and knee pain. Make sure it has adjustable height and a built in curvature for back support. Try a few, your backside will thank you for it.

Heater / Fan

Temperature is important. Too much heat stagnates; too much cold turns your fingers blue driving you away from your work space. Get yourself a multipurpose heater/fan to help you stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. If your body temperature is not comfortable you are not going to sit still long enough to write. Remember: when you are not in the room turn it off.

Good Lighting

So you can see when you write but more importantly so you do not get a headache from eyestrain. Who wants to write when they have a headache? In addition to an overhead ceiling light to bask the room you should have a directional desk light for closer work.

Open a Window

Bring in fresh air. Fill the lungs. Get the stagnant air out of your room at least once a month. In the winter too! There is nothing like fresh air to stir the lungs and the creative juices. It is like breathing in clean laundry off the line.


Go someone where else. You do not have to be chained to your chair, computer or couch. Go to the bookshop, park, library, gallery or shooting range for a change of atmosphere but go to write not to do errands or people watch. Focus is important.

Healthy Snacks

Have snacks ready for when hunger entices you away from your writing station. Like a veggie tray. Cut them up at the beginning of the week: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, celery sticks, plum tomatoes, cucumber, and sweet peppers. Put them on a tray and keep them near by for your first snack choice. Give your brain some real fuel throughout the day and night. Feed Your Brain = Feed Your Writing.

Get a Cat

Save a cat from the Humane Society by adopting it. It will keep you warm as you write and dust your keyboards and monitor for you; sometimes while you are trying to use it. Pets are known to lower your blood pressure and your stress levels. If all else fails a pet will give you something to write about.

A happy workspace is a happy writer. Enjoy your space.

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About Maureen Wood

M. E. Wood lives in Eastern Ontario with her husband of fifteen years. She has been moderating BIW for over nine years and works on the Internet. You can learn more about her projects on her official website.


  1. says

    DUST: Dust the computer off. The vertical surface of a LCD monitor collects a surprising amount of it which makes it hard to see. This includes the one on your laptop. Wipe it with a soft cloth as some paper towels may scratch it. Best of all to get an LCD cleaning goop and do all your screens when they may be off. Bet your TV screen is dusty!

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