Setting up your productive and inspiring writing space

cheerful black man writing in copybook
Photo of a person writing by Gabby K on

I am not going to tell you to redecorate or the ten-point plan guaranteed to produce a masterpiece. 

The reason this is such a popular topic is because there are so many variables. I am going to help you set up your environment to support your writing.

I would often blame my surroundings, the time of day, the bright light – almost anything as the reason why it was difficult to write. I had to change this way of thinking to increase the amount of writing I was doing. 

Photo of morning sun by Mutia Rahmah on Unsplash

Time of Day

Morning time does not work for me. My mind is racing ahead to all of the things that have to be accomplished or achieved. I end up watching the clock if I sit down to write in the morning. At the moment, while I am still teaching, the odd weekend morning I have written down an idea that came to me. 

For the bulk of my writing, creating and editing, evening works better for me. The day is finished and my brain is free to concentrate on the words on the page. 


Sitting down at the same desk in the same room is important to me because I like routine. Consider whether you like routine or do you prefer variety? Other places I have written include in my garden, in the car at the beach.

I have yet to be able to write in a coffee shop or crowded space. But I am an introvert so being around large groups of people is draining. So the spaces that work for me outside of my desk are places I know well. So far when I am away from my desk I only handwrite in my notebook. I brought the laptop to write in the car, but it was not charged up enough and the daylight made it difficult to be able to see the screen.

happy aged woman giving cookies and cup of hot drink to pleased granddaughter doing homework at home
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on


This can be hard. My children were toddlers and they did not understand why I needed to be in a room on my own. I could not concentrate around them so I had to remove myself. They wanted congratulations for making it the whole way up the stairs and then finding me. They were not happy when I turned them around and brought them back down the stairs.

One of the reasons I explored so many different places to write was because leaving the house made writing more of an event. I was also stuck somewhere with very few distractions. Even if I wasn’t actually writing words I was thinking about writing and filling up my creative well. My children were young so I had to arrange for someone to mind them when I left the house to write. But doing it this way meant that even if I was tired I was more likely to see it through. 

This idea came from Raymond Carver. He used to write in the launderettes when his children were young because their flat was too small to have any quiet space to write.

When I started to take my writing time seriously then I was in a better position to enforce that boundary with other people. It’s all in the tone of your voice. But you have to believe it first. 

How to create your ideal writing space

Look at where you enjoy writing. What makes it easy? Is it the time of day? the surroundings? If you can’t always access it can you recreate it? E.g. ambient coffee shop sounds on in the background, the smell of coffee beside you. 

List your requirements and then see can you create another writing space. It is always good to have a backup. Maybe you have one space for creating and another for rewriting.

How good are you at protecting your writing time? You have to do it first before anybody else. It doesn’t have to be a specific time of the day. It could be that you have a certain number of hours or words that you want to reach by the end of the week.

Set up your space to support your writing. You deserve it.

Image of pen and paper in a forest by Jerzy Górecki from Pixabay

More reading on Building a Writing Routine

How to use other writer’s routines as inspiration for your own

The comprehensive guide to finding time to write

12 quotes to inspire you to write

Writing during the summer

How to build your writing routine in 5 days

How to find the time to write: 4 steps to help you write more often

Building a consistent writing routine. Start your writing today.

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