“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction”Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own, 1929
When Virginia Woolf wrote those words, she was referring to the specific condition of being a female writer. But outside of those specific intricacies, the need for a space to write in is a concern for all writers.
We don’t all live in dwellings where it’s easy to have a dedicated spot. Some of us are bound to one room that must function as bedroom, relaxation place, possible kitchen, and study/work area. Even if you do have more than one room, that doesn’t mean you’ll have the space to squeeze in a desk, and end up using a dining table or a bed or a sofa. And with a lack of privacy comes a lack of peace and quiet, your precious writing time invaded by people (large or small), animals, TVs, game consoles, music and so on.
So is what Virginia said true these days? If you don’t have a designated writing space are your writerly ambitions doomed? Er nope. Here are some tips and tricks to make the most of any space.
1) Make it yours
Even if your space is small, shoved under the stairs or in a cupboard, you can still make it yours. Thanks to companies like Ikea, small can still be beautiful, practical and affordable. Check out ebay or Facebook marketplace for even cheaper alternatives. And once you’ve got your desk and your reasonably comfy chair, make them yours. A bit of paint here, a sticker or two there, maybe even some kind of movable screen to give you a bit of privacy.
2) Work when it’s quiet
I am not a morning person, but if you are (or can make yourself be), you could try getting up before everyone else in your household to get in a few hours of writing in without disturbance. On the flip side, you can stay up later to catch a few quiet moments.
3) Use headphones
If you can’t get away from the noise around you, try using headphones to block it out. Noise-cancelling ones are, as the names suggests, pretty good at blocking out surrounding sound, and you can always pop on some music or sounds to help you get into the writing zone.
4) Try going outside
There are some spots where you can go outside and find a bit of peace and space. Libraries, thank God, still exist and still require absolutely none of your hard earned cash. If the weather is behaving, a park or country space can be refreshing and inspirational. And of course there’s also the traditional coffee shop if you’re willing to shell out for a cuppa now and then.
5) Consider the benefits
Having to move your writing space from spot to spot can actually help. It’s certainly a way to beat writers block. Staring at the same four walls is not always conducive to being creative. Moving, even if it’s inside your home, can help you think differently.
Those are a few ideas to make the most of what ever writing space you have. What do you think? Do you have any tips to add? What’s your writing space like?